So what’s so tough about coaching in the NFL?
Just ask the guy with Gatorade all over his shirt and a game ball under his arm.
New Tampa Bay Bucs coach Dirk Koetter won his first game with the Bucs Sunday in Atlanta behind several highlight plays in a 31-24 victory over the Atlanta Falcons.
It was an impressive debut, one where most of Koetter’s weapons took turns trying to impress the new boss.
There was Charles Sims, who took a checkdown pass late in the first half. Sims was surrounded by Falcon defenders, but made a move, broke a tackle and went in for the most significant play he has made as a Buc.
There was Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who had to work his way back into Koetter’s good graces, getting open down the middle for a 30-yard touchdown reception.
There was Mike Evans, who caught a 45-yard touchdown pass right afterward.
There was quarterback Jameis Winston, who overcame a slow start to hit 23 of 33 passes for 281 yards and four touchdowns.
Finally, there was Gerald McCoy, who batted down Matt Ryan’s fourth-down pass to preserve the win.
“We tell our guys, you have to make your plays,” Koetter said.
It was good enough to overcome a 10-3 deficit. Tampa Bay scored four touchdowns in the middle two periods for the win. The victory had to feel particularly good for Koetter and defensive coordinator Mike Smith, who were the offensive coordinator and head coach in Atlanta before.
Tampa Bay is on the road again next week, traveling to Arizona to play the highly regarded Cardinals.