Bucs expected to retain Koetter

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jameis Winston looks to pass against the Carolina Panthers during the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte N.C. Sunday Dec. 24 2017

After a bit of uncertainty, General Manager, Jason Licht, informed Dirk Koetter that he will return as the Bucs head coach in 2018.

The Buccaneers missed the playoffs for the tenth straight year, going 4-11 this season with Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints left.

But quarterback Jameis Winston regressed in 2017 and also missed time with a shoulder injury.

Koetter has a 13-18 career record with the team.

The Bucs now hold a 4-11 record and will be missing the playoffs for the 10th consecutive year.

Tampa Bay went 9-7 in 2016 in Koetter's first season at the helm.

That doesn't mean Koetter won't have potential hurdles to clear in 2018, including an ongoing National Football League investigation into Winston's alleged sexual misconduct and potential impending divorces with high-profile offensive stars DeSean Jackson and Doug Martin. As head coach, he still is the play-caller and mentor entrusted to develop the franchise quarterback and fulfill his promise as a No. 1 overall pick.

"He came in - then he was the OC - as the head coach, it has been kind of different, but Dirk is the man", Winston said of Koetter earlier this week. We spend so much time together - me, him, Coach Mike Bajakian (and) those other quarterbacks - it's like a family.

Martin was suspended by the team for a rule violation two weeks ago and is nearing the end of another disappointing season, in which he's averaging merely 3.0 yards per carry, that began with a drug suspension.

The Bucs have invested heavily in surrounding Winston with a supporting cast on offense at the expense of their defense.

In his first season with the Bucs, Gruden led Tampa Bay to a 48-21 win over the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII.

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