The Buccaneers wasted no time filling the void on their staff, quickly naming quality control coach Ben Steele as their new tight ends coach to replace Jon Embree who left to join Kyle Shanahan’s staff in San Francisco on Monday.
The Bucs put out a press release late on Tuesday, including a quote from head coach Dirk Koetter.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced today that the team has promoted Ben Steele to tight ends coach, following three seasons (2014-16) as offensive quality control coach.
“We’re fortunate that we have a qualified coach like Ben already on our staff and are able to fill this role from within. He earned it through the quality of his work,” Buccaneers Head Coach Dirk Koetter said. “Ben played the position at the NFL level and has spent a great deal of time with our tight ends on the practice field and in the meeting room. We know he will do an excellent job leading that group going forward.”
The Buccaneers scored 340+ points and gained 5,500+ yards in each of the past two seasons, the first time in franchise history they have reached either mark in consecutive years. After scoring 342 points (sixth-most in team history) and 37 touchdowns (ninth-most) in 2015, Tampa Bay increased those totals in 2016, scoring 354 points (fourth-most) and 41 touchdowns (third-most).
Additionally over the past two seasons, Tampa Bay ranked among the league leaders in several offensive categories, including ninth in yards per game (361.1), sixth in third-down conversion rate (42.8 percent.) and sixth in first downs (676). In 2016, the Buccaneers set a franchise record and ranked sixth in the NFL with a 43.9 percent third-down conversion rate.
Steele joined Tampa Bay following six seasons working on the collegiate level, capped by a season as tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator for UC-Davis (2013). Prior to his time with the Aggies, Steele spent two seasons (2011-12) at the University of California, as an administrative assistant for the offensive coaching staff. He also worked two years with the University of Colorado as an operations and recruiting assistant (2009) and graduate assistant (2010), as well as a season as an offensive assistant coach (2008) at his alma mater, Mesa State (now known as Colorado Mesa).
Steele played professionally as a tight end from 2001-07 with the San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders, Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers and Houston Texans. He was an All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference honoree at Mesa State after playing his first two collegiate seasons at Fort Lewis College.