PewterReport.com is reporting that Buccaneers have parted ways with defensive line coach Randy Melvin after one year. The Bucs had 27 sacks last year, which was tied for the third-fewest in the NFL and last in the NFC. The Bucs now have four vacancies to fill on the assistant coaching staff this offseason.
A pass rush and pass coverage go hand in hand in football. The two phases of defense are supposed to complement each other. Last year, neither was complementary in Tampa Bay.
The Buccaneers had the worst secondary in the NFL in 2012, allowing a league-high 297.4 yards per passing game. As a result, the team essentially fired defensive backs coach Ron Cooper, who was allowed out of his contract to take the same position with the University of South Florida.
On Wednesday, PewterReport.com is reporting that Bucs defensive line coach Randy Melvin has also been let go. Both assistants were hired last year by head coach Greg Schiano, who had worked with Melvin at Rutgers from 2002-04 and also in 2010 coaching the defensive line.
Tampa Bay had the third fewest sacks in the NFL with 27, which was just a marginal increase over the 23 sacks the team recorded in 2011. Last year, the Bucs defensive line notched 18 QB captures out of the team’s 23, and the defensive line only improved by three sacks to reach 21 out of the Bucs’ 27 sacks in 2012. It’s obvious that the Bucs want and expect more sack production from a defensive line that boasts two first-round picks in defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and defensive end Adrian Clayborn, who missed the last 13 games of the 2012 season due to a knee injury.
Despite the fact that several players set career highs for sacks, including defensive end Michael Bennett (nine), McCoy (five), defensive end Daniel Te’o-Nesheim (four) and defensive end Da’Quan Bowers (three) in 2012, Tampa Bay’s pass rush was inconsistent from game to game and ranked last in the NFC.
However, McCoy did make it to his first Pro Bowl under Melvin’s watch.
Unlike Cooper, who had come from the college ranks at LSU, Melvin had previous NFL coaching experience, coaching the defensive line from 2000-01 with Bill Belichick in New England before working with Romeo Crennel as Cleveland’s defensive line coach from 2005-08. Melvin came to Tampa Bay from the Canadian Football League where he won the Grey Cup Championship with the British Columbia Lions.
Melvin’s departure marks the fourth assistant coach opening in Tampa Bay this offseason. Wide receivers coach P.J. Fleck left the team to take the head-coaching job at the University of Western Michigan, and quarterbacks coach Ron Turner left Tampa Bay to take the head coaching position at Florida International University. Cooper now coaches the Bulls wide receiver.
The Buccaneers are expected to continue to look for assistant coaches next week in Mobile, Ala. at the Senior Bowl.
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