According to reports the Buccaneers have hired former Saints and Jaguars assistant Tony Oden to replace Ron Cooper as Tampa Bay's secondary coach. Oden will be the third new coach to Greg Schiano's staff after assistants Ron Turner and P.J. Fleck took college heach coaching jobs and Cooper was let go and is now at USF.
After a nearly month-long search the Buccaneers have reportedly hired former Saints and Jaguars defensive backs coach Tony Oden to replace fired Ron Cooper as their DBs coach.
Oden was part of Mike Mularkey’s staff in Jacksonville in 2012, but was let go after the Jaguars hired former Bucs and Seahawks assistant Gus Bradley to replace Mularkey earlier this month.
Prior to coaching in Jacksonville Oden spent five seasons (2006-2010) with the Saints as an assistant secondary coach before being promoted to the DB position in 2011.
Oden also spent two seasons with the Texans (2004-2006) after joining Houston from the college ranks where he was an assistant with Eastern Michigan and East Carolina.
According to the Saints website in 2011, Oden helped oversee a revamping of the secondary over the past two seasons that has paid dividends. Since 2009, the Saints have allowed the fewest touchdown passes (28) in the NFL, have the most interception return yards (848), the highest average yardage per return (24.2) and are tied for the most interception returns for touchdowns (7).
Oden replaces Cooper who was let go earlier this month. 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.
With the reported hiring of Oden, Schiano has just one coaching position left to fill, a receivers coach to replace P.J. Fleck, who took the head coaching job at Western Michigan in December. QB coach Ron Turner also left for a head coaching job, taking over FIU as their new head coach. The Buccaneers replaced Turner with former Rutgers and Cardinals assistant John McNulty. Earlier reports have the Buccaneers interested in hiring former Cowboys receivers' coach and passing game coordinator John Garrett, although the Buccaneers have not confirmed the Garrett hire.
Copyright © 2011 Pewter Report, PewterReport.com and Pewter Insider. All rights reserved. PewterReport.com, the official site of Pewter Report, is an independent source of news and commentary and is not affiliated with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the NFL.