A Week into Coaching Search, Few Answers Abound
By Patrik Nohe
So far little has turned up in the Buccaneers search for a new head coach besides an unsettling trend. Raheem Morris was given the axe last Monday and since then the Bucs have interviewed a number of candidates that are seemingly less and less palatable by the interview.
I’ve said before that I wasn’t a big fan of Mike Sherman, but would be alright if he was given good coordinators. He wasn’t especially successful in Green Bay and then fell flat at Texas A&M, so I’m rather curious what exactly the Buccaneers see in him as far as an upward trend, but what do I know.
Brad Childress though is not the kind of candidate I want to see. Nothing about his tenure in Minnesota makes me want to trust him with a locker room full of headstrong young players. He couldn’t control veterans in Minneapolis, I don’t think he’s the guy to do it in Tampa.
What frustrates me is the direction the coaching search seems headed. I’d like to see the team focus on a proven commodity, a guy who has gotten results, if they go with an older, veteran head coach. Or I want them to see with a dynamic young coordinator, a guy who is fiery and brings in fresh ideas and will be able to bring a winning pedigree from his last team.
That just doesn’t seem to be a priority right now though, unfortunately it looks like the Bucs are in the market for a cost-effective retread.
This isn’t a winning formula, unless the team plans to shell out big for coordinators to support the guy. The more likely explanation is its a cost-minded formula. There’s a reason Tampa was never really a possibility in the Jeff Fisher sweepstakes. I said already that he wasn’t the right fit, but he was the big coach fish and despite reports the Bucs may not have been interested, it was the other way around. Despite being situated near sandy beaches in a state with no state tax and having a franchise QB and tons of cap space the most attractive candidate in football wasn’t even that interested in hearing the Bucs’ pitch.
Read the writing on the wall: the Glazers are not spending a bunch of money right now.
Stephen Ross in Miami, despite being a clown, is the second richest owner in football and he will pay big money to hire and support his next coach. He just paid Bill Parcells for the last two years and Parcells was working for ESPN. He doesn’t mind blowing some money, he’ll pay for coaches, he’ll pay for expensive coordinators and if the new head coach wants to wax the expensive coordinators he’s already paying (Brian Daboll and Mike Nolan), he’ll pay them not to work and hire new coordinators. The point is Stephen Ross will spend money.
So will Stan Kroenke the owner of the Rams. Fisher will likely coach them and reports are already surfacing that he’ll hire a dream coaching staff. That will cost a much dinero.
The Bucs meanwhile are kicking the tires on veteran coaches with unremarkable records and mid-range price tags. Brad Childress is a good coordinator, didn’t give much indication he was cut out to be a head coach. Mike Sherman would be OK, but if the Bucs have the talented nucleus we believe they do is he really a guy that you see leading a Super Bowl charge?
The Bucs need to pay big if they want the right coaches, they don’t need a splashy hire but they need to pay for assistants and coordinators that will bring a high level of professionalism and discipline to the organization. This isn’t the time for bargain hunting or thriftiness. A few years ago when Green Bay hired Mike McCarthy it wasn’t a sexy hire but it was smart and came coupled with a well executed overhaul of their coaching staff.
It’s possible to do that in Tampa, but right now the Bucs don’t seem headed on that track.