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Tuesday, Jan 23, 2018
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Embattled coach Dirk Koetter has not talked to Bucs owners about 2018 but says speculation is a distraction

Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter says he has not spoken to the Glazer family which owns the team about his future but admits that constant speculation about his job status is a personal distraction.

"Well of course. You know, it's your life. It's your life," Koetter said. "It's what you do. So, just flip it around and of course it is (a distraction). But we're all — players and coaches — we're paid to do a job and you try to do it to the best of your ability. That's all you can do."

Koetter has three years remaining on his contract but the Bucs are in the midst of their second, five-game losing streak this season.

Injuries have been a big part of the story, particularly since quarterback Jameis Winston missed three games with a sprained shoulder and struggled through three others trying to play hurt.

But since returning to the lineup in a 26-20 overtime loss at Green Bay Dec. 3, Winston has played his best football and the last two games his passer efficiency rating has been over 130.

Meanwhile, there has been constant speculation since about the middle of the season that Gruden, who coached the Bucs from 2002-08, won Super Bowl XXVII and is in the team's Ring of Honor, would consider leaving ESPN to return to the sidelines in Tampa Bay.

Despite that, Koetter said he has not had any talks with the Glazer family about whether he will return in 2018.

"I do not have discussions with them about that, no," Koetter said.

The Bucs host the New Orleans Saints, who could clinch the NFC South title with a win Sunday.

Koetter has reason to be nervous. The Glazers haven't shown much patience with three of the coaches they hired since firing Gruden three weeks after the 2008 season. Raheem Morris was gone after three seasons. Both Greg Schiano and Lovie Smith were each shown the door after two seasons.

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Embattled coach Dirk Koetter has not talked to Bucs owners about 2018 but says speculation is a distraction