Among the many decisions that must be made this offseason by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, high on the list is replacing offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich.
The Bucs fired Leftwich last Thursday, ending his four year run with the team that produced a Super Bowl title. For as bad as things went in 2022, it’s worth remembering the times with Leftwich weren’t always terrible and shouldn’t be remembered as such.
That being said, had the good times continued to roll the Bucs wouldn’t be in the situation they’re in right now. With Leftwich out, Tampa Bay is already beginning to turn its attention to two AFC coaches to potentially replace him on Todd Bowles staff.
According Rick Stroud from the Tampa Bay Times, the Bucs have scheduled the first two interviews with potential candidates for the open offensive coordinator position.
“Bucs will interview Broncos passing game coordinator Klint Kubiak and Jaguars passing game coordinator Jim Bob Cooter for their offensive coordinator job,” Stroud reported on Tuesday. “Cooter will interview Thursday.”
The Bucs reached out to a third candidate but were reportedly turned away. Houston Texans offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton was approached but declined the opportunity to interview for the job, according to Stroud.
Rather than interviewing Hamilton, the Bucs will reportedly interview Minnesota Vikings wide receiver coach and Keenan McCardell, who won a Super Bowl with Tampa Bay back in 2002.
Bucs to interview Jim Bob Cooter and Klint Kubiak for OC job
Of the two candidates, Cooter stands out thanks to the success of Trevor Lawrence in Jacksonville. Much of the success has been attributed to the job Doug Pederson did turning the team around, but the night-and-day difference between Lawrence’s seasons has a lot to do with how Cooter worked with him.
Kubiak will immediately have the bad season Russell Wilson turned in held against him, which isn’t entirely fair. He spent four seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, helping Kirk Cousins quarterback an offense that averaged 25.4 points per game in 2019 and rank fourth in total yards in 2020. Not for nothing, but once Kubiak took over play calling in Denver after Nathaniel Hackett was fired, the offense improved — albeit that bar was low.
Neither option is the sexiest choice in the world, but the Bucs aren’t going to have the pick of the litter. Even these two candidates are being coveted around the league, with Kubiak being eyed for the Jets offensive coordinator job and Cooter perhaps staying for another season of success in Jacksonville.
For what it’s worth, Hamilton turned the Bucs down with two more years left on his contract in Houston.