Winston-Koetter still being discussed

by Gary Shelton on December 16, 2017 · 4 comments

in general, NFL, Tampa Bay Bucs

Winston has denied he has a problem with coach Dirk Koetter./STEVEN MUNCIE

Winston has denied he has a problem with coach Dirk Koetter./STEVEN MUNCIE

Saturday, 2 a.m.

It's been almost a week, and people are still talking about the alleged friction between quarterback Jameis Winston and Bucs' head coach Dirk Koetter.

In a season full of problems, is that the most recent one? Is it the start of a break-up? Is it more than the frustration that goes on between the quarterback of a 4-9 team and the coach?

At this point, it seems to be conjecture.

Friday, for instance, Koetter was asked if every coach and player had disagreements.

“I think our relationship has been real consistent, so I

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don’t know who took it out of whatever it was," Koetter said. "I don’t know who said what. I have to put my name on everything I say. But can there be stress? Is it possible? Sure. We spend a lot of time together – players and coaches. So, coach-to-coach, coach-to-player, player-to-player when you spend as much time together as we do, of course there can be. In specific as far as my relationship with Jameis, it’s been really consistent throughout for the last three years.

“You can’t worry about stuff you don’t control. I encourage our players to put their name on it and for our coaches to do the same thing. That way you can always settle it like you would settle anything. Anything that is unnamed – there is no way to settle it anyway, so there is not really much use worrying about it.”

Koetter said he encourages every player to take things up with their coach if they are frustrated.

“I think any time you have a problem with anybody in your whole life, in any relationship, if you want to solve it you should resolve it face-to-face with that person. If you’re going to go through a third party, at least do the justice of putting your name on it.”

Offensive coordinator Todd Monken said things are fine between Koetter and Winston.

“I want to talk a little bit about what we’ve had to deal with in terms of talk about relationships," Monken said. "I’ve been here almost two years and from a coach-player relationship, I have never seen anything close to what is being talked about between our head coach (Dirk Koetter) and our quarterback (Jameis Winston) – not one thing. What I want people to understand is this: the majority of players that I’ve ever coached in my life, at some point in our relationship, it’s been strained – fact. If you ask any player I’ve ever coached, ‘Have you had a strain in your relationship? You bet. The best man at my wedding was my roommate in college. You don’t think we had strains in our relationship at times?

"My wife of 26 years, do you think we haven’t had times in our life where we’ve had strains in our relationship? All of the sudden it becomes news that all of the sudden there is a strain? You know what the strain is? The frustration of being 4-9. That’s a frustration. When you put everything into it, what you’ve got is a quarterback that is very competitive – a guy that wants to be great and has had a frustrating year, probably some things on and off the field. And [you have] a head coach that does an unbelievable job coaching our players and our quarterback. That becomes news? Holy cow, news flash, we’ve got a strain in a relationship. There is not one person that can’t say that that’s ever happened before. That is a flat-out joke that that even becomes news.”

Monken said that such strains are to be expected.

"I think (it’s) just the nature in relationships," Monken said. "If everything that I ever said to anybody else about frustration ever came out, holy cow, I can’t imagine. No one has ever said anything to anybody else about a relationship? No one has ever said, ‘Gosh dang,’ about their wife, about their brother, about their parents, about a coach – any relationship? Has that ever happened? Of course, it does. It’s never news.

"It’s human nature. Is it frustrating? You bet it is. What’s frustrating? Being hurt [and] not being able to play like you’d like to play [and] our team [not] playing like you’d like it to play or a relationship not going as well as you’d like it to go, or a job, or a boss or somebody you are dealing with on an everyday basis. Yet it becomes news. It is not any news at all – fact. Then we talk about Jameis. I’ve talked to a number of people about this – (he’s) a young player still developing. It’s the way it is. Do we want to throw the deep ball better? Yes, we do. Do we want to protect the football better? Without question. But, if you look – I don’t know how else to judge it. QB rating? I don’t know. But, if you look at the stats and you go, ‘Okay, who is 14? Matt Ryan, Dak Prescott, Ben Roethlisberger, Andy Dalton, Jameis Winston, Derek Carr’ – now that is from 14-19 within three points of everybody. That’s not a bad collection of players right there. Now are we the top 10? No. I don’t know what the average age would be of that – I don’t know. It’s a variety – some older, some younger. But, I don’t know what Jameis will be in five years. I have no idea what he will be, but I’m not going to put some sort of parameters on what he could be at age 23 and had a season where he has been banged up and fought to come back in and play. I’m not. And, I’m not going to listen to people talk about things they don’t know. It’s frustration. It’s human nature. Now, all of the sudden, we have to defend that there is frustration in a relationship. That’s normal. Who has where it’s perfect? Someone come see me and tell me any relationship that they’ve had, or if they’ve been in coaching, that everything has gone great. It doesn’t happen. It does not exist.

Could Winston be frustrated with the predictability of the offense?

“I think, in general, we look for reasons why we are not successful," Monken said. "If it was one thing, we’d have it fixed. ‘Boy, if we just had this position. Boy, if we just had this coach. Boy, if we just had this play call. Boy, if we just had that.’ When you are frustrated, those come out. Without question, that is a part of it. All of us think it. Every single one of us – you, me, our staff and our players. That’s it. You reel it back in and you say, ‘You know what? I’ve got to do better with what I control.’ That’s it. That’s the way you fix it. That’s been the frustrating thing. Do I think there probably was some frustration with that? Yes. When you think that all of a sudden it’s going a certain way, well, there’s got to be a reason. ‘Boy, if you would’ve just done this. If we would’ve just called this. If we would’ve just run this.’ Sure.”

As for Koetter not having Winston's back, Monken said that was false.

"First of all, no one has (Winston’s) back more than Dirk Koetter – nobody," Monken said. "Nobody in this building. I promise you [along with] our personnel people and us as coaches moving forward with Jameis. When a player is injured, they are somewhat separate from the team and you have to move on. I’ve never been around a program where an injured player didn’t feel a little bit separated from the group. How would they not be? They are not playing. When you are in a meeting room, you are talking to the guys that are playing. The guy that is not is sitting right there (points off to this left). You are talking to the guys that are playing. They are going to feel that. That’s normal. The things we are talking about are normal. Is he going to feel that way? You bet. If you’ve ever been injured in an athletic deal, you are separated. You aren’t part of it and you feel like that. To say that he didn’t have his back – I don’t know whether he said that or not – I’m not getting into that. Frustration? Yes. To not have his back? Not even close."

The Bucs play the Falcons on Monday night football at 8:30 at Raymond James.





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