Bucs hire Koetter as new OC

Tampa, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quickly found themselves a new offensive coordinator, and one that's quite familiar with the NFC South.

Atlanta Falcons OC Dirk Koetter has accepted the same position with the Bucs, the team announced Thursday in a press release.

Koetter had directed the Falcons' offense in each of the previous three seasons, with Atlanta ranking seventh in the NFL in points and eighth in total yards during his first year at the helm in 2012. The Falcons finished fifth in passing yards and eighth in total offense this past season, with quarterback Matt Ryan throwing for over 4,500 yards for a third consecutive year.

The 55-year-old Koetter, a former head coach at Boise State and Arizona State as well, also served as the Jacksonville Jaguars' offensive coordinator from 2007-11.

Though Koetter was still under contract with Atlanta for 2015, the Falcons allowed him to leave with the team currently searching for a new head coach after firing Mike Smith at the conclusion of the 2014 campaign.

Koetter takes over a Tampa Bay offense that was one of the league's worst in 2014, though those poor results came under difficult circumstances. Offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford was forced to take a medical leave just prior to the season's start to undergo a heart procedure, leaving play-calling duties in the inexperienced hands of quarterbacks coach Marcus Arroyo.

Tedford was released from his contract in December and is now the head coach of the CFL's BC Lions.

Koetter is expected to be breaking in a new quarterback in Tampa Bay, as the Buccaneers hold the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 draft and will have a shot of landing either 2014 Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota of Oregon or Florida State star Jameis Winston.