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Koetter chatter intensifying in Tampa

With a rash of coaching vacancies suddenly going away, some in league circles think Tampa will be the next job to be filled.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter is lining up staff members in the event he gets the job. This dynamic resulted in a rumor leaking from Tampa that Koetter is actually telling assistant coaches he’s getting the job, an obvious byproduct of the friend-tells-a-friend-tells-a-friend chain of information that quickly can be warped into something that lands in the wrong pew of the right church.

Negotiations between Koetter and the Buccaneers have not yet begun, according to the source.

So why haven’t the Buccaneers consummated with Koetter, who immediately was pegged by multiple reports as the next coach after the surprise firing of Lovie Smith eight days ago? It’s possible the Bucs are waiting for a potentially better option to emerge, possibly by making the first move.

It’s a desirable job; last week, G.M. Jason Licht said so. Those words were showcased earlier today on a curiously-timed item posted earlier today on the team’s official website.

“A 22-year old quarterback, who I happen to believe is a franchise quarterback, that’s a very strong asset to have,” Licht said. “That’s one that not many teams can say that they have.”

Whether it’s Nick Saban or someone else, the Bucs seem to be waiting for something or someone, willing to slow play the process given the reality that they can give a new coach something few teams can: A great young quarterback who more than 10 years of gas in the tank.