After weeks of speculation and coaching interviews, Tampa Bay has officially decided on their next offensive coordinator. On Friday, it was revealed that Liam Coen was going to be replacing Dave Canales, who left Tampa Bay to become Carolina's next head coach.
Since Canales joined the Panthers on January 25th, the Bucs have interviewed seven different candidates for the job. At the start of the coaching cycle, Tampa Bay was in the conversation of landing Zac Robinson, Kellen Moore, or Ken Dorsey. As it turned out, the Buccaneers would miss out on all three, as Robinson, Moore, and Dorsey were hired by the Falcons, Eagles, and Browns, respectively.
With whiffs on the top three candidates, Tampa Bay held interviews with seven more potential offensive coordinators. Ultimately, the Buccaneers hired Coen over the likes of Texans' QBs Coach Jerrod Johnson, Eagles' OC Brian Johnson, and Browns' OC Alex Van Pelt, and now have their third different offensive coordinator in as many years.
Coen began his coaching tenure in the NFL as the Rams' assistant WRs coach in the 2018 and 2019 seasons, and was the assistant QBs coach for the 2020 campaign. Starting in 2021, Coen was elevated as Los Angele's offensive coordinator, and worked alongside head coach Sean McVay to form a formidable Rams offense. Perhaps most notably, he has experience coaching Baker Mayfield, which will add some much-needed continuity at this stage of his career.
Liam Coen could be another lowkey brilliant hire for the Buccaneers
During Coen's four-year stint in Los Angeles, the Rams ranked seventh in yards per game, fifth in passing yards per game, and ninth in points per game, while also making Super Bowl LIII and winning Super Bowl LVI. During his final two seasons in Los Angeles, Coen guided veteran QB Matthew Stafford to solid seasons, as the two-time Pro Bowler completed 67.5% of his passes for 6,793 passing yards, 51 touchdowns, 25 interceptions, a 97.7 passer rating, and a 15-11 record.
Following the 2020 season as the assistant QBs coach, Coen served as the University of Kentucky's offensive coordinator and QB's coach for the first season, and later returned for the 2023 season. In 2021, Coen directed the Wildcats' offense to 425 yards per game and 56 total touchdowns, finishing the season with a 10-3 record, 18th in the nation, and a 20-7 win versus Iowa in the Citrus Bowl.
Coen helped Kentucky's offense excel one again in 2023, with the Wildcats averaging 29.1 points per game, 353.1 yards per game, and 50 touchdowns while setting a school record with 8.0 yards per touch. Similar to with Stafford in Los Angeles, Coen brought out the best in starting QB Devin Leary, who threw for a career-high 2,746 yards, 25 touchdowns, and a 134.3 passer rating.
Now in Tampa Bay, Coen will look to improve upon the Buccaneers' 20th scoring offense in the NFL under Canales. This will be a tall task for Coen, as it still remains to be seen whether or not Mayfield and future hall of fame Mike Evans will return to Tampa Bay next season, and standout veteran C Ryan Jensen announced his retirement on Friday.