Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Bucs Are Finally Looking at Good Head Coach Candidates

Zayne GranthamContributor IIIJanuary 16, 2012

CHARLOTTE, NC - CIRCA 2011: In this handout image provided by the NFL,  Rob Chudzinski of the Carolina Panthers poses for his NFL headshot circa 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by NFL via Getty Images)
Handout/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are still searching for their next head coach, but they seem to have made some headway.

The Bucs have interviewed a good amount of candidates already, most of whom are former head coaches that have been out of the NFL for a while. Tampa Bay brought in guys like Mike Sherman, Brian Billick, Brad Childress and Marty Schottenheimer for interviews, and many thought the Bucs were going to hire one of these coaches immediately.

However, the Bucs have gone through a very thorough search for their next head coach, and it has paid off.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported a few days ago that the Bucs have been granted access to talk to Cincinnati Bengals' defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer and the AP reported that the Bucs can now talk to Carolina Panthers' offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski as well.

These are two of the NFL's hottest young coordinators and either one could help the Buccaneers. The fact that the Bucs have waited to hire their new coach shows how dedicated they are to righting the ship in Tampa Bay.

Chudzinski would do wonders for Josh Freeman and the struggling Tampa Bay offense, but Zimmer could correct a talented Bucs' defense almost immediately.

Out of the coaches the Bucs have interviewed, it seems as if the top candidates are Chudzinski, Zimmer and Schottenheimer.

I believe that Schottenheimer could come in and correct a lot of the mistakes in the Buccaneer organization, but I do not think it is the best choice for Tampa Bay at this time. They do not need an old school coach at the moment, but instead someone that will bring something new to the table.

Out of the top three candidates, Chudzinski is the least experienced, and that could ultimately lead to the hire of Zimmer because the Buccaneers are placing a lot of importance on experience in this coaching search.

Whatever decision will be made will likely be in the next few weeks as the Buccaneers get ready to gear up for the 2012 offseason. I believe that since the Buccaneers are interviewing guys like this, we can expect an exciting hire from the Glazer family this year.

The Buccaneers may very well end up going with one of the more experienced, former NFL head coaches, but it may be a mistake to overlook top coordinators like Zimmer and Chudzinski. It could be a mistake that could come back to bite the Buccaneers in the future.