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Philadelphia Eagles coaching candidate profile: Dirk Koetter, Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator

This is the latest in our series of profiles on Philadelphia Eagles coaching candidates.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bleeding Green Nation is profiling all the candidates and potential candidates for the Eagles head coaching position in 2016.

Dirk Koetter


Dirk Koetter is an experienced coach, with nine years as an offensive coordinator in the NFL and nine years as a college head coach. In 2013 he interviewed with the Browns, Chiefs and Eagles, and also with Boise State, who he previously coached. In his three stops in the NFL, he's gotten improved seasons out of all of his QBs of various experience and talent levels. He reportedly is interviewing with the Eagles, he has no other reported interviews so far.


1983-1984 Highland (ID) HS (head coach)
1985 San Francisco State (offensive coordinator)
1986-1988 UTEP (offensive coordinator)
1989-1993 Missouri (offensive coordinator)
1994-1995 Boston College (offensive coordinator)
1996-1997 Oregon (offensive coordinator)
1998-2000 Boise State (head coach)
2001-2006 Arizona State (head coach)
2007-2011 Jacksonville Jaguars (offensive coordinator)
2012-2014 Atlanta Falcons (offensive coordinator)
2015-present Tampa Bay Buccaneers (offensive coordinator)

Why he could work

Of the candidates that the Eagles have interviewed, will interview or are reportedly going to interview, Koetter is by far the most experienced, and has a diversity of experiences. At Boise State he took over a program that was only in its third year of D-IA, and in his second season he won the Big Sky Conference and a bowl game. He repeated this in his third season, paving the way for the Boise State we know today, and after the season he moved on to Arizona State. Taking over an ASU program that was stuck in 6 win seasons, Koetter wasn't able to find sustained success. Though he coached QB Andrew Walter and WR Derek Hagan to school record production during their careers, he had just one winning season in his first three, and then after back to back 7 win seasons in 2005 and 2006 he was fired.

Koetter landed in Jacksonville as the offensive coordinator, where, along with QB coach and current Panthers offensive coordinator Mike Shula, he oversaw the highest scoring team in Jaguars history despite a lack of a stand out season by any one player, which is usually the case when a team is that successful. The Jaguars ended the season 6th in points and 7th in yards and 3rd in DVOA. However the bottom immediately dropped out the next year. Over the rest of his Jaguars career, the Jags would finish 24th, 24th, 18th and 28th in points, 20th, 19th, 15th and 32nd in yards, and 14th, 17th, 14th and 31st in DVOA. After the 2011 season, the entire Jaguars staff was fired. Much of the blame for 2011 can be attributed to the drafting of Blaine Gabbert. Under Koetter, Maurice Jones-Drew, David Garrard, Marcedes Lewis made the Pro Bowl, Jones-Drew was also an All-Pro.

Koetter then landed in Atlanta, where he got the best season of Matt Ryan's career in 2012. Ryan led the league in completion percentage, threw for a career high in yards and touchdowns, and put up career bests in passer rating and yards per attempt. Julio Jones became a top-flight wide receiver. After everyone was fired in Atlanta, he moved to Tampa in 2015. Under Koetter, Jameis Winston cut down on the turnovers that plagued his final season in college, and Doug Martin finished second in the league in rushing.

Koetter isn't the greatest offensive coordinator in the league, and isn't the hottest name out there. But he's gotten success at every stop of his career since being a head coach in 1998, and he's done so with varying levels of talent to work with. As a long time coordinator he understands the league well, and he has head coaching experience that almost none of the other candidates have.

Why he might not be the guy

He doesn't appear to really meet any of criteria that Jeffrey Lurie outlined he would be looking for. While he's had good seasons, they are too few and too far between for him to stand out or to be considered a "smart, strategic thinker." As a leader, he did have a good relationship with the at times impulsive Roddy White, and his nine years as a head coach for two teams implies that he at least has some leadership qualities, but there isn't anything to suggest he is the strong, charismatic leader that Lurie is looking for. At 56, he would be relatively old for a first-time NFL head coach, and after making the interview rounds in 2013 and not landing a head coaching job he is in even less demand this year. Finally, Koetter's three jobs in the NFL have all been with defensive head coaches: Jack Del Rio, Mike Smith and Lovie Smith, which could be an indication that he desires as much control as possible. That's understandable for someone who has been a head coach, but it may be a turnoff for the Eagles.

Final thoughts

It's hard to see why the Eagles would be interested in Koetter. He's not a young, upcoming coach like Adam Gase or Ben McAdoo are believed to be. Nor is he considered the strong leader type. He has not been able to sustain any success since his Boise State days, and more often than not has overseen mediocre offenses, though that is not entirely his fault. There isn't much to indicate he is NFL head coach material, he's one of the least interesting potential coaches.

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