Raheem Morris revealed that he will be having discussions about LBs coach Joe Barry possibly leaving to become the Univ. of Tennessee defensive coordinator. Morris said that currently, only two assistant coaching spots are open – QBs and WRs. Univ. of Washington Doug Nussmeier is a candidate for the QBs coaching job.
MOBILE – Monday marked the start of Senior Bowl practices in Alabama, and Bucs head coach Raheem Morris acknowledged today that the only open assistant coaching spots on his staff are the wide receivers coach and quarterbacks coach positions. But that could change depending on what happens with Morris' good friend and colleague, Tampa Bay linebackers coach Joe Barry.
Barry, who is under contract with the Bucs, has received interest from new University of Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley to become the defensive coordinator for the Volunteers. A report on CollegeFootballTalk.com last week speculated that Tennessee could pay its defensive coordinator a seven-figure salary. That would dwarf what Barry is making as Tampa Bay’s linebackers coach.
“We have had some discussions with Joe B," Morris said. "We are talking to him. Joe Barry is my guy, so you at least have to sit down and have some discussions with him. We’re just going through that process right now. No decision has been made. As far as Joe Barry goes, that is a very interesting offer for him, obviously. I look forward to sitting down and talking to him about it and seeing what we have to work through.”
Barry was once denied the chance to leave Tampa Bay while under contract in 2006 when his father-in-law, former Detroit head coach Rod Marinelli, wanted him to become the Lions defensive coordinator. Barry assumed that position in 2007 when his contract with the Bucs expired, and was part of the Lions team that went 0-16 in 2008. He re-joined the Bucs in 2009 after serving as the team’s linebackers coach from 2002-06.
Barry was also recently denied permission to speak with Washington general manager Bruce Allen about becoming the Redskins linebackers coach in 2010. The Bucs may have a change of heart about the opportunity at the University of Tennessee due to Morris' relationship with Barry and the fact that he would not be going to an NFL competitor. It all depends on whether he emerges as the finalist for Dooley.
Morris said that he hoped that the coaching staff hires would occur quickly so they can put the interview process behind them and focus solely on talent evaluation.
“Hopefully it will be done pretty quickly,” Morris said, acknowledging that there will be some interviews at the Senior Bowl and additionally an interview in Tampa. It is believed that the interview at One Buccaneer Place would be for assistant wide receivers coach Tim Berbenich, who is considered to be a candidate for both the quarterbacks and the receivers coaching duties.
One outside candidate that is under consideration is University of Washington quarterbacks coach Doug Nussmeier, who worked with Bucs offensive coordinator Greg Olson in St. Louis in that capacity when Olson was the Rams play-caller from 2006-07.
Nussmeier joined the Huskies staff last year and is working with 2011 NFL Draft prospect, quarterback Jake Locker. With Washington on the rise in the Pac-10 and Nussmeier having the security of a longer contract in college, the Bucs may not be able to lure him to the NFL, especially with NFL owners structuring coaching contracts that would protect their teams from a possible lockout in 2011. That means less job security for NFL assistants these days.
Special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia is under contract with Tampa Bay in 2010 and is at the Senior Bowl evaluating talent for the Buccaneers. While he had a real interest in becoming the head coach at the University of South Florida, he is expected to remain with the Bucs this season.
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