Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris began assembling his staff in January, and just several months into the job, the youngest head coach (celebrating his 33rd birthday today) in the NFL has already had to fire one of his own main hires.
In a stunning move, the Bucs fired offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski Thursday. Quarterbacks coach Greg Olson has been promoted to offensive coordinator, but will still serve as the team's QBs coach.
The moves come just 10 days before Tampa Bay kicks off the 2009 regular season vs. the Dallas Cowboys. The Bucs play their preseason finale vs. the Texans on Friday night.
Jagodzinski was hired as Tampa Bay's new offensive coordinator on Jan. 29. He previously served as Boston College's head coach for two seasons (2007-08) before being fired from that job. He also had a one-year stint as Green Bay's offensive coordinator (2006) and spent two seasons with the Atlanta Falcons (2004-05).
Although he did not elaborate, Morris held a press conference at noon Thursday to explain the decision to part ways with Jagodzinski. Click here to read the transcript.
Jagodzinski spent his few months on the job implementing a zone blocking scheme. He had help from his former colleague, running backs Steve Logan, who coached at Boston College and still is on Tampa Bay's coaching staff.
However, in a statement released by the Bucs, Jagodzinski claims the team offered him the opportunity to remain a member of the coaching staff before firing him.
"I am certainly disappointed, but I wish nothing but the best for Raheem Morris and the entire Buccaneer organization," Jagodzinski said. "I was given the chance to remain on staff as the quarterbacks coach, but felt that the timing for such a move was not in the best interest for either side. I appreciate the opportunity that was given to me. Again, I wish nothing but the best for this organization.”
Olson is in his second season with the Buccaneers. He was hired by former Bucs head coach Jon Gruden in 2008 after spending two seasons (2006-07) as the offensive coordinator for the St. Louis Rams.
In his first season with the Rams, Olson helped St. Louis' offense rank sixth overall in the NFL. The team's passing offense ranked third in the NFC. In addition, the offense ranked third in the NFL in first downs (332) and second in the NFC in points scored in the red zone (273).
Rams quarterback Marc Bulger also threw for over 4,000 yards, running back Steven Jackson rushed for over 1,500 yards and wide receivers Isaac Bruce and Tory Holt each turned in 1,000-yard seasons.
Prior to his tenure with the Rams, Olson served as offensive coordinator with Detroit (2005). He has also served as a quarterbacks coach with the Lions, Chicago Bears and San Francisco 49ers. Olson also served as the quarterbacks coach at Purdue from 1997-00), and played an integral role in developing current Saints QB Drew Brees.
Though unusual, the Bucs aren't the only team to decide to fire their offensive coordinator just before the start of the regular season. The Kansas City Chiefs fired offensive coordinator Chan Gailey earlier this week.