Tampa Bay Buccaneers Invent a New Job Title: What Is a Front-Seven Coach?

Tom EdringtonSenior Writer IMarch 7, 2012

Bryan Cox was a wild-man during his playing days.
Bryan Cox was a wild-man during his playing days.Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Finally, yes finally, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a complete coaching staff.

But the one thing that really jumps out at you is the role given to Bryan Cox, a feared linebacker (and occasional madman) in his day, a guy the Bucs wish was still in his prime

Cox has been designated the role of "front-seven coach." When the Bucs first hired him, the instant thought was, wow, what a great hire as linebackers coach. But Cox is not the linebackers coach. That title belongs to Bob Fraser. He's not the defensive line coach, that responsibility goes to Randy Melvin.

Maybe it's the fact that I've only followed football for 50-some years, but I've never heard of a front-seven coach. Undaunted, I began calling some coaches and former coaches, and it seems they hadn't seen one either.

Ian Beckles, the former Buccaneer guard who spent 10 years in the league, never heard of a front-seven coach either.

Does the name move you closer to, let's say, assistant defensive coordinator?

Your two coordinators are Mike Sullivan on offense and Bill Sheridan for the defense.

You can check out the entire staff right here on www.buccaneers.com.

Obviously this staff has a lot of different dynamics.

The biggest name isn't even mentioned on the staff, and that's Butch Davis. You have to go over to the front-office roster to see he's the special assistant to the head coach.

Then there's the old curmudgeon of the staff, the venerable Jimmy Raye, who did a stink here long ago and has been all over the league. Raye was here in 1985 and 1986 when the Bucs put together back-to-back 2-14 seasons.

Raye's biggest claim to fame is that, in his first year here in 1985, he got hit by a car while jogging near the airport and survived,

But those were awful seasons when Raye was here. It was as if the entire team got hit by a truck.

You think the Raheem Morris regime was bad? Nothing was worse than Leeman Bennett-bad, not even the first two seasons back in '76 and '77.

Raye has been with the Rams, Patriots, Chiefs, Redskins, Raiders and 49ers. That's a lot of packing and moving over 29 years. Hopefully he's been gone long enough and won't need an exorcism to get rid of the ghosts of '85 and '86.

Raye, the senior offensive assistant at 65 years old, well, that's probably where the "senior" designation comes from. One thing's for sure, Raye sure knows what it shouldn't look like on offense.

Right now, it's pretty much a Chinese fire drill over there at One Buccaneer Place. No one knows what the offense or defense will look like because they're all huddled up, trying to figure that out for themselves.

It will be a while before we know.

In the meantime, could someone please explain what a front-seven coach is all about?