Dirk Koetter changes QBs, then calls for own firing after blowout loss to Bears

CHICAGO -- The "FitzMagic" era for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers might have ended at four games, as Tampa Bay was forced to shuffle quarterbacks in a blowout loss Sunday that was so bad, coach Dirk Koetter said afterward that everyone on the field should be fired -- starting with him.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, who had three 400-yard passing games to lead the Bucs to a 2-1 record, was pulled after a dismal first half against the Chicago Bears and was replaced by Jameis Winston in a 48-10 defeat.

Under heavy pressure from the Bears' defense, the Bucs' offense mustered just four first downs and converted one third down under Fitzpatrick. He completed 9 of 18 passes for 126 yards and was intercepted by Eddie Jackson on a pass intended for Mike Evans.

Toward the end of the first half, Koetter notified his staff of the change at QB. He then spoke to both players.

"He just told me that, 'Hey, my gut feeling is to go with you.' Just go out there and don't take too many hits, and get the ball out of your hand," Winston said of what Koetter told him.

Added Fitzpatrick: "With the way the score was, and the way that things were going, I thought it was just trying to provide a spark." Fitzpatrick said he told Winston: "Just go out there and do your thing. Be smart with the ball and do your thing."

Winston completed five passes on his first possession, but he was picked off by Danny Trevathan at the Chicago 28-yard line. He finished 16-of-19 for 145 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions.

"We put Jameis in a terrible situation today, and I told him that," Koetter said. "I told him right off the bat at halftime, that we were putting him in a bad situation. And I knew Jameis would go in and give us everything he had, and he did."

After completing an 11-yard pass to wide receiver Chris Godwin on fourth-and-3 in the fourth quarter, Winston hit tight end Cameron Brate along the seam for a 16-yard score.

"We were down by a lot, so we just had to get some energy and try to go," Winston said.

Added right tackle Demar Dotson: "He did bring energy. But when you're down by 40 points, there wasn't a whole lot Jameis could do."

"It was kind of hard to see a man go down like that in the first half and get benched, because I don't think he (Fitzpatrick) did anything within himself. We didn't help him. We didn't do a good job of having his back."

Koetter was asked if Winston did enough to earn his starting job back.

"Probably, but we'll worry about that on another day," Koetter said. "Ryan Fitzpatrick didn't lose this game for us, either. Don't anybody think -- if this is on any one person, it's gotta be on me, OK? So if you're gonna put one person on there, put it on me."

Winston was active for the first time since serving a three-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy, stemming from him allegedly inappropriately touching an Uber driver in 2016. But the plan was for Fitzpatrick to get the start and for the Bucs to re-evaluate their quarterback situation during next week's bye week.

Fitzpatrick said he wasn't sure who would be the starting quarterback from here on out.

"We support each other; we're in the same room," Winston said of Fitzpatrick. "So we all want the best for this team. And as a team, we didn't do as we expected to do."

The Bucs might have to evaluate more than their quarterback situation after their defense surrendered over 400 yards in a game for the 19th time since Mike Smith became defensive coordinator. The Bucs' struggles against the Bears went far beyond Fitzpatrick. Against a Bucs secondary that lost two starters to injured reserve, Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky shredded the Bucs' defense, throwing for 354 yards and six touchdowns, the most points given up by the Bucs since 2014.

When asked if he'd consider making a change at defensive coordinator, Koetter said, "Based on that game today, we couldn't make enough changes. We should fire every person that was on that field today -- starting with me. That was horrific."

Starting tight end O.J. Howard left the game with a left knee injury and didn't return. He is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter, but the Bucs don't believe the injury is serious.

Cornerback Carlton Davis aggravated a groin injury and left the game in the second half and also did not return.