Important Buccaneers coaching loss could change 2022 outlook

Mike Caldwell, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Mike Caldwell, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

The Buccaneers will need to hope that the loss of Mike Caldwell doesn’t hurt too much in 2022.

Change is hard to deal with in the world of professional sports. Losing key players and coaches puts added pressure on any franchise, and the Buccaneers will get to deal with this first-hand during the offseason.

Now, the Bucs were fortunate to keep Byron Leftwich and Todd Bowles, but these weren’t the only two names that drew attention from other teams. Tampa was lucky to keep its offensive and defensive coordinators, yet the loss of a position coach could hurt in the long run.

Mike Caldwell was the inside linebackers coach for the Buccaneers from 2019 until the conclusion of the 2021 season. The Bucs fielded one of the best inside linebacker groups in the NFL during this time, and Caldwell’s influence can’t be underscored.

Lavonte David was going to be great regardless of who his position coach was, but getting to watch the development of Devin White under Caldwell has been a great example of the upside that Tampa’s former ILB coach brought to the table.

White’s 2021 season wasn’t as good as what he put on the field in 2020, but we can chalk some up that up to a defense that shell-shocked from the first week on.

To be fair to White, the defense breaking down in the most important places put other players in worse positions, and that forced White to try to pick up the slack, an area in which he struggled at times.

Regardless, the overall Caldwell period has been defined by far more good than bad. The Buccaneers are losing an extremely underrated part of their defense to the Jaguars, and they will need to hope that they can find another piece to keep Lavonte David at the top of his game and who can find a way to make the most of Devin White while his contract hit is the lowest.

This is one of those moments that goes under the radar for many in an offseason that sees Tom Brady retire, but make no mistake that the Bucs will feel this loss in one way or another.

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