The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are currently searching for a new head coach.
The names that have come up in the current search are Mike Sherman, Marty Schottenheimer, Brad Childress and Wade Phillips. All of these coaches have been head coaches in the NFL before and have had some success, but have also been known for failing in one area or another.
The Buccaneers should not go after a "name" coach, but instead should fight for one of the next big coaches. Each of the other teams in the NFC South have gone out and gotten talented coordinators to come in and be their next head coach. The Panthers went after Ron Rivera, the Falcons got Mike Smith, and the Saints brought in Sean Payton.
These three coaches were never head coaches, but were highly respected coordinators and came into a new organization for their head coaching position. The Buccaneers need to follow this trend, instead of going after a coach that has been there and done that.
Teams have proven in recent years that the best way to get a new head coach is to get after a young, talented coordinator. The Packers got Mike McCarthy and won the Super Bowl last year. The 49ers went after Jim Harbaugh last offseason and are now a 13-3 team and the second seed in the NFC.
This route does not always guarantee instant success, but most of the teams that have done this in recent years have had success.
Mike Zimmer is the perfect candidate to be the next Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach. The Bucs' biggest problem is their disciple and locker room attitude. Zimmer runs a straight ship and is known for handling troublesome players like Pacman Jones and Tank Johnson. I have no doubt that he could take care of the young players on Tampa Bay's current roster.
Should the Buccaneers pursue Mike Zimmer?
Zimmer is also one of the best defensive minds in the NFL right now. He has taken the Cincinnati Bengals defense from a consistent bottom-feeder unit to one of the best in the league. Since Zimmer took over the defense of the Bengals in 2008, Cincinnati has finished in the top 15 every year. The Bengals finished in the top 10 two out of the past three years.
The Buccaneers have always been a defensive team, and with Zimmer they may can get back to that type of play. However, Zimmer is also young and has no pre-conceived notions of how to do the job. That means that he would be open to having an offense built around Josh Freeman and the young weapons on the roster.
Zimmer could come in and work with the talent already on the Buccaneers roster and possibly have them competing in the NFC South within the next year or two.
Tampa Bay needs to go out and get an up and coming coach like Zimmer, instead of a former head coach that has been there and failed.