Personnel Changes Looming For Bucs Offense

January 17 - If Tampa Bay hires Bill Parcells as its next coach as expected, several changes in personnel could re-shape the Bucs offense. Will the Bucs re-sign Warrick Dunn? Will LG Randall McDaniel be cut? Will the Bucs pursue WR Terry Glenn? Will Parcells attempt to trade for RB Curtis Martin? Buccaneer Magazine explores the possibilities.

During his tenure in Tampa Bay, Tony Dungy always resisted change in regards to his beliefs or his roster or coaching staff. He always wanted to weather the storm with the status quo.

Bill Parcells takes the opposite approach to coaching. The two-time Super Bowl winner doesn't weather the storm, he creates a hurricane upon taking over a team. In his last coaching stop with the New York Jets, Parcells rid the team of defensive linemen Marvin Washington and Hugh Douglas and linebacker Bobby Houston just to name a few. All good players, but players that for one reason or another didn't fit Parcells' version of what the Jets should be.

If Parcells is named as the new Buccaneers head coach as expected, Expect a similar type of purging of the Bucs' roster, especially on the offensive side of the ball, beginning with the team's unrestricted free agents.

RB Rabih Abdullah
WR Reidel Anthony
OL DeMarcus Curry
RB Warrick Dunn
WR Jacquez Green
OT Pete Pierson
C/G Todd Washington
WR Karl Williams

While some would say that Warrick Dunn could be kept around because two of Parcells' favorite players were running backs Joe Morris and Dave Meggett, both of whom were 5-foot-7, keep in mind that Meggett was strictly a third-down running back under Parcells, which is something that Dunn definitely doesn't want to be.

Morris was a feature back and had two really productive years in 1985-86, but if Parcells could have made him grow four inches and put on 20 pounds he would have. The truth is that Parcells likes bigger backs like Otis Anderson from his Giants days and Curtis Martin from his days with the Patriots and Jets.

In other words, Dunn will be gone. Don't be surprised to see Parcells attempt to trade for Martin, a player he drafted in New England and traded for when he took over as coach of the New York Jets. With Lamont Jordan, a Herm Edwards draft pick, capable of starting next year in New York, Martin and his big salary might be on the trading block.

Fullback Mike Alstott is not a free agent, but he might be on thin ice due to his salary cap value which swells to over $4.6 million in 2002. The fact that Parcells doesn't like fumblers and Alstott has had problems hanging on to the ball in his NFL career even though he only had two last year doesn't bode well.

Reidel Anthony, Jacquez Green and perhaps Karl Williams will not be back in 2002. That leaves the Bucs with just three receivers on their roster - Keyshawn Johnson, Frank Murphy and Milton Wynn. Johnson has said that he will try to lobby for problem child Terry Glenn, who has been suspended for a great deal of the season in New England by head coach Bill Belichick for missing practices and insubordination.

Glenn, who is still under contract with the Patriots through 2007, hauled in 90 passes for 1,132 yards and six touchdowns in 1996 during the team's Super Bowl season. After Glenn got over a comment by Parcells in which he referred to Glenn as a "she", the former first-round draft pick had a terrific rookie season.

Parcells will certainly make some changes along the offensive line. Veteran left guard Randall McDaniel likely won't be back due to his deteriorating skills and his age (37). Jets left guard Kerry Jenkins, a former Parcells' draft pick, will be a free agent in 2002 and might be a nice fit.

Parcells doesn't mind having smaller offensive linemen down around the 300-pound mark, but Bucs center Jeff Christy, who is 6-foot-2 and weighs only 280 pounds, might be too small and on his way out. Parcells traded for Jets center Kevin Mawae, who later went on to become a Pro Bowler. He may search elsewhere for a center or re-sign 6-foot-4, 320-pound Todd Washington.

Christy will have a $3.5 million cap value in 2002 with a $750,000 roster bonus payable on March 1. His salary cap value shoots up to $3.95 million in 2003, which is the last year on his contract, and has another roster bonus of $750,000 payable on March 1, 2003.

Jets left tackle Jason Fabini, another former Parcells draft pick, can play left or right tackle and will be a free agent in March. Parcells has a comfort level with Fabini and considering the inconsistent play of the tackle position in Tampa Bay last year, this might be another fit. At 335 pounds, Bucs right tackle Jerry Wunsch might be too hefty for Parcells' liking.

As strange as it might seem, Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde might actually re-surface in Tampa after being released by the Bucs in 1993. See related story.

Tampa Bay's third-string quarterback Joe Hamilton is an unlikely fit on a Parcells' roster, and backup QB Shaun King may be as well if Testaverde were to sign with the Bucs to compete with Brad Johnson, whose four interceptions in the team's 31-9 playoff loss at Philadelphia may leave him on shaky ground with a head coach who despises turnovers.

Finally, quarterback Ray Lucas, who may be out in Miami if Troy Aikman joins the Miami Dolphins as some reports indicate he might, may wind up in Tampa Bay as Parcells' second- or third-string quarterback depending on whether Testaverde is also on the roster.

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