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December 30, 2013 @ 5:29 pm
Current rating: 3.50 Stars/2 Votes

Finding The Bucs' Next Head Coach: Smith Tops The List

Written by Mark
Cook
Mark Cook

Mark
Cook

Editor-In-Chief E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
The Buccaneers will begin their second head coaching search in three seasons following the firing of Greg Schiano. Who tops the list? Is there a wild card out there? Get PewterReport.com's thoughts on who could be Tampa Bay's next head coach.
Now that the Glazer family has fired Buccaneers Greg Schiano and Mark Dominik the big question becomes, who will fill the team's vacancies at head coach and general manager?

After hiring two coaches in Raheem Morris and Schiano without NFL head coaching experience, the general thought is the Glazers will look to bring in a coach who has previously been a head coach in the NFL.

PewterReport.com looks at potential head coaching candidates that the Glazers could interview.

HEAD COACHING CANDIDATES
LOVIE SMITH
Currently: Unemployed
Pros: A former NFL head coach with ties to the Tampa Bay area, Smith coached under Tony Dungy from 1996-2000, serving as linebackers coach before taking the defensive coordinator job in St. Louis. Smith took over as head coach in Chicago where he led the Bears to an 84-66 record, including a 3-3 record in the postseason. Ironically, Smith’s Chicago team lost to the Indianapolis Colts, which was coached by Dungy in Super Bowl XLI, 29-17. Smith was also endorsed by Dungy for the Bucs' head coaching job on Monday.

Cons: Smith’s demise in Chicago followed a similar path as Dungy’s tenure in Tampa, as both failed to develop an offense satisfactory to ownership. Smith finished his last season in Chicago with a 10-6 record but missed the playoffs. However, late Monday it was reported that former Cal head coach Jeff Tedford has already agreed to part of Smith's staff as the offensive coordinator if Smith makes a return to the NFL.

KEN WHISENHUNT
Currently: Offensive coordinator in San Diego
Pros: Like Smith, Whisenhunt has head coaching experience and also a Super Bowl appearance on his resume. Whisenhunt is also an offensive-minded coach, something most feel the Glazers would prefer after hiring two defensive-minded coaches in Morris and Schiano. Whisenhunt has done wonders in his first season at San Diego as the Chargers offense is ranked fifth in the NFL, averaging 393 yards per game.

Cons: Despite coming within a late Ben Roethlisberger touchdown pass of winning a Super Bowl, Whisenhunt’s head-coaching career record in Arizona was below .500 at 49-53.

JAY GRUDEN
Currently: Offensive coordinator in Cincinnati
Pros: Gruden certainly comes with offensive-minded genetics and appears to have taken the best from his brother Jon’s philosophy and combining it with his own to lead the Bengals to the 10th-ranked offense in the NFL in 2013, and the playoffs as the AFC North champions. Gruden, a Tampa guy, was also part of his brother’s Buccaneers staff from 2002-2008. Gruden was a star quarterback and head coach for both the Tampa Bay Storm and Orlando Predators in the Arena Football League.

Cons: Gruden lacks NFL head coaching experience, something that most likely will be a big part of what the Glazers are looking for. Another possible hindrance could be the very fact that his brother, Jon, was fired by the Glazers following the 2008 season. Unfortunately, the parting wasn't all warm and fuzzy, and there is a chance that one, or both parties, may not want to rekindle the past.

MIKE ZIMMER
Currently: Defensive coordinator in Cincinnati
Pros: Zimmer brings toughness and discipline to the units he coaches, yet most players, by all accounts, love playing for him. Zimmer has worked under Marvin Lewis for a number of years, so undoubtedly has learned a lot about what it takes to be a successful lead coach in the NFL. With a strong defensive mind and Tampa Bay’s talent, Zimmer could quickly turn the defense into a Top 10 unit.

Cons: He is rough around the edges and not the warm and friendly, rally-the-community type of coach. However, winning football games makes fans overlook the exterior. Zimmer has never been an NFL head coach, or a head coach on any level for that matter.

ART BRILES
Currently: Head coach at Baylor
Pros: Briles has been very successful during his tenure at Baylor, including winning three conference championships (two in Conference USA, and once in the Big 12). Briles' offenses had often been some of the most explosive in all of college football and could bring an exciting brand of football to the NFL, similar to what Chip Kelly brought to the Eagles.

Cons: Briles has even less NFL experience than Schiano, who at least was an assistant in the NFL with the Bears. Briles is a Texas guy, who was born, played football in and has only coached in the state of Texas.

OTHERS WHO MAY GARNER CONSIDERATION
GREG ROMAN
Roman is currently the offensive coordinator with the San Francisco 49ers and worked wonders in reviving the career of Alex Smith, and also helping coach up one of the league’s youngest up-and-coming stars in quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Roman has extensive NFL experience as an assistant, with stints in Carolina, Houston and Baltimore.

DAVID SHAW
Perhaps the most underrated coach in college football, Shaw has stepped into Jim Harbaugh’s position at Stanford after Harbaugh bolted for the NFL and the program hasn’t missed a beat. Stanford’s academic standards present a big challenge when recruiting but Shaw has still managed to lead Stanford to a 34-6 record. Shaw also has extensive NFL experience as an assistant, but is content to stay at Stanford and has rebuffed the interest from NFL teams.

ROB CHUDZINSKI
Chudzinski was let go after just one season in Cleveland, surprising many. Known as a creative offensive mind, the Glazers interviewed Chudzinski, who ran the offense in Carolina during Cam Newton's rookie season, prior to hiring Schiano in January of 2012. He could still be on their radar.

GARY KUBIAK
Kubiak was the first victim of the annual coaching purge earlier this month when he was fired by the Houston Texans after a 2-11 start. Kubiak led the team to a 61-64 record in eight years, including back-to-back playoff berths in 2011 and 2012.

Tomorrow: PewterReport.com will provide a list of possible general managers the Buccaneers could interview to replace Dominik.


Last modified on Monday, 30 December 2013 18:19
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COMMENTS

  • avatar


    I remeber our SuperBowl winning coach being an offensive guru. I also remember the futility and missed opportunities with Tony Dungy's team scoring 9 pts a game. Let's focus on an offensive focused coach where we can put up some pts and get some wins.
  • avatar


    Love Smith (with a really good OC) or Whisenhunt (with a really good DC) are fine. Polian or Pioli as GM are fine. NONE of them will ultimately succeed without a franchise QB. Go all out for Rivers, Cutler, or trade up for top-level college QB in the draft.
  • avatar


    We need an offensive minded NFL coach. Whisenhunt or Greg Roman
  • avatar

    Lovie is my first choice as I think he shouldn't have been fired for going 10-6 in the first place. Whisenhunt is my second choice being that I have met the guy several times and know where the debacle started in his demise, after Warner left Leinart was a huge miss at qb then guys like Max Hall, Derek Anderson and Jon Skelton were to follow any coach would have failed under those circumstances. Whiz is great with the community and players loved him but honestly I think Lovie gets the job and I happy with that.
  • avatar

    No college coach!! Whisenhunt would be my pick. How about Rich Basachia? He has ties here and has a multitude of NFL experience.
  • avatar


    If you're going to lobby for a coach, it helps to know how to spell it: Bisaccia.
  • avatar

    Well buccaneerNW, it's obvious you know how to copy and paist....(yep, just to rustle your jimmies)
  • avatar


    The new GM will be chosen first. Dominick was inbred and over his head as shown by his many mistakes. The Glazers need to get this right.
  • avatar


    We need to stop messing around with coaches - no more experiments and first chances - hire Wisenhunt or Smith and get it done ASAP so they can hire the best OC and DC available and not be left with the scrap heap like last time. Personally, I love what Wisenhunt has done in SD and give him the best chance of making our offense respectable next year.
  • avatar


    WELL BUC FANS THE MANAGEMENT DID WHAT I THOUGHT WOULD HAPPEN.I like the first 5 canadites but Lovie Smith should be the coach-go bucs
  • avatar

    No college coach!! Please bring someone in from within the NFL. I'd prefer Whisenhunt first but we would definitely need a franchise QB to have that work out. How about Rich Basachia? He has ties here obviously and has a multitude of NFL experience.
  • avatar


    If you're going to lobby for a coach, it helps to know how to spell it: Bisaccia.
  • avatar


    Mark, I think you should've done the new G.M. article first, I'm looking forward to reading it. Don't know why fans want to bring back some of the old names. Their time here has come, and passed. That wouldn't be a new direction at all. I like the idea of Eric Stokes. He has an eye for talent. It ain't about the x's, and o's, it's about the Jimmy's, and Joe's. Finding good talent is key, along with balance. Dom in five years never drafted a pro bowl O linemen, is it any wonder we can't run, or pass protect. Stokes is one name we're familar with, but there are certainly many up, and coming bright stars we don't know about. Time to shake our past, and reach for the stars.
  • avatar

    Hate to ask, but does anyone know the status of Butch Davis? Is he not in the last year of his paid absence from coaching? I am just hopeful the Glazers don't install him as coach as he's already here in the organization.
  • avatar

    1) Whisenhunt is Boss - the AZ GM didn´t gave him what he asked for.. Ken would be realy great HC choice 2) Lovie Smith - would love to see him here.. as DC; not HC by any means (if he got Rob Chudzinsky/Whisenhunt/GregRoman as OC - okay - but serious doubt that could happen) 3) Rob Chudzinsky or GregRoman, both great modern NFL minds.. Don´t mind the rest..(Shaw won´t leave for Bucs)
  • avatar

    Is there any Koolaide...I am getting thirsty here....I really don't like the ideal of trying to take a Head Coach from his position with another team. Lets start with finding a valid replacement that wants to come here first. Second Lets start with having going through the Rooney Rule. Third then lets work our way down to the Offensive Coordinators and fourth Who are we going to bring in to the Defensive unit to keep them on pace. Our Defense has some great people. What kind of Coaching Staff are they going to bring along with programs to keep our people from getting injured?
  • avatar


    The Glazer boys have an extremely difficult task ahead of them. It seems so easy for us fans to sit at our computers and rattle off names of candidates we really know little about. They will not and should not hire someone too quickly to satisfy the impatience of us fans. The investigation and interview processes alone will be daunting; but necessary for these two critical decisions. I'm sure they will seek the wisdom of many "experts." I contend they sought the advice of "The Hoody" when Chip Kelly bailed at the last minute, and we ended up with Schiano. What a brilliant con that was for "Boston Billy" who ended up with Talib and Blount for chump change. But I digress. They likely will have to hire a new GM first and there is already competition for the available HC talent. How does one know if a successful coordinator can be "the man"? Not everyone has those special traits. The retreads all carry some baggage. Even beloved Tony Dungy was dismissed for a reason. As was Gruden. At the end of the day (as the Glazers often say); the new GM and HC need to be ones with proven track records in their respective positions that we "know" will work. Be cautious of the latest "hot" prospect and "hope" it works. Take the path that we know leads to success. Taking the shortcut rarely works. Just ask the Donner Party.
  • avatar


    Let's remember that Wizenhunt had a little something called a FRANCHISE QB in Kurt Warner who had a little bit of input into that Super Bowl appearance. I think it would be great to bring back Richie McKay. He's got the chops for talent evaluation and I think the Glaziers can just point to the methods that Dominic already perfected here to keep contracts team-friendly and tell him to use that system but he picks the players. Let's keep in mind that these folks are smart, learning, pros who can get better over time. I suspect that Rich McKay would do great here at this point in his career and in the development of our team. Remember, we were in cap hell when he left because he got us to WIN the SUPER BOWL. I'll take cap hell for that.
  • avatar

    Please, PLEASE find us a veteran GM. One who knows the correct answer to the question, "Would you hire a HeadCoach who was a coordinator on which side of the ball?" --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The NFL has rules that greatly, GREATLY, favor an offense. They greatly favor the PASSING game. Our GM should be looking for a HC who has coached QB's and has experience calling plays. And it is our GM who should be choosing the HeadCoach... Not the Brian or the Joel. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ The Brian and the Joel have done enough damage to this franchise. The Glazer boys should now have learned to not elevate a fast talking charlatan from within and then allowing him to be his own overseer. The Joel and the Brian need to get a proven GM from outside the organization. Then get the heck out of the way letting the new GM/President clean up this mess as he/she (too politically correct maybe, she ... lol) sees fit.
  • avatar


    I agree that findin a GM is most important- a knee jerk reactionary coach signing might do more harm than good...Also it might be time the glazers go check another pond- hiring a guy like Lovie just because we have history with him is not reason enough..
  • avatar


    My first choice is Greg Roman. Second would be Love Smith.
  • avatar


    I would like to see Rob Ryan, depending on staff he could put together!
  • avatar


    lovie has tedford as oc that will be better, no on kub, chud, gru unless its jon a d coach is better thats are strength the gm could be stokes maybe the tuna
  • avatar


    I am thrilled Dumb and Dumber are GONE. Thank you Glazers for coming to your senses! I think dumping DOM was a major error, however. As far as Rich McKay goes, he left us in Cap Room Hell and there is no way he should even be in consideration. Now Poulan is a great GM and if the Glazers are willing to pay what it takes to get him, then Poulan would be an upgrade to DOM and it would help us attract a top NFL Coach. How about the Ex Steelers Coach who won the Superbowl? The problem with Lovie is our Defensive Players would underachieve in the Tampa Two which Lovie would try to bring back and even the architect of the Tampa Two in Dallas has not done well with that defense. Teams now know how to beat it. Wisenhut did a great job as head Coach of the Cardinals and is offense minded. Even Jay Gruden would be a good choice too. You can bet his Brother could give him plenty of tips on how to succeed as a HC. Now we don't have to have a super QB. The Bucs won their only Super Bowl with a non Franchise QB who had a wealth of NFL Experience. That is what we need. Glennon can't cut it. Go Bucs!!!
  • avatar


    I also hope Eric stokes is already the GM since we can't get a HC first, or he at least is given a serious interview. I think his coming from the Seahawks would give him an appreciation of Greg Romans talent and adaptable schemes
  • avatar


    If possible Greg Roman please! We need offense and he is even more innovative than my last HC wish of Bruce Arians (worked out well for Arizona instead we got some guy from New Jersey). This is the best move Glazers.
  • avatar


    I don't have a preference for HC, but I wouldn't have a problem with Lovie as HC. While he has a defensive background as a developing coach, what I like about Lovie is that he knows that. He is even-keeled in his approach to coaching. He will let his OC and DC coach their respective areas without interference and provide input and direction behind the scenes. You would never know he’s on the field unless the camera moves to him. And when he is viewed, his quiet and observant demeanor is unmistakable. His success will be in the strength of the position coaches he hires. Among the few good choices out there, he is one of them. You are what your record says you are and his record speaks for itself.
  • avatar


    I am ok with Lovie and McKay.
  • avatar


    Just like the Glazers, PR is putting the HC before the GM... Always a mistake. Where is the article on GM candidates? That should come first. Any ideas whether the rumors about McKay are based in reality or just made-up crap to squeeze more bandwidth out of this story? We need a discussion about GMs.
  • avatar

    How is Rich Basachia not even mentioned or considered?
  • avatar


    If you're going to lobby for a coach, it helps to know how to spell it: Bisaccia.
  • avatar

    Really?
  • avatar


    Ouch, should have kept Schiano;
  • avatar


    This is above my pay grade and I leave it to the professionals to figure out; all I know is that Schiano had to go. We have a different type of players than we had before so I would take that into consideration if we try out a new Head Coach with not HC experience.
  • avatar


    I'm really pulling for whisenhunt. Anyone who can get the Cardinals to the Super Bowl must have a lucky horseshoe hidden somewhere. He's also revived Phillip Rivers this year. Zimmerman would be a good hire too, but it's not going to happen because a lack of head coaching experience. Lovies inability to develop an offense in Chicago is a real concern.
  • avatar


    David Shaw as an underrated coach? Isn't he the most talked about coaching candidate not named Bill O'Brien?
  • avatar


    If Lovie gets the job he was the HC who traded for Cutler who will be a free agent this summer. Whisenhunt was OC for Rivers another FA this upcoming summer. I'm almost certain our next QB will be a veteran as we have too much invested for a rookie or another year of the backup Glennon. Our defense can be elite with minor tweaks and then all we need is solid play from the QB. We are only a year removed from Flacco winning a ring and he's nothing great, just good enough to win games.
  • avatar


    I notice that you failed to mention the names of the 4 failures Lovie anointed as his Offensive Coordinator culminating in Mike Tice the man responsible for the Bears offensive line that at the time ( 3 years ago) gave up a record number of quarterback sacks. Last year the Bears had to replace 3 starters on their o line because of Tice's and therefore Lovie's inability to recognize offensive talent. Love is a dinosaur---a defensive specialist in an ever increasing offensive league.
  • avatar

    Surfer...agree 100%. If we are doing it right, we hire the GM first. Otherwise you start out behind the eight ball. And just remember what happened with Richie when he was forced by the GM's to do the Gruden deal. He never viewed the job the same. Get the best GM and let the chips fall after that.
  • avatar


    I hope the Glazers don't hire a coach before a G.M..It won't work that way. Are you suggesting they might do that Mark?
  • avatar

    Mcpo23 - I couldn't agree more! Lovie is an average coach. Cant we do better than that?
  • avatar


    I'd be fine with Smith, Whisenhunt or Zimmer.
  • avatar


    All of the coaches that are getting fired are getting fired because their team did not have a franchise QB. Until we find one it doesn't much matter who the head coach is. Where would Denver be without Peyton, NE without Brady, NO without Brees, etc. The current NFL rules are such that if you don't have a franchise QB, the best you can hope to be is a one year wonder. Finding or lucking into a great QB is a prerequisite for success. It doesn't seem to me that some wonderful Offensive Coordinator can develop a mediocre talent into a star. It is the old you can't make chicken salad out of chicken sh$$ story. I do wonder what good head coaching candidate will accept a job here with Mike Glennon as our QB. And with the 7th pick in the draft this year, I don't see much there, especially since at least four teams that draft before us also are in QB hell. I'm not all that excited one way or the other with the Schiano / Dominick firings. I could get excited about a QB wunderkind.
  • avatar


    I think Shaw would be my favorite on that list, but I would be happy with Lovie. Even Whisenhunt would be solid.
  • avatar


    Lovie does not excite me in the least, and neither does Rich McKay as GM. I think we we need new blood from outside the organization, and in particular a good offensive mind at Head coach.
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