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January 11, 2014 @ 7:10 pm
Current rating: 1 Star/1 Votes

Tampa Bay Hires Byrd, Sparano Stays In Oakland

Written by Scott
Scott Reynolds


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The Bucs continue to hire new coaches as Gill Byrd has been added to coach cornerbacks, but Tony Sparano, who was poised to become Tampa Bay's offensive line coach, opted to stay in Oakland. The Bucs continue to interview general manager candidates this weekend.
The Buccaneers have hired Gil Byrd to be the team’s cornerbacks coach. Byrd coached with new head coach Lovie Smith for seven seasons in Chicago as a defensive quality control coach (2006), an assistant defensive backs coach (2007), and safeties coach (2008-12). Byrd also worked in St. Louis as the Rams’ defensive assistant (2003-04) and as an assistant secondary coach (2006).

Byrd was a cornerback in the NFL for 10 seasons (1983-92) with San Diego, and retired as the Chargers’ all-time interceptions leader with 42 and interception return yardage leader with 546 yards. Byrd, a four-time All-Pro and a two-time Pro Bowler, retired after the 1992 season and was inducted into the Chargers Hall of Fame in 1998.

Byrd, whose son Jairus is a three-time All-Pro and Pro Bowler with the Buffalo Bills, began working in the NFL in 1999 as the Green Bay Packers executive director/player programs and community afairs for three seasons.

The Buccaneers could be looking to Chicago in free agency to sign some of Smith’s former players, including Charles Tillman, who was coached by Byrd.

In other Bucs coaching news, Oakland offensive line coach Tony Sparano will not be joining Tampa Bay’s coaching staff in the same capacity. Reports suggest that Sparano was leveraging the Buccaneers into a pay increase to stay with the Raiders. Oakland announced Sparano would stay on as the offensive line coach, signing a two-year contract extension.

The Buccaneers have begun interviewing several candidates for its vacant general manager position. Among those slated to interview with the Glazers on Saturday include Atlanta Falcons director of player personnel Lionel Vital and Tennessee Titans vice president of football operations Lake Dawson. Washington Redskins director of pro personnel Morocco Brown interviewed on Friday. Brown interviewed for the Arizona Cardinals general manager position a year ago.


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  • avatar

    It seems buc fans that Lovie Smith has a plan from Day One.Iam 68 and I truly believe that Tampa bay win on both side of the ball. Look out Veterans do sleeping now. Too Many young sirs arriving to take their jobs-GO BUCS
  • avatar

    too bad on Sparano....I hear Bob Bostad is looking for a job and was one of the lone bright spots on an otherwise terrible staff he worked with last year.... :-)
  • avatar

    It doesn't have anything to do with this new coach so lets move on. We have what we have and Coach Smith will fill in the pieces of the puzzle. Lets start with a fresh attitude.
  • avatar

    I agree with all the other posters regarding the Bucs' cast-offs. It's sickening to see Blount, Talib and Bennett killing it in the playoffs. Coulda, woulda, shoulda held on to these guys with the stipulation that 1 screw-up they would be gone. But our former coaches didn't even give them that chance. And what is with Blount?! He's not the same guy as when he was with the Bucs...Show's what good coaching can do. He's running back kicks & outrunning every DB!
  • avatar

    Warren, Blount is the same guy as when he was with Tampa. He ran just as hard, hurdling payers and fighting for every yard. The only difference is we didnt have a QB that other teams feared so they could stack the box against Blount when he was here. That and the fact Patriots Oline is a lot better then ours was/is. They are creating huge wholes and he isnt even getting touched so he doesnt slow down at all.
  • avatar

    We need pass rushers much more than RBs. Did you see Bennett play yesterday. Silivie also had a good year. Several pass rushers we cut had multiple sack seasons.
  • avatar

    @ 76BUC I AGREE. I don't understand why the heck we have chased off Selvie. He was a fantastic DE at USF and killed this year in Dallas. Wait, I know why. We had a crappy coaching staff who couldn't develop talent!
  • avatar

    Did you see the guy that could not catch being the guy to return kickoffs. Where are all those Blount haters now! That trade alone should have been enough to fire Dominik and Schiano.
  • avatar

    Now that's funny Surferdudes. Owlykat: I was thinking the same thing about the good players who were booted by Schiano because they didn't fit his mold of "Buccaneer Men". Bennett, Winslow, Biggers, and especially Talib and Blount are starring elsewhere. Wonder if the won-loss record would have been better with those guys in the lineup. Wouldn't have been worse!
  • avatar

    Just what we need! If our DBs are going to have to learn the Tampa2 Byrd is well qualified to teach them and he will speak with authority. This is a great hire! Not to change the subject but did you see who was the star of the Patriots tonight? Oh yeah! The best RB the Bucs have had in a long time that stupid Schiano gave away to his best buddy, that is who. That is why I hit the roof and complained about that dumb move in PR when it happened. He was just one of two thousand yard rushers that Dumbo gave away. Hillis is the other and he did well for the Giants after Schiano cut him. Lovie could have used them and definitely would have known how to utilize them. Notice the Patriots didn't use just one RB and run him into the ground either. If Schiano had platooned his backs his first year he would have made the playoffs his first year. But he thought he was a football Genius! GOOD RIDDANCE .
  • avatar

    I like all the experienced coaching we are getting, plus so many have been past NFL players so they know how to motivate the players.
  • avatar

    A Byrd in hand is worth two Sparanos' in the bush. I didn't say it Confuses did. What a d-ck move by Sparano, glad he's not on board, never cared for his coaching style.
  • avatar

    Sparano would be looking for a HC job in 2015. No great loss!
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