The common theme with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers coaching staff decisions under Greg Schiano has been to get younger and more talented overall. While youth is viewed as inexperience, it is also an influx of fresh ideas. There is no doubt that Schiano’s current staff is more talented and better-equipped to lead this team than Raheem Morris’s subpar group.
Offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan definitely fits the bill, and his unorthodox training drills echo this sentiment. However strange these drills may be, they have worked to a great deal of success during his eight year tenure coaching receivers and quarterbacks for the New York Giants.
Sullivan may not be a name that many recognize, but he has the ability to be a capable offensive coordinator for the Buccaneers. Sullivan has worked with Eli Manning for two years and has earned nothing but the complete respect from his players, and he has two Super Bowl rings under his resume.
“We are very fortunate to add someone like Mike Sullivan to lead our offensive coaching staff,” said Schiano in a statement. “He is a man of character and a complete football coach, who fits with the kind of football team we are building here. His work with the Giants over the past eight seasons speaks for itself. Mike was an integral part of that team winning two Super Bowls in the last five years and we look forward to him bringing that experience and expertise to our club.”
While Mike Sullivan isn’t the sexy hire, he is an extremely creative offensive mind who has the ability to excel as a coordinator. This is exactly the kind of hire the Bucs need to making at this point, and the hard core NFL fan knows how much of an impact Sullivan had on this team coaching receivers and QBs.
The most important thing about this hire is the further development of Josh Freeman after an extremely disappointing 2011 campaign. This past season should be viewed as an anomaly, in a way, but it should also be viewed as a concern and a way at looking at Freeman’s flaws as a quarterback.
Mike Sullivan has experience working with wide receivers who sometimes don’t run the right routes and helping a quarterback find a way to overcome this strategic disadvantage. The Bucs receivers are inconsistent at this point, so it is up to Sullivan to help Freeman work on his mid-range accuracy when miscommunication occurs.
This is the kind of hire that gives youth and energy to both the team schematically, to the fan base, and to the coaching staff on a whole. Mike Sullivan is going to get right to work on this football team and add some creative plays to get the playmakers like Mike Williams and LeGarrette Blount involved. His drills should be fun to watch in training camp, and there is little to dislike about the hire. Forget about experience and the fact that you may not know who Sullivan is; he’s a great coach, and every true Giants fan will laud this hire from a Bucs stance. Greg Schiano is already pulling all the right strings, and this staff is far superior to the one that Morris hap-hazardly assembled.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.