Six Candidates The Bucs Should Consider
Now, I am omitting Dirk Koetter from this list since he seems to be the odds-on favorite at this point. That does not mean I don’t think he shouldn’t be considered or that the other people I name are any better, but you all know he’s in the running, possibly leading the pack, so why bother?
6.) Matt Patricia, Defensive Coordinator – New England Patriots
Patricia seems to be a hot name right now. I’m not completely sold on him, but he’s certainly a name to become familiar with. Belichick disciples are always under consideration due to New England’s consistent success.
5.) Kevin Sumlin, Head Coach – Texas A&M
Sumlin is a damn fine coach. He’s posted a 71-33 overall record as head coach, spending four years at both Houston and Texas A&M. He coached the Aggies’ offense to over 7,000 yards of total offense in 2012, only SEC team to ever accomplish that, when he had Mike Evans and Johnny Manziel. He was also instrumental in installing a spread offense with Purdue offensive coordinator Jim Chaney. This seemed to work well with quarterback Drew Brees running the system. Sumlin would provide that offense the Glazers, and Bucs fans, have been clamoring for.
4.) Hue Jackson, Offensive Coordinator – Cincinnati Bengals
Hue Jackson loves to run the football, but has done wonders this season with Andy Dalton and the passing game. Given that the Bengals were eliminated, the Buccaneers can line up an interview with him quickly. Jackson will be in high demand, and deservedly so. He could bring a high scoring, dominant offense to Tampa Bay with Winston, Evans, and Martin. Unfortunately, I think Jackson will have his sights set on San Francisco or New York. The buzz around Cincinnati, after that epic Saturday night implosion, is the Bengals may pull a Bucs. Marvin Lewis may be on his way out the door in hopes of promoting Jackson, rather than losing him
3.) Josh McDaniels, Offensive Coordinator – New England Patriots
Another Patriot coach and a re-tread at that. I know, I know…
Now, that being said, I believe McDaniels has learned from past failures and will make a fine head coach in the league. We all know about the Licht ties to New England, so there is another thing to consider when talking about these Patriot coordinators. However, if this process is going to be as fast as we were led to believe, McDaniels will likely still be coaching by time the Bucs’ new head coach has already been named.
2.) Mike Shula, Offensive Coordinator – Carolina Panthers
Seeing the magic that was put together offensively for the Panthers this year with issues at running back, Ted Ginn as the most reliable receiver, and really nothing more than a quarterback that wanted it more than anyone else, Shula could easily replicate that recipe with Tampa’s ingredients. Why Shula isn’t getting as much buzz as some of these other coaches is baffling.
1.) Sean McDermott, Defensive Coordinator – Carolina Panthers
Second verse, same as the first. Another Panthers coordinator, hurts them, helps us, etc.
Yes, this is someone we already know has an interview. However, it’s a double-whammy for the NFC South in favor of the Bucs. If McDermott could find a way to keep Koetter on as OC, this would dramatically hurt the Panthers while significantly helping the Bucs. It basically mirrors the Koetter acquisition last off-season. McDermott would have similar talent in some areas on this Bucs defense, but has work to do to get it to the same level as the Panthers. And for those of you hoping Josh Norman signs here as a free agent, McDermott would increase those chances tremendously.
Six Coaches To Avoid Like The Plague
6.) Matt Patricia, Defensive Coordinator – New England Patriots
Yes, he shows up on both lists. For starters, Patriot coaches from the Belichick regime do not have a good track record as head coaches elsewhere. Second, if the Bucs did pursue a coach from New England, I certainly wouldn’t pick this one. Let him be someone else’s mistake.
5.) Nick Saban, Head Coach – Alabama
Leave him in college where he belongs. We’ve seen this story and know how it ends. Saban can keep himself perfectly rich and successful in the SEC, not the NFL.
4.) Tom Coughlin, Former Head Coach – New York Giants
Yes, he has two Super Bowl rings. No, that doesn’t mean he is going to win another one. Unless this comes with some sort of guarantee that the Bucs would have JPP and Odell Beckham Jr. on the week one roster in 2016, then this consideration needs to be a hard pass. I like Coughlin, but I think this game has already passed him by.
3.) Ken Whisenhunt, Former Head Coach – Tennessee Titans
Now, I haven’t heard his name pop up regarding any vacancies, but it seems like that always happens, doesn’t it? No real need to explain myself here given his performance in Tennessee. Had a heck of a run with the Cardinals, but that magic has long since worn off.
2.) Marvin Lewis, Head Coach – Cincinnati Bengals
At the time I am writing this, no, Marvin Lewis has not been fired. Given his 0-7 postseason record, worst by a head coach in NFL history, it’s only a matter of time before the Bengals finally say “enough is enough” and send him packing. Yes, he turned a beleaguered franchise around, but can you name another head coach in the history of sports to be as bad as he is come playoff time? No, you can’t, because they get fired before it gets to that point. I made a promise on twitter to slap anyone who says Lewis should be hired if the Bengals fire him. I will keep that promise. Trust me…you don’t want to deal with what I’ve seen Bengals fans go through the last 12 years.
1.) Chip Kelly, Former Head Coach – Philadelphia Eagles
Stay away from Chip! That is, unless, you want to see Jameis Winston traded for Landry Jones, Mike Evans shipped off for a sixth-round pick, and Doug Martin sent packing for a box of Laffy Taffy and six pack of Fanta. Aren’t you glad Chip bailed on us during the night a few years ago? Yeah, we had to put up with Schiano and Lovie, but at least they didn’t completely burn the place down…
Six Coordinators To Consider
6.) Jim Schwartz, Defensive Coordinator
Say what you will about Schwartz’s tenure with the Lions as head coach, he was a damn fine defensive coordinator with the Tennessee Titans. He would fit in quite nicely here.
5.) Mike Mularkey, Offensive Coordinator
Before Koetter, there was Mularkey in Atlanta. Mularkey’s offense lifted the Falcon’s into the top five in yards, top three in rushing yards, and top ten in scoring in just his first season. His shortcomings as a head coach should play no part in his evaluation as a coordinator. He has a proven track record of success in that role.
4.) Mike Bajakian, Offensive Coordinator
If Koetter is the man, it makes sense to keep this in-house. Bajakian knows what Koetter wants to do and has developed a relationship with Winston already. Seems like a no-brainer.
3.) Randy Sanders, Offensive Coordinator
Someone had to use the Jameis Winston-Florida State-comfort level suggestion, right? So, here it is! As co-offensive coordinator, Sanders knows Winston like the back of his hand. He knows what works and what doesn’t for the quarterback. Together, they only lost one game. Florida State already runs a pro-style offense, so there’s no gimmicky nonsense to worry about.
2.) Mike Smith, Defensive Coordinator
A name immediately linked to the defense as soon as Lovie was out the door and the Koetter speculation started. They worked together in Atlanta, but this time Koetter would be the man in charge. Hopefully, if that turns out to be the situation, they have better results than they did with the Falcons.
1.) Dirk Koetter, Offensive Coordinator
No, I didn’t mention him as a head coach candidate. I will bring him up here because, well, nobody else is. Why isn’t anyone talking about the sheer possibility that Koetter wants to stay here and is perfectly content keeping his current position? If Tampa somehow gets McDermott to coach and he can keep Koetter, isn’t that almost a perfect situation? To have a defensive minded head coach that hurts a division rival, boosts our defense, and keep the man responsible for a rookie quarterback passing for over 4,000 yards and a running back who was second in the NFL in rushing this season? Big time win.
Six Final Words
Please, Glazers…don’t screw this up.