Heading into Week 3 of Tampa Bay's search for it's next head coach, it has been a frustrating and maddening experience for most Bucs fans. In this PewterReport.com story, we take a look at each candidate's pros and cons. Senior Bowl practices in Mobile, Ala. kickoff Monday, but it is somewhat doubtful the Buccaneers will have a coach in place before the end of the week. And with Joe Philbin being hired Friday by the Miami Dolphins, the assistant coach pool is drying up faster than a Florida afternoon rain shower in August.
Below is a list of candidates the Buccaneers are believed to have interviewed thus far:
Most recent coaching experience: 2011 head coach at Texas A&M
Pros: Sherman brings the experience the Glazers and Mark Dominik are thought to be looking for. As a former head coach of the Green Bay Packers, Sherman led the Packers to five consecutive winning seasons from 2000–04 and three divisional titles in 2002, 2003, and 2004. Sherman is also known to be disciplinarian and a good leader who was recently endorsed by former Packers defensive back Leroy Butler.
Cons: Sherman failed to win an NFC title despite having one of the best all-time quarterbacks in Brett Favre while at Green Bay. Sherman also was mediocre as a college coach compiling just a 25-25 overall record while at Texas A&M.
Most recent coaching experience: 2011 defensive coordinator of the Tennessee Titans
Pros: Gray was an outstanding NFL player spending 14 years in the league, including his final season with the Buccaneers in 1993. After his playing days were over, Gray coached with the Bills, Redskins, Seahawks and currently serves as the defensive coordinator for the Titans who were ranked 18th in the league in 2011. The former Oilers great has been described as hardworking with a no-nonsense approach, and again fits the Glazers' mold in what they are assumed to be looking with their selection.
Most recent coaching experience: 2007 head coach with the Minnesota Vikings
Pros: Childress was instrumental in helping develop Donovan McNabb into a Pro Bowl quarterback for the Eagles during his tenure as quarterback coach and offensive coordinator. Childress also nearly led the Vikings to the Super Bowl in 2009 falling to the eventual NFL champion New Orleans Saints in the NFC title game. Childress posted a 39-35 record in his nearly five seasons in Minneapolis.
Cons: The inability to develop a quarterback in Minnesota was a big knock on Childress during his time with the Vikings. Tavarius Jackson was unable to take hold of the starting job, forcing the Vikings to sign Favre for two seasons. When Farve struggled with injuries in his final season, the Vikings struggled without No. 4 under center, ultimately costing Childress his job.
Most recent coaching experience: 2006 head coach of the 14-2 San Diego Chargers
Pros: Easily the most experienced and successful coaches the Buccaneers have interviewed, Schottenheimer’s NFL career record is an impressive 200-126 with just two seasons under .500 in his entire career. Schottenheimer has been successful at every stop as a head coach, including winning the UFL title this past season with the Virginia Destroyers. Schottenheimer is a well-respected coach with a reputation for teaching basic fundamental football, something that Tampa Bay struggled with in 2011.
Cons: At 68, Schottenheimer is no spring chicken, and while he looks and acts at least 10 years younger, Father Time eventually catches up with everyone. Also, there may be some concern whether Schottenheimer would be able to relate on any level to some players who are as young as his grandchildren. The only other negative is Schottenheimer’s dismal 5-13 playoff record.
Most recent coaching experience: 2011 Bengals defensive coordinator
Pros: Zimmer reportedly wasn’t chosen as the Dolphins' head coach because some in Miami felt he was too blunt. With a team of kids, bluntness isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it may very well be something that would make a difference right away. Zimmer’s defense in Cincinnati has steadily risen under his tenure, and while he rubs some players the wrong way, reports say his players would run through brick wall for him.
Cons: Like Gray, Zimmer has never been a head coach, and many feel it will be a prerequisite in the minds of the Glazers and Dominik to have head-coaching experience.
Most recent coaching experience: 2011 Panthers offensive coordinator
Pros: In his two stops as offensive coordinator in the league, Chudzinski has shown the ability to get the most from his quarterback, helping former Browns QB Derek Anderson to a Pro Bowl, and most recently developing Cam Newton far beyond anyone’s expectations this season as a rookie. Chudzinski also is an imaginative play-caller, using the element of surprise to catch opponents off guard. Just ask the Bucs defense for further proof.
Cons: Again, a lack of head-coaching experience may hurt his chances this season to secure the Buccaneers head coaching position. But if Newton can put together a strong follow-up season, it is all but guaranteed Chudzinski will be calling the shots for an NFL team by this time next season.
Most recent coaching experience: 2011 Packers quarterbacks coach
Pros: In his 13 years of NFL coaching experience, Tom Clements has tutored five quarterbacks to the Pro Bowl in Elvis Grbac, Kordell Stewart, Tommy Maddox, Favre and Aaron Rodgers. Add in the fact under Clements' coaching, virtually unknown backup Matt Flynn started one game this season and set a franchise record with 480 yards passing and six touchdowns. That’s a pretty good resume` in most folk’s book.
Cons: Clements is one of the Buccaneers' candidates who has never coached in the NFL, creating a possible hurdle depending on the Glazers' philosophy. Clements is set to take on the offensive coordinator position recently vacated when Joe Philbin became the Dolphins head coach Friday, and some feel he may need to spend some time in that role before making the jump to head coach.