What will we call this new tradition, Vote of Confidence Friday?
A few days before Black Monday, the day after the regular season when the NFL normally announces the firings of head coaches, three NFL teams have decided to hold onto their head coaches. The New York Jets announced early Friday that coach Todd Bowles was given an extension. Then separate reports said the Washington Redskins will retain Jay Gruden (h/t to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in a bit of a surprise, will keep Dirk Koetter for another season (h/t to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times).
Those latter two news stories both affect the Gruden family. Although Jay wasn’t considered on a serious hot seat, it’s still nice for him to know he’ll return. And the Buccaneers news means a rumored (sorry, grumored) return of Jon Gruden returning to the Buccaneers sideline won’t happen.
Jay Gruden missed the playoffs for a second straight season in Washington, but the Redskins were besieged with injuries. He wasn’t considered to be in major trouble, but you never know with Redskins owner Daniel Snyder.
Koetter was on much shakier ground, it seemed. His second season as Buccaneers coach was rocky, as they were preseason darlings but are just 4-11 heading into Week 17. The relationship between Koetter and quarterback Jameis Winston was reportedly rocky too, though all parties denied that was the case. No matter, Koetter will be back for a third season. Perhaps that will help Winston with some continuity in the offense.
Monday was expected to bring many firings around the NFL. But thanks to Vote of Confidence Friday, a few coaches will be safe for another season.
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