Last offseason, Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin lost four defensive coaches. A year later, he’s lost another one.
Tampa Bay linebackers coach Joe Barry, whose contract with the team expired after the 2006 football season, fulfilled his dream of becoming an NFL defensive coordinator and reunited with his father-in-law, Rod Marinelli, who is the head coach of the Detroit Lions.
On Tuesday, Pewter Report reported that Barry would leave Tampa Bay and become Detroit's defensive coordinator after Marinelli fired defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson after one-year stint in Detroit due to philosophical differences and performance. On Wednesday Marinelli hired Barry to become the Lions’ new defensive coordinator and a press conference will take place in Detroit on Wednesday morning.
Barry is expected to do a better job of implementing the Tampa 2 defense that both men helped make the number one defense in the NFL during the 2002 and 2005 seasons. Henderson had no previous experience in the Tampa 2.
Last year, general manager Bruce Allen prevented Barry from joining Marinelli’s staff in the same capacity because Barry still had one year left on his contract with the Buccaneers. Allen didn’t want to force Kiffin to have to replace his entire defensive staff in one offseason as the Buccaneers lost Marinelli, their defensive line coach, to Detroit, defensive backs coach Mike Tomlin to Minnesota where he became a defensive coordinator, defensive assistant Joe Woods to Minnesota where he became a linebackers coach, and assistant defensive backs coach Raheem Morris to Kansas State University where he became a defensive coordinator.
Last year, Barry was denied the opportunity to interview with the Green Bay Packers for their defensive coordinator position. A few years ago, Barry was denied the opportunity to interview for the defensive coordinator position with the Arizona Cardinals because he was still under contract with the Buccaneers.
“You can’t do much, other than let him know we love him,” Bucs head coach Jon Gruden said regarding Barry’s status with the team in his post-season press conference. “I want Joe Barry to max out and be great too. There are going to be opportunities for a lot of these coaches. There are several guys on offense that have already through the grapevine heard that people want to talk to. You try to do what’s right. You want guys to continue to excel and get better. And at the same time you want to keep great coaches on your staff, and clearly he’s a fine coach who we’d like to have around here.”
Barry was hired by Kiffin and former Bucs head coach Tony Dungy to join Marinelli on the Bucs' staff in 2001, replacing Lovie Smith as the team’s linebackers coach. Barry has been instrumental in developing the careers of linebackers Derrick Brooks and Shelton Quarles, both of who earned Pro Bowl berths under Barry’s watch. Brooks was also named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2002.
In 2003 and 2005, linebackers Ian Gold and Ryan Nece became the only strongside linebackers to record 100 tackles since Kiffin’s arrival in Tampa Bay in 1996.
This past year, Barry has helped Kiffin acclimate new position coaches Greg Burns, Jethro Franklin and Jimmy Lake to the Tampa 2 defense.
Now that he is in Detroit, Barry will be squaring off twice a year against his good friends Tomlin and Woods as the Lions and the Vikings are in the same division, the NFC North.
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Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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