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January 31, 2012 @ 3:34 pm
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Who Will Fill The Bucs' Coordinators Positions?

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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Maybe just as critical to the Buccaneers success as the head coach selection, the choices for offensive and defensive coordinators will be crucial. PewterReport.com's Mark Cook takes a look at the names still available and a few that may not be on Tampa Bay's radar just yet.
With the late hire of new Bucs' head coach Greg Schiano, Tampa Bay finds themselves behind the eight ball in the race to fill their staff from an ever-shrinking pool of potential coaches. In the last two weeks quality coaches like Brad Childress, Mike Nolan, Mike Sherman and Bruce Arians among them, have been hired by other clubs.

A head coach is critical to an organization but arguably the choice of coordinators and assistants could have even a bigger impact on the success of the Buccaneers’ franchise.

So who is left? Below is a list of a few potential coaches that could join the Buccaneers as offensive coordinator. Tomorrow PewterReport will present a list of defensive coaches that are still available.

John McNulty
Thought to be Schiano’s top choice, the Arizona Cardinals prohibited the Buccaneers from interviewing McNulty who is currently the Cardinals receiver’s coach. McNulty was on the Rutgers staff under Schiano until 2008 and produced school record-setting numbers during his tenure in New Jersey.

Besides Arizona McNulty coached with the Jaguars (1998-02) and with the Cowboys in 2003 before joining Schiano at Rutgers.

While management and ownership is probably upset with the denial to interview McNulty, the Glazers themselves prevented former Tampa Bay linebackers coach Joe Barry from joining his father-in-law Rod Marenelli as defensive coordinator for the Detroit Lions while he was still under contract with the Buccaneers.

Reports have surfaced that McNulty, who was in Hawaii as a guest of Larry Fitzgerald last week, is trying to work out a way to be released from his current contract with the Cardinals.

Hue Jackson
The departure of Jackson as Raiders head coach after just one season in Oakland left many Raiders' fans confused and bewildered. Jackson was dealt the unlucky blow of losing starting quarterback Jason Campbell to injury midway through the 2011 season yet still just missed the playoffs. Jackson is an outspoken personality and some feel that may have also contributed to his ouster.

Of all the candidates still available Jackson has the most experience, serving as offensive coordinator at USC then shifting his talents to the NFL where he was the coordinator in Washington, Cincinnati and Oakland before landing the Raiders top job. Jackson has also coached wide receivers, running back and quarterbacks during his NFL career giving him an extra perspective over some of the other candidates.

Tom Clements
Clements was rumored to be a candidate to join the Joe Philbin’s Miami Dolphins coaching staff last week before the Dolphins hired formers Packers head coach Mike Sherman. Currently the Packers quarterbacks coach, Clements has been expected to be named as Philbin’s replacement as Packers’ offensive coordinator but the title change hasn’t taken place as of yet.

If Clements isn’t promoted in the Packers organization the Buccaneers would more than likely be interested in interviewing him for their vacant offensive coordinator position. With the proven track record of helping to develop Aaron Rodgers and even backup Matt Flynn, who will be a hot commodity in free agency this year after starting just one game in Green Bay earlier this year and setting a franchise record with six touchdown passes, Clements should be on the Bucs’ radar.

Todd Haley
Former Chiefs head coach Todd Haley is still available and has a nice pedigree as an offensive mind having served as offensive coordinator in Arizona in 2007 and 2008. The success of the Cardinals offense led by Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin earned Haley the Kansas City head-coaching job in 2009, and like former Bucs head coach Raheem Morris, produced a 10-6 season in 2010 before faltering this season resulting in his firing.

Besides his time in Kansas City and Arizona Haley has coached with the Jets, Bears and Cowboys. Recent reports have him as a possible candidate to replace Bruce Arians in Pittsburgh.

Frank Cignetti Jr.
As the current offensive coordinator at Rutgers it is only natural that the Schiano and Tampa Bay would show some interest in Cignetti who took over the Scarlet Knights’ offense after McNulty joined the Cardinals.

Cignetti also served as offensive coordinator at Fresno State, California and the University of North Carolina.

Although he spent three seasons in the NFL as a quarterbacks coach (San Francisco, New Orleans) Cignetti is probably low on the Buccaneers’ wish list with his limited league experience.

Other Names That May Be Considered
Two names with ties to Schiano are Jets quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh and Ravens offensive assistant Craig Ver Steeg. Cavanaugh was the offensive coordinator when Schiano coached with the Bears and Ver Steeg was Schiano’s offensive coordinator at Rutgers with Schiano from 2003 to 2006.

Other potential candidates could include Pittsburgh Steelers quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner, who is also being considered for the same position with the Steelers, and Patriots offensive assistant and former Broncos’ head coach Josh McDaniel.

Last modified on Tuesday, 07 February 2012 13:06

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  • avatar

    It's hard to believe they are having trouble getting coaches. I guess the reputation is pretty bad about this organization.
  • avatar

    McNulty is a great choice. Pisses me off that the Cards blocked the interview. It is different from when the Bucs did it in my mind. The Bucs lost ALOT of coaches on the defensive side that year and couldn't afford to lose anymore. the Cards, as far as I know, have not and do not have a real reason for it other than knowing they have a good thing in McNulty
  • avatar

    Josh McDaniels is not a candidate....He's going to be the Pats OC next season. Why leave them to come here? Not a chance. And didn't the Ravens just hire Jackson as QB coach? Clements is out since he is GB's new OC.
  • avatar

    I like Josh McDaniel #1, John McNulty #2 and Todd Haley #3. I like that McDaniel and Haley have prior experience calling plays at the NFL level. I like McNulty because he would have a great comfort level with Schiano from Rutgers and seems to be a good offensive mind. I do not like Jackson. He has a very good offensive mind, but I agree, I think he would jump ship very soon for a head coaching gig. Others from the list that I wouldn't mind are: Fitchner and Ver Steeg. I really thought I liked Clements but I am VERY concerned that he has not yet gotten an offer. I don't think he should be on anyone's radar just because the backup QB at Green Bay set some records. Maybe that was because of Philbin. That is what concerns me the most. The people that know him best, Philbin and the Packer organization, have not made him the offer yet. Maybe they know something that the rest of us do not. Has he EVER called plays for anyone yet?? Even in college? I do not know but I am concerned that neither Philbin or the Packers have made him their choice.
  • avatar

    Would somebody in the Tampa media please bring up Marc Trestman's of the Montreal Aulloettes name to the powers that be with the Bucs....He's really worth taking a look at and has had success in the NFL. Do it Mark, Do it!!!
  • avatar

    Jackson scares me, I am concerned that he feels like he should be a head coach and my disrupt the flow with the god complex he displayed in Oakland.
  • avatar

    I'm a pretty big supporter of Hue Jackson. It's undeniable what he did with the Raiders program...one plagued by injuries and a tough schedule. He's a solid coach who would bring a lot of gusto to the locker room.
  • avatar

    As to the coordinator, I get the feeling that Tod Haley is sort of a jerk to deal with. I could be wrong and this is certainly not a popularity contest but i think getting the personality mix right on these choices is key since this Coach is new to the NFL.
  • avatar

    Did georgehicks really post in writing the phrase "Tampa is not cheap" ? You need to lay off the moonshine there old timer. The sky is blue, I'm overweight and the Bucs are cheap. Those are maxims you can set your watch to. Go Bucs.
  • avatar

    Absolutely right TJBucsman: Sam Wyche used to say, "To treat people the same you have to treat them differently" Anyone who works with a group of people should understand that. Sometimes reading these comments I feel like I just entered a chicken coop with all of the "cheap, cheap, cheap"
  • avatar

    I'm good with someone that knows and can pass on knowledge of both (1) using the run game to set up play action, and (2) putting together a circa 2002 Gruden-esque passing game. It'd be nice to have both, rather than one or the other.
  • avatar

    The Bucs need to hire coaches that can kick butt when needed. They also need to know that each player has a button that needs to be pushed. The secret is finding out where it is and the results that you get when pushing it. I was in a high stress job with a staff of 50 employees. Each one had to be approached differently.There were guys that would not perform or thought something was wrong if I did not use expletives and some guys you had to baby and praise whether they deserved it or not. Coaches just like any other leader need to know when and where a stiff dose of discipline is needed. I think that any person in charge needs to know how to read people and effectively use that to get the best performance from them.Most importantly coaches need to be honest with players. A coach or anyone who is honest with no double talk and stands by his players or employees gains respectability.
  • avatar

    Why these so call fans must understand- Tampa is not cheap, they are an organization who the fans must realizse that Tampa has a certain amount of money to spend. The glazers are trying to solve the problem of getting the right pieces of the puzzles this time around. Everyone will realize that Tampa new Head coach is no Morris. He tought, and he teaches tought defenses. He has been around over 15 years. Coach Morris a few more years will be a great head coach not at Tampa, He couldn't control the different moods of his players. This team this year will have a balance attack on both sides of the ball and they will not be blown out like 2011. Iam going on 67 and I've been there and seen my beloved BUCSgoing thru the 2 and 26 years. Like I said in previous comments I have been coaching over 37 years as a volunteer youth coach. I made mistakes when I first started, But as I understand the game my coaching has improved. Right now I have over 300 wins over the past 37 years as a volunteer coach, And I Do not get any pay. Just knowing that I am leading a hand in molding the future leaders for the future-GO BUCS
  • avatar

    the Bucs will not a big name ac Coordinators why can't people figure that out, The Bucs are cheap and will hire someone who has no experience
  • avatar

    northend's right were interviewing whipple, and i like it alot. i hope we get him. He has a ton of experience including a super bowl ring with the steelers, explosive play caller that helped develope roethlisberger
  • avatar

    Who say's the Packers would give us permission to interview Clements? Is his contract up with the Pack?
  • avatar

    Footballscoop.com reporting we are to interview browns qb coach mark whipple for oc.
  • avatar

    These are all good choices.My top three would be Jackson,mcnulty,haley in that order.I don't think you can go wrong with any of them.A upgrade from what we had for sure.
  • avatar

    Total Guessing Here: OC John McNulty ( AZ Rec Coach), DC/Asst. HC Butch Davis (ex NC Head Coach), ST Coach Ron Zook (ex Illinois HC), QB Coach Craig Versteeg ( Balt Asst. Coach), OL Coach Tony Wise (ex Pit Col OL Coach) ,RB Coach Earnest Byner (ex Jax RB Coach), Rec Coach Frank Reich (ex Ind Rec Coach), TE Coach Ricky Thomas (ex Ind TE Coach), DL Coach Rick Kaczenski (Iowa DL Coach), LB Coach Jerry Olsavsky (Pit NFL Asst. Coach), Sec Coach Dave Campo (Kansas DC)
  • avatar

    I have a feeling we don't get any of these guys. I would love to see Jackson, Haley or Clements, but I bet we'll end up with another person nobody has heard of. Bucs tend to do that...
  • avatar

    I liked the idea of Hue Jackson being paired with Zimmer more than I do Jackson being paired with Shiano. Zimmer and Jackson are both rough around the edges and have worked together well in the past. I still like Jackson here, just not as much. I also think he is more likely to end up here than the QB coach from Green Bay. I just don't see Jackson staying here long. He'll make our offense a lot better, but I see him bolting the first chance he gets at another HC position.
  • avatar

    I'm not sure why Josh McDaniels name keeps getting floated around. I believe he already has a Contract with New England to be the OC for next season once O'Brien moves on in the Offseason.
  • avatar

    Clements is the safest hire and i would push to make him an offer and see what green bay does. I definitely would like someone like Clements who has plenty of NFL experience. I don't see where McNulty has been that successful.
  • avatar

    I don't know crap about McNulty but his name gives me a good vibe. Clements would be a nice grab. Jackson and Haley may be too abrasive for the young Bucs...don't know. Pass on the others.
  • avatar

    John McNulty would work well...i like the Cards offense...Getting Jackson in FA would really help us stretch the field.
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