The Buccaneers secondary, coached by Ron Cooper, was the worst in the NFL last season and now the former LSU assistant is moving across town to join Wille Taggart's staff at USF. At this time it is unclear if Cooper was let go by head coach Greg Schiano or asked to be released from his contract. Regardless, Schiano now has three holes to fill on his coaching staff.
And Ron Cooper makes three.
According to the USF Bulls’ official website, head coach Willie Taggart has added former Buccaneers secondary coach Ron Cooper to the same position at USF.
Taggart commented on the hiring of Cooper.
"Ron Cooper is a valuable addition to our staff," said Taggart. "His experience will be a huge asset in his role as assistant head coach. In addition, he has recently worked with some of the top secondaries and defensive backs in college football, which will serve us greatly both on the field and in recruiting."
Cooper joins wide receivers coach P.J. Fleck (head coach Western Michigan) and quarterbacks coach Ron Turner (head coach at FIU) as coaches who have left the Buccaneers over the last month.
There has been some speculation that Cooper would be let go by Bucs head coach Greg Schiano, although it isn’t clear if Cooper was fired or asked to be released from his contract.
The Buccaneers failed to comment.
Tampa Bay’s secondary was the NFL’s worst in 2012 and came within 12 yards of surrendering the most passing yards in the entire history of the league.
Cooper was highly touted after joining Schiano’s staff last February. Cooper came to Tampa after spending the previous three seasons (2009-11) as LSU's secondary coach. Cooper coached some of the top secondaries in the country during his tenure at LSU including national award winners in CB Morris Claiborne, CB Patrick Peterson and CB Tyrann Mathieu. Cooper coached two Thorpe Award winners, Peterson in 2010 and Claiborne in 2011, which is given to the top defensive back in college football, and two Bednarik Award winners.
But despite his success in the college ranks, the results didn’t follow Cooper to the NFL, and Tampa Bay’s secondary, beset with injuries, suspensions and inexperience, performed poorly this past season.
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