Bucs' Head Coach Interviews

We share the candidates we think the Bucs will and should contact for their head coaching position.

Below, you can see additional names that may or may not be contacted.

Here is the list of candidates reported to be interviewing with the Buccaneers:

Sean McDermott - Panthers Defensive Coordinator: Jason Licht starts out with a guy he knows from his time spent with the Eagles. McDermott spent a majority of his NFL coaching career as an assistant in Philadelphia learning under legendary defensive coordinator Jim Johnson. McDermott is cut from that same mold of bringing pressure and being aggressive as a defensive playcaller. Despite the Panthers having a very good and young defensive line, McDermott still brings extra pressure on opposing quarterbacks, which leads to turnovers and success defensively. The ideal situation here would be to hire McDermott as head coach and keep Koetter as offensive coordinator with a raise.

Harold Goodwin - Cardinals Offensive Coordinator: Jason Licht reaches out to another familiar face who he knows from his days in Arizona. I find it quite insulting that ignorant people immediately say an interview with Harold Goodwin just satisfies the Rooney Rule, and that's it. The Arizona Cardinals have the top ranked offense this season, and their defense is equally as good. If Goodwin has a complete plan for offense AND defense that he's learned while in Arizona, I'd have no problem bringing that brand of football to Tampa Bay. 

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I have zero problem in saying the Bucs head coaching position is the best open position in the NFL, and one of the best vacant situations you'd find any off-season.

The Bucs have a franchise quarterback, more than $50 million in cap space, and high draft picks to attract a top notch coach.

Sure, the argument has been made by some that ownership is not patient enough and too tough to work with. Why? Bucs ownership is too tough because they want to win? When you fire coaches and then have to pay them multi-millions of dollars to go away, it's not because your cheap. If a coach doesn't want to come coach in Tampa in fear that ownership is not patient enough since they fired Lovie Smith after just two seasons, then I don't want that coach.

Think about it. If a coach is unwilling to come to Tampa because there's uncertainty if ownership will stand by him when he loses, why would anyone want that coach? Isn't the goal to win? The Bucs should be hiring a coach who's confident he can win immediately with the dynamic Jameis Winston, and not a coach worried about being fired if he loses. That's a scared coach, and that's not what the Bucs need.

Since the Bucs have so much to offer, I believe they should swing for the fences with the idea that Dirk Koetter is still a very viable option.

“We’re going to look at several different candidates from several different backgrounds and make the decision based on our feel for them, what we think they can bring," Bucs GM Jason Licht said on Thursday. "There’s no drawn-up, certain details of a person that we need, [whether] he’s been a coordinator for X amount of years or he’s been a head coach, it’s going to be the best football coach that we find.”

With that said, here are some names I think the Bucs will and should contact for their head coaching position (in no particular order):

1. Dirk Koetter - Bucs Offensive Coordinator: I laid out all of the reasons Koetter should be a strong candidate to be the Bucs next head coach last week. Perhaps, they've already decided that he will be the next head coach, and are just going through the protocols before they can announce it. Either way, Koetter would be a solid choice to lead the Bucs, but he'll need a strong defensive coordinator.

2. Tom Coughlin - Former New York Giants head coach: Coughlin still wants to coach and is a tremendous leader. You want a guy who will eliminate the "loser mentality" in the Bucs' locker room? Coughlin is your guy. With Coughlin, you may even be able to keep Dirk Koetter as offensive coordinator if he isn't hired by another team to be the head coach. 

3. Josh McDaniels - Patriots offensive coordinator: Don't underestimate past relationships Jason Licht may have. Licht was in New England for a long time. McDaniels is an excellent offensive mind whose offense could fit Jameis Winston quite well. I believe McDaniels learned a lot from his failures in Denver.

4. Jon Gruden - Former Bucs head coach/ESPN MNF analyst: Don't be surprised if the Glazers would love to have Chucky back. Gruden was fired because his teams were stuck in mediocrity without much hope. Enter Jameis Winston. Gruden is a workaholic who lives football 24/7...so is Jameis Winston. I know, you're concerned about Gruden's selection of players. Enter Jason Licht, who's done a damn good job in the draft the past couple of seasons. Listen, if I were Gruden, I'd stay in the booth forever, but if you don't think Gruden would set the city of Tampa a buzz again, you're crazy.

5. Jim Harbaugh - Michigan head coach: Why in the world would you not call Harbaugh? He had a ton of success in San Francisco that included 3 NFC Championship Game appearances and a Super Bowl appearance. If it wasn't for Trent Baalke in San Francisco, Harbaugh might still be in the NFL.  Plus, don't you think Harbaugh would be enticed to pair his coaching career with Jameis Winston? Every coach wants to win the Super Bowl, and while Jim got there, and never won it. Maybe he sees a long-term relationship with Jameis Wisnton as his ticket to the top. Let's also add in that Jason Licht was in Arizona watching Harbaugh dominate the NFC West for a few years. Oh, and one of Jim Harbaugh's great friends is USF head football coach Willie Taggart. Hey Willie, let Jim know how wonderful it is to live in this city. Is this likely? No. Is it at least worth a call? HELL YES!

6. Todd Haley - Steelers offensive coordinator: Although Licht and Haley never crossed paths in Arizona, Licht's then boss knows all about Todd Haley. Cardinals GM Steve Keim has been with the Cardinals for more than 15 years, so he knows the impact Haley had on the Cardinals Super Bowl run in the 2007-08 season. Haley struggled in Kansas City as head coach, but his QB was Matt Cassell and the person picking the players was Scott Pioli. Now, Haley is in Pittsburgh doing amazing things with Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers offense. Oh, who is Jameis Winston typically compared to? Yep.

7. Hue Jackson - Bengals offensive coordinator: I think Jackson could be a rock star head coach, but it has to be the right spot for him. To work with a young phenom like Jameis Winston would be the ideal match. Believe it or not, Jackson got Andy Dalton to play like a legit Fantasy Football star at times this year. In his one year as Raiders head coach, he led the team to an 8-8 record. Lovie Smith got 8 wins in two full seasons with the Bucs.

8. Chip Kelly - Former Eagles head coach: Do not discount this. The Glazers were so close to getting Chip Kelly in 2012. The Glazers obviously loved him then, and with the Glazers, anything is possible. I do not think Jameis is a good fit in Kelly's offense, and I would never want him having control of any roster moves. We should also consider the relationship between Kelly and Licht. I mean, Kelly had to try and trade up for Mariota last year, right? Any ill feelings for Licht?


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