Dirk Koetter will be retained by Buccaneers in 2018

Dirk Koetter will be retained by Buccaneers in 2018

But the team has struggled with injuries, poor performance and close losses. They kept those hopes alive with last second heroics by Cam Newton to defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 22-19, in Week 17.

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.

Both of the coaches before Koetter - Greg Schiano and Lovie Smith - were fired after two seasons.

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ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio reports there's a "growing sense in league circles" Jon Gruden will return as the next coach of the Bucs. As the head coach, it has been kind of different but Dirk is the man.

- After a 2-1 start to the season, the Buccaneers have gone 2-10.

Koetter was the Bucs offensive coordinator when Winston came to the NFL.

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"I think that combined with some balance in the running game has really helped him and probably an ally for every quarterback".

Tampa Bay has not ruled anyone out but listed defensive end Robert Ayers (shoulder) and linebacker Devante Bond (ankle) as doubtful. He's on pace for his worst season since 2012, excluding an injury-shortened 2015, and he hasn't brought the same game-changing element that he'd had in Washington and Philadelphia; his longest play of the year so far was for 41 yards, but he had five plays longer than that in 2016. There's a chance that they end up being the only team in the NFC South not to reach the playoffs. You just don't understand that relationship in that quarterback room. But he also has shown the past four games that he will tuck the ball and run, totaling 52 yards rushing on 13 attempts, averaging 4 yards per carry, in that span. Tampa Bay has drafted only two defensive linemen in the past four years and are last in the National Football League with 20 sacks this season.

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