The Boys Are Back In Town: A Look Into The New Tampa Bay Coaching Staff
"Rebuilding" has been the word used when summarizing what the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be doing this 2009 season.
Major changes were made to the roster, but many new faces are seen in the coaching staff as well. Malcom Glazer picked Mark Dominik as the new General Manager and haven't looked far in selecting the head coach.
Key members in play calling and decision making will need to step up, but it will be up to the staff and players to band together and win games.
Raheem Morris, Head Coach
Jon Gruden is gone. Taking his place is Morris, 32, who has been with Tampa Bay for seven years.
No stranger to Tampa Bay, Morris is known for his role as Defensive Backs coach and a member of the defensive coaching staff from 2002-2005.
After a disappointing 19th-place finish in pass defense in 2006, Morris came back (Morris' lone season away was at Kansas State in 2006) in 2007 with a plan of action. He had the Bucs' secondary limit opposing QB's to a 76.2 percent passer rating. This placed them eighth in the NFL, far better than their 29th rating in 2006.
Under this type of coaching style, five members of the secondary had interceptions in 2007, and a dynamic trio was also molded in his reign.
The Tampa Trio—safeties Jermaine Phillips, Tanard Jackson, and Sabby Piscitelli—garnered great numbers in tackles and interceptions under the direction of Morris, solidifying their spots as cornerstones of the Tampa Bay defense.
With Morris on the staff, they have never dropped below sixth in the NFL in total defense.
Being young, talented, and respected, it is no wonder that Morris was the man for the job. He will be the key factor when it comes to decision making if the Bucs season starts out shaky. He can offer insight to defensive coordinator Jim Bates on how the defense game has been run in the past.
As the old school saying goes, "there is no I in team," so in order to win, Morris, the staff, and the players must work together.
Richard Bisaccia, Associate Head Coach, Special Teams Coordinator
One thing that doesn't worry the Bucs is their special teams.
With 17 years of college and pro experience, it is no secret that Bisaccia and special teams will be key to win games.
After joining the staff in Tampa Bay in 2002 as running backs coach, Biasaccia looks to continue his success as special teams coordinator. Working with raw talent such as Deuce McAllister and Earnest Graham, he is no stranger to breeding successful football players.
Bisaccia will look to Morris and other members of the coaching staff to get together and produce great numbers.
Jeff Jagodzinski, Offensive Coordinator
Another NFL and college football coaching veteran, Jagodzinski has served for over 20 years as various administrator/coaching positions.
After serving two years of his five-year contract at Boston College, he was released as head coach. The Bucs jumped at the chance to pick up such an experienced offensive mind and hired Jagodzinski as offensive coordinator.
Most recently as head coach for Boston College, he led the Eagles to an impressive 20-8 record over two years, ranking first in the Atlantic Coast Conference both seasons.
He has also worked with the Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons as apart of his NFL career. Contributing to the offensive coaching team, Jagodzinski learned from the best—such as Alex Gibbs, who produced the successful offensive line of the Denver Broncos that won Super Bowl XXXII.
His vast offensive line knowledge will be key in filling the holes of the Tampa Bay offense. If players aren't that strong and can't step up to the position, Jagodzinski has the experience to move it around and make it work.
Morris will look to Jagodzinski to put points on the board.
Jim Bates, Defensive Coordinator
Sadly, The Cover Two Defense and Monte Kiffin have moved on.
Can Bates and his Run Contain Defense live up to the Tampa Two and the legacy Kiffin left?
We will see.
When the Denver Broncos dropped from ninth to 29th in scoring in 2007, Bates announced he was leaving in 2008. Looking for a great defense to take hold of, it was no surprise that Tampa Bay chose Bates after Morris' promotion to head coach left the spot open.
Bates will use the defensive tackles as key to the scheme to take away the outside run.
If the Bucs run into a team with a strong passing game like Tom Brady and the Patriots, they're in trouble. In this case, the offensive line should press the quarterback. Sacrificing the defensive tackles in a pass rush is a must, but nothing different from last season.
The key to pull this whole team together will be the defense. Fans must look to Bates to use his vast knowledge and experience to make sure there are no holes.
Luckily, Morris is still on his side. Bates can look to him when questions arise in putting together the best defense.
Other Offense, Defense and Strength/Conditioning Coaches
Along with key coaching-staff replacements, other new members that round out the Tampa Bay staff.
Steve Logan, running backs coach; Alfredo Roberts, tight ends coach; Chris Mosley, assistant offensive line coach; Joe Baker, defensive backs coach; Joe Barry, linebackers coach; Chris Keenan, assistant strength and conditioning; Pete Mangurian offensive line coach; Robert Nunn, defensive line coach and Jay Kaiser, assistant to the head coach.
These nine new assistant coaches should serve well in the rebuilding of the Bucs.
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