When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers season ended in the NFC Divisional Round, a place no one expected it would, we all thought the offseason To Do list was rather simple.
Re-signing Baker Mayfield and Mike Evans, while revamping the offensive line and reloading on defense, seemed pretty straightforward. Antoine Winfield Jr needs to be handed a blank check and a few different roster holes left by free agents needed to be filled, but nothing major seemed to be on the horizon.
Then Dave Canales blew things up by leaving to accept a job as head coach of the Carolina Panthers. In doing so he moved replacing him to the top of the list, and sort of threw the Bucs offseason into chaos.
So much hinges on the Bucs nailing their replacement for Canales. The future of Baker and Evans is now up in the air, it’s unclear what sort of system will be run and what needs to be added, and nothing can really happen in terms of improving the roster until a successor is found.
Jason Licht plucked Canales out of a small haystack last year, with the Bucs pool of candidates being quite small compared to what it is now. If Licht pulled off hiring a futur head coach under those circumstances, imagine what he can do now — and he’s already getting to work.
Tracking every Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator interview
Here’s a running list of everyone the Bucs have interviewed, or plan to interview, for their vacant offensive coordinator position.
Note: This list will be updated as soon as an interview is scheduled.
- Brian Johnson, former Eagles offensive coordinator
- Ken Dorsey, former Bills offensive coordinator
- Kellen Moore, former Chargers offensive coordinator (Hired by Eagles)
- Zac Robinson, Rams quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator (hired by Falcons)
There are other names out there as well, including Eric Bieniemy and Kliff Kingsbury, as well as in-house candidate Thad Lewis.
While it’s unclear who the hire will eventually be, the good news is the Bucs are in a much better spot than they were this time last year. Tampa Bay is a much more attractive destination for an offensive coordinator, both in terms of the direction the team is going but also it’s hard not to look at what Canales did and not want to replicate that.
Kellen Moore was a name kicked around last year afte the Cowboys let him go, but he ultimately chose to coach Justin Herbert in Los Angeles. He was viewed as a wudnerkind in Dallas, but don’t confuse him for being simply a pass-happy coordinator. The Dallas run game ranked in the Top 10 three out of the four years he was there, and he has connections in Tampa that might help build a bridge.
Skip Peete was the Cowboys running back coach in 2022, and while there’s a chance Dave Canales poaches him for his staff in Carolina it could mean a potential reunion between Moore and his former colleague. The last time they were linked up the Cowboys rushing attack ranked fifth in the league, which is a fantasy for Bucs fans.
Zac Robinson is the most junior of the candidates but he comes from Sean McVay’s system out with the Rams. He also has connections that might give him an upper hand, as he has experience working with Baker Mayfield. The two were paired up in 2022 when Mayfield spent a short — and mostly successful — stint in Los Angeles.
So much is being made about how Baker will be on his eighth different coordinator in seven years, but Robinson might offer some continuity and familiarly.