PewterReport.com is reporting that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have fired defensive line coach Jay Hayes. The move comes 41 days after the end of the 2017 season that saw the team record a very disappointing 22 sacks on the season, which was dead last in the league, during the team’s 5-11 finish. The Bucs had recorded 38 sacks the previous season, which matched their total from the 2015 campaign.

Hayes was hired by head coach Dirk Koetter after spending 13 seasons in Cincinnati where he worked with Pro Bowl defensive linemen Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap.

Bucs DL coach Jay Hayes - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs DL coach Jay Hayes – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy led the Bucs in sacks this year with just six. Five of the defensive linemen that Hayes worked with in 2016 had fewer sacks in 2017, including McCoy (seven to six), defensive ends Robert Ayers (6.5 to two) and Will Gholston (three to zero) and defensive tackle Sealver Siliga (one to zero).

Hayes’ penchant for calling a lot of stunts didn’t sit well with some of the defensive linemen, who wanted to do more straight ahead rushing. Those players may have gone to Koetter to request or demand a change.

Hayes made the defensive line calls from the sidelines, and in PewterReport.com’s season-long correspondence with the legendary Warren Sapp, the Hall of Fame defensive tackle wasn’t fond of Hayes’ stunts and how the defensive line rushed under his leadership.

It is believed that defensive line assistant coach Paul Spicer is still on staff and he may be considered to replace Hayes. Former Bucs defensive line coach Joe Cullen has spent the past two seasons in Baltimore, but had a good rapport with the players and could be an option to return to Tampa Bay if the Bucs wanted him back and if he could get out of his contract with the Ravens. Or the team may look outside the organization for Hayes’ replacement.

PewterReport.com will have more on this developing story as news becomes available.

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25 COMMENTS

  1. Not a hug fan of the constant stunts and line-slanting either. Ran ourselves out of way too many plays last year. Sure would love to get Cullen back.

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  2. This is great news for the Bucs, the Defense, and even more specifically the D-line. Not sure what took so long, but this had to occur if the Bucs have any chance to improve next season. Love to find a Marinelli clone……

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    • What took so long is probably the organization figuring out their successor options. I would expect the replacement to be inserted quite quickly tbh.

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  3. Whew!!! I was pretty bummed that there wasn’t going to be any changes to our worst in the league defense. Hayes never was able to make any d-linemen better in Tampa. Wouldn’t surprise me if he went back to cincy and found success again.

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  4. Please tell me that John Hoke is next

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  5. Hopefully this means as they are evaluating 2017 tape they are agreeing to stick to what the guys do best rather than shoehorn them into the “system”. Let the line rush straight up and the corners press.

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  6. Have to think they’ve got someone in mind considering they waited almost a month and a half after the season concluded. Curious who the replacement’s going to be.

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  7. Hire Sapp!

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  8. We’re better already

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  9. Now fire Mike Smith! Hire Derrick, if he is willing.

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  10. If the guess about the players going to Dirk is true then that shows us even more Dirk should have been fired. Dirk cant figure out they shouldnt be doing all those stunts but the players can? Whoever made the call I’m glad they did. I still think it should have been smitty who got canned, along with hayes. Now whos next the secondary coach who plays the guys 10 yards or more off the line? Doesnt that all fall on smith? This team seems to have too much disconnect between coaches. Something is way off here. Hope they figure it out soon

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    • This is my problem too. If the bucs and Mike Smith didn’t like all of the stunting, why not tell him to stop?!

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      • Exactly cg. Not sure how something like that happens. It’s like the coaches dont talk to each other about the game plan. It’s inexcusable if you ask me. And it starts at the top. Not sure why the D line coach is taking all the blame. Oh well all we can do now is hope they have a better plan than last year. Hope they change their “tried and true” philosophies.

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  11. My bet is Brentson Buckner/former DL coach at the Cardinals. First, availability, then familiarity. He is available and Jason Licht knows him from his time in Arizona (overlapped with Licht in Arizona in 2013) and his relationship with GM Steve Keim.

    Arizona led the NFL in sacks in 2016 with him as DL coach. At least 35 sacks all of his years there – Bucs had 22. Don’t think Licht would pull this trigger without already having someone in mind. Don’t get excited folks, I’m just guessing here!

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    • I’d like to think this might serve as a lesson for everyone who knee-jerked their way through the news that the Bu’c were going to retain whole coaching staff. Only believe half of what you see and nothing that you hear. Considering the Fan displeasure, the Jobs that are on the line in 2018, and the Buc’s considerable salary cap (IMO) we might see some huge changes to our team.

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  12. I’d like to think this might serve as a lesson for everyone who knee-jerked their way through the news that the Bu’c were going to retain whole coaching staff. Only believe half of what you see and nothing that you hear. Considering the Fan displeasure, the Jobs that are on the line in 2018, and the Buc’s considerable salary cap (IMO) we might see some huge changes to our team.

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  13. So firing one defensive coach is the answer?

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    • Probably not, but it’s better than firing zero defensive coaches.

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    • You gotta start somewhere, Horse.

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  14. It’s definitely a step in the right direction…

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  15. not the coach,its the players felt.

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  16. As a team, how do you sell this if this is the only defensive coaching move that’s made? “Yeah, we realize our defense ranked 32nd in total yards allowed, 26th in 1st downs allowed, 32nd in pass yards allowed, 23rd in rush yards allowed, 30th in rush TD’s allowed, 24th in rush y/a, 23rd in oppt avg drive time and # of plays, 32nd in avg drive yds allowed and 23rd in points allowed. It’s all Jay Hayes’ fault, so we canned him. Just replacing him makes us a top 10 defense next year, just watch’.

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  17. Some red meat for the masses!!

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  18. I hope it’s Brentson also!

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  19. I am just reading this Monday morning and this is great news! Hopefully more changes to come to that bad defensive coaching staff. like others said its a good start! Hallelujah!

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