Dirk Koetter wanted Mariota over Jameis Winston?


 (quarterback coach Mike Bajakian w/ Jameis Winston at Rookie Camp 2015)

Dirk Koetter with the help of Mike Bajakian did an outstanding job getting Jameis Winston NFL ready, last season. Koetter’s style of offense showcased Winton’s talents allowing him to throw for over 4,000-yards and to become the third rookie in history to do it. But at first, did Koetter not even want Jameis Winston? In fact, he thought Tampa should have passed over Jameis for Marcus Mariota.

NFL: AUG 03 Buccaneers Training Camp

The Tampa Bay Times reported Dirk Koetter revealed that after his initial film evaluations of both quarterbacks, that he preferred Mariota over Winston.  “I was probably one of the last people holding out going through the whole process last year. There was plenty of other people convinced way before I was that this was the guy. I was only a holdout in that we were basically comparing two really good players: Jameis and Marcus Mariota. Both really, really good players. And my job that I was assigned was more the film evaluation part. So other people were evaluating all the other staff. But as we got to pro days and we got around the other coaches, you’ve got to remember, Mark Helfrich was a graduate assistant for me at Oregon and was a quarterbacks coach at Boise and Idaho State. Mark is telling me, ‘Marcus Mariota, you guys are idiots, you’re not going to draft Marcus Mariota? You guys are stupid.’ Well, that’s a guy I’m really close to.”


Head coach Dirk Koetter now admits he is a true believer, and that Jameis Winston is off the charts.