Tampa Bay decided to undergo some changes in terms of its front office and coaching staff this offseason.
Raheem Morris and Mark Dominik replaced Jon Gruden and Bruce Allen as head coach and general manager, respectively.
Morris then hired offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski and defensive coordinator Jim Bates to serve in those capacities.
Bates was involved in the hiring process for the defensive assistant coaches. Not only has Tampa Bay's defensive scheme changed, so has it coaches' responsibilities.
PewterReport.com has learned that defensive line coaches Todd Wash and Robert Nunn will coach the defensive ends and defensive tackles, respectively.
Wash enters his third season with the Bucs and second as a D-line coach in Tampa Bay. Nunn worked with Bates in Miami (2000-02, '04) and again in Green Bay in 2005.
In the past, the Bucs typically had one defensive line coach and one assistant in the form of a quality control coach, which is the role Wash held in his first year with the Bucs in 2007 before being promoted in ‘08.
After a year in which only Wash coached the defensive line, Bucs defensive tackle Greg Peterson said having two defensive line coaches this year will allow for more growth and individual learning time for each lineman.
"I'm real excited," Peterson said. "Coach Nunn has the inside – the defensive tackles – and Coach Wash has the outside – the defensive ends. Even when we're doing drills, Coach Nunn will come up to you and work with you one-on-one. When we just had Coach Wash here last year, he could only see so much. I think it's a good thing for us to have two coaches."
One of the things that Peterson has to work on with Nunn is maintaining proper pad level and leverage against the centers and guards he'll be facing.
"Pad level, that's a big thing for a guy like me," Peterson said. "They keep jumping on me about pad level, but it's hard thing not to come up being 6-foot-5. If I can keep my pad level down, Robert Nunn thinks I'll be pretty good."
Peterson said that Nunn and Wash have wanted him to add weight to perform better in Jim Bates' new 4-3 philosophy, which emphasizes bigger, more physical defensive tackles lining up head up on guards and the center instead of penetrating gaps. Peterson entered the NFL three years ago at 280 pounds, but has gained 30 pounds over the last four months by hitting the weight room hard and watching his diet.
"I'm up to 310 pounds," Peterson said. "Coach Wash wanted me to add the weight for Coach Bates' system. I feel a little heavy, but I'm getting in the weight room and I'm learning how to run with it and move with it. It's a lot different from 280, but I'm starting to feel comfortable at 310. I actually think I can get a little bit heavier, but I just don't want to get too heavy."
Both Wash and Nunn, and the rest of Tampa Bay's coaching staff, will have their first opportunity to coach up the Bucs players, including Peterson, during the team's first mandatory mini-camp, which will be held at One Buc Place next week.