September 9, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive backs coach Ron Cooper during the first quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Will Let Go of DB's Coach Ron Cooper

Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Having one of the worst pass defenses in the history of the NFL would logically result in some changes in personnel. Here at the Pewter Plank, we’ve already discussed some of the on-the-field changes that could happen at One Buc Place over the summer, such as Eric Wright moving on, or making some late round draft choices to help bring in competition. However, it appeared that the coaching staff was getting a pass, with the only changes coming on the offensive side of the ball due to coaches getting better jobs at colleges.

But according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, there just might be a change yet to come:

Cooper has been coaching for a very long time, including time spent as a head coach at the college level at Louisville and Eastern Michigan. His most recent gig was under Les Miles at LSU, and he will likely be looking for jobs in the NCAA once again. New USF coach Willie Taggart may want to consider Cooper for his staff, and Cooper may find he is more comfortable in the college game.

All indications are that Coach Schiano’s staff was hastily thrown together this past offseason, and I am therefore inclined to be largely indifferent to any coaching changes. Cooper was the coach responsible for the weakest link of the defense, and even with a devastating string of injuries and suspensions, someone needed to be “held accountable.” At least, that’s how the game is played in the NFL these days. Mark Barron will likely be joined by another young defensive back taken in the first round in 2013, and these players will need a solid coach to guide them in the Schiano defensive scheme.

Position coaches are vital to a team’s chemistry, as these are the coaches players spend the most time working with. The likely player turnover at the position will mean this coaching change will be largely inconsequential in terms of chemistry. The real test will be if the pass defense shows signs of improvement in the upcoming season. If it doesn’t, there will be more coaches allowed to “explore other opportunities.”

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  • RussMillerWY

    Cooper’s accomplishments as a dbs coach in college sure looked good on the resume. It’s strange to say this, but this is the area where they miss Raheem the most, as well as all the dbs he helped to groom. Except for Barber and Grimm, they’re all gone. Not mentioned is how many times the zone linebackers bit on play action, which can’t be blamed on Cooper, and is one of the twisted reasons why the Bucs’ D was so good against the run.

    • Leo

      Yeah, the linebackers were responsible, as well. Schiano is a defensive guy, so hopefully he is able to work with them all over the offseason. But the staff was assembled in a hurry in early 2012, so it’s natural to see some guys leave after the season.