Buccaneers' coach Dirk Koetter apologizes to Falcons for epic 28-3 tweet

The NFL inched away from its “No Fun League” moniker earlier this week when the decision was made to relax the strict-to-the-point-of-silly rules on touchdown celebrations.

But not everyone in the league is ready to fully embrace a fun-loving new attitude.

On Thursday, Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter publicly apologized to his team’s NFC South rival, the Atlanta Falcons, for a tweet sent from the Bucs’ official account earlier this week.

In our opinion, it was a fantastic tweet. But for Koetter, who worked for the Falcons as offensive coordinator for three years, it was “unprofessional” and “not smart” on the part of whichever member of the team’s social-media group sent the tweet.

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Tampa Bay coach Dirk Koetter apologized to the Falcons for a tweet he thought went too far. (AP)

Here’s what happened, and you decide:

On Monday, the Buccaneers sent a tweet promoting team-branded “fidget spinners,” the new gadget that’s supposed to help relieve stress. As we’ve seen other teams do, the Falcons responded by tweaking Tampa Bay: “Are you nervous about something?,” the post said.

To which Tampa Bay’s account responded, “We ain’t worried ’bout nothing!,” with a photo of Vernon Hargreaves (No. 28) fist-bumping Jameis Winston (No. 3).

28-3. Get it?


As the kids say, the Bucs’ response was pretty savage. No matter what happens this season or beyond, the Falcons will never be able to escape their second-half collapse against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI, and Tampa Bay’s tweet went for the cheap dig in a creative way.

But Koetter wasn’t happy.

“I want to make sure, on behalf of the Bucs organization, that I apologize to the Falcons,” Koetter said, via the Tampa Bay Times. “Whatever it was supposed to be that went out on social media, that’s not what our organization is all about. That was totally unprofessional and not smart on our part, whoever was responsible for that. Heck, we want to be playing in the Super Bowl, and we were home sitting on our butt while they were playing. We have no room to be making fun of anybody that was in the Super Bowl, whether they won or not.”

Koetter made the statement unsolicited, before taking any questions from the assembled media after the Bucs’ OTA practice.

So what do you think: did Dirk overreact? Or was he right to apologize?