Last week there was a report by CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora that the Bucs would look to bring in a proven offensive coordinator this off-season. With the Bucs offense struggling again in Sunday's loss to the Bears, it is good timing to look at some of the names The Commish would be interested in to run the Bucs offense.
Before I dive into the names, let's look at some facts. The Bucs could be staring a top 5 draft pick in the face next April. If the Bucs brass zero in on a quarterback they want and are willing to select said player, or trade up for that player if need be, they can hire an offensive coordinator that fits that particular quarterback's skills. The obvious two names are Jameis Winston (pro-style) and Marcus Mariota (spread).
The following are names that I would consider, not necessarily what Lovie Smith will consider.
Rob Chudzinski - Special Assistant to Colts head coach Chuck Pagano
Chudzinski was most recently the head coach of the Cleveland Browns for a season, but rose through the NFL ranks as offensive coordinator for the Browns and Panthers. During his two seasons as offensive coordinator with the Carolina Panthers, Chudzinski turned one of the worst offenses in the NFL into one of the most feared by grooming rookie QB Cam Newton and building his offense to suit Newton's strengths. The Panthers were a top 10 offense and top 5 in points scored.
Bill Musgrave - Eagles QB Coach
Before this season with the Eagles, Musgrave was the Vikings offensive coordinator from 2011-2013. Musgrave created an offense to obviously feature Adrian Peterson, but he failed to develop Christian Ponder into a legit NFL quarterback. Musgrave might not be solely to blame for Ponder as Ponder might just not be talented enough. Musgrave's current time with the Eagles along with his past experience calling plays at the NFL level could make him an attractive offensive coordinator candidate this off-season.
I'm sure some people will see Lane Kiffin's name and immediately say no. Well, hold on a second. Kiffin has been tremendous as Alabama's offensive coordinator, averaging over 200 yards per game on the ground and nearly 35 points per game. Also, do not discount Lane Kiffin's connection to Lovie Smith and to Tampa. Obviously, Lovie was an assistant under Monte Kiffin, Lane's father. Lane Kiffin's wife is an alumnus of the University of Florida and is daughter to former Gators, Bandits, and Buccaneers quarterback John Reeves.
I'll admit, a little bit of a wildcard here. Frost does not fit as a "proven" offensive coordinator, but his time learning under Chip Kelly is intriguing. Frost played quarterback for Tom Osborne's undefeated 1997 Nebraska National Championship team before playing safety for four NFL teams including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Frost is still young in his coaching career, but spent 2009-2012 as WRs coach for Oregon under Chip Kelly. Once Kelly moved on to the NFL, Frost became the Duck's offensive coordinator. If the Bucs have any intentions of drafting Oregon QB Marcus Mariota, perhaps hiring his collegiate offensive coordinator would be an outside-the-box type move.
Greg Roman - Current 49ers Offensive Coordinator
This might be a long shot, but with Jim Harbaugh's future with the 49ers being as cloudy as it has been, I have to wonder what would happen with the rest of his staff. The 49ers could hire Harbaugh's replacement from within, but could also bring in a new head coach who would want an entirely new staff. If, and it is a very big if, Greg Roman becomes available, the Bucs should be on the phone immediately.
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