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The report cited Koetter's involvement in quarterback Jameis Winston's development as a key reason for Tampa Bay's faith in him.

Koetter was the Buccaneers' offensive coordinator in 2015.

The news comes after Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio reported Friday there was "a growing sense in league circles. that Gruden will return to Tampa Bay as the next coach of the Buccaneers". The Times writes the Glazer Family told Koetter he'd be back for the 2018 season, even though the team underachieved, going 4-11 through 15 games. While the Panthers allowed multiple big plays to the Buccaneers, Carolina's defense held Tampa Bay to a handful of field goal opportunities.

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"Dirk has been here [since] my first year", said Winston on Thursday.

However, the 2017 season is a year Tampa Bay wants to forget. He missed three games this season with ac joint sprain in his throwing shoulder.

Rumors had circulated in recent weeks that ESPN analyst and former Bucs coach Jon Gruden would return to the team he helped win the Super Bowl in 2002. Though turnovers are still an issue for Winston, he has completed a higher rate of passes for a higher average per completion this season.


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