Mike Sherman may be the perfect candidate for the Buccaneers moving forward.

Next Man Up: Who Will Coach the Bucs in 2012?

TAMPA — We are not even 24 hours into the post-Raheem era for the Bucs and the search for a head coach begins. The Glazer’s said that the coaching search will be extensive and thorough. To have such a search, one must cast a wide net of candidates and here is a quick list of possible head coaches for the Buccaneers in 2012.

Mike Sherman — Sherman is the exact opposite of Raheem. He’s mature, he’s disciplined and he didn’t have a bad run in Green Bay. He’s also an offensive minded coach who can come in an be a real rock for Freeman in his development. He won’t try to be his buddy or make excuse for him. Sherman isn’t a flashy name and although his name is routinely kicked around for NFL coaching gigs, he never gets one. This could be the type of guy the Glazer’s can get at the right price.

Brian Billick — Billick is another offensive guy who would fit perfectly in Tampa. He’s an offensive guru who molded the 1998 Vikings into a scoring machine and even made Trent Dilfer a respectable quarterback in Baltimore during his Super Bowl year. He brings the experience this young team needs to grow and he’s not a guy who will be scared of a rebuilding process. Billick also would come at the right price which is going to be a theme with the Glazer’s. They tossed buckets of money at Gruden and got one Super Bowl and an ugly end like the Morris era. They will be hesitant to throw that kind of money at a coach again but they still will want that talent level. Billick is another guy who can come at a decent price and can immediately improve this team.

Mike Mularkey — He’s the hot name of the hour right now but not in the way someone like Rob Chudzinski is. Mularkey, unlike Chud and Denver’s Mike McCoy, is ready to be an NFL head coach right now. He’s got the things the Bucs are looking for: experience, maturity, and an offensive mind. The Bucs went defensive with their last coaching regime and this time they will tip the needle the other way. The big sell is Josh Freeman because he’s the guy the Bucs want to develop. The next head coach will have to have that ability and Mularkey has it. He has developed Matt Ryan into one of the upper tier quarterbacks in the NFL and he’s got the chops to motivate a team. After starting 0-4 in his stint with Buffalo, he turned a J.P Losman led team into the 7th best offense in the NFL and a 9-2 record to finish that season. Plus he’s got Tampa connections being born in Miami and getting his first coaching job with the Bucs under Sam Wyche as a Quality Control coach before being promoted to the Tight End coach. Mularkey isn’t going to take another Offensive Coordinator job so if the Bucs really want him, they have to give him the reigns.

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