July 28, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver coach P.J. Fleck talks with wide receiver Vincent Jackson (83) during training camp at One Buc Place. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Bowl season has only just begun in college football, and some of the teams sitting at home this winter are hard at work looking for a new head coach. It turns out that this national coaching search will affect the Buccaneers, as per a report, Buccaneers wide receivers coach P.J. Fleck has been hired as the head coach of the Western Michigan football team. In his standard Monday press conference, Bucs Coach Greg Schiano denied that Fleck had accepted any offers:
"I’m not going to confirm it. Let me just say that P.J. is an excellent football coach and like a lot of guys on our staff, in the years to come people are going to come after them as head coaches, whether it be in the NFL or major college and we’ll deal with each one as it comes down the pike. But I’d stay away from it right now. I would at least."
I would argue that Western Michigan is far from a major college, coach. But I digress…
Fleck is a new coach this season, hired by Coach Schiano as a part of his initial coaching staff. Fleck has done well to boost his resume, as his portion of the Tampa Bay squad has been one of the most productive on the team, with Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams both enjoying solid seasons. Fleck is only 32, and to land a job in the NFL at that age is certainly promising. According to the SI article about the reported hiring, Fleck would become the youngest head coach in major college football, which is both an honor and spotlight.
The competition in the Mid American Conference is at an all time high, so he will have a steep hill to climb leading a Broncos team that has seen only 2 winning seasons since 2007. However, it might be a more stable situation than with the Buccaneers, who will likely lose staff members this offseason in typical professional sports reactionism. Someone will need to be responsible for the end of the season collapse, and while it’s likely to be defensive coaches who feel the brunt of such a decision, no job is safe in such a volatile climate.
Maybe this is what an anonymous player meant when he said that the coaches should go back to college? Congrats to coach Fleck, and hopefully the remaning Buccaneers coaching staff proves to be more than future MAC coaching candidates.
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