Buccaneers Cove, located In the North end zone of Raymond James stadium, houses a pirate ship armed with eight canons that let off an eardrum shattering “boom” each time the home team scores a touchdown.
I imagine it is the Bucs rookie head coach, Raheem Morris’ fervent hope that the “boom” of the canons will reverberate around the Tampa Bay area numerous times during the upcoming 2009 season.
So who’s responsible for steering the ship this season? Along with their young, first year head coach, there are a “shipload” of experienced coaches, some of whom have more coaching experience than the number of years Morris has been alive.
Morris, currently in his second stint with the Bucs, served on the defensive staff from 2002-2005. With 7 years of NFL coaching experience under his belt, his most recent responsibility was as the defensive backs coach, where he developed what is arguably the best trio of safeties in the NFL.
Whatever one may think of his experience (or lack thereof), Morris is a rising star in the NFL coaching ranks and is firmly in command at the helm of the 2009 Tampa Bay Buccaneers ship.
Also in his first year with the Bucs, defensive coordinator, Jim Bates figures to play a significant role in scripting and calling defensive plays, as well as in transitioning the defense from the famed “Tampa 2” to a more “run contain” oriented defense.
Bates comes with over 40-years of coaching experience, beginning his career at his Alma Mater, Tennessee. Having coached 17 seasons in the NFL, some of his stops have included assistant head coach/ defense with the Denver Broncos, and defensive coordinator with the Green Bay Packers, Miami Dolphins, and Atlanta Falcons.
Bates’ defenses have ranked among the top ten in the NFL in overall yards allowed during six of his eight seasons leading defenses, and in 2007 he led a Broncos defense that ranked seventh in the NFL in pass defense.
Jeff Jagodzinski, also in his first season with the Bucs, brings a wealth of experience as the offensive coordinator for the 2009 season. His most recent stint as head coach of Boston College saw him tutor QB Matt Ryan, who won rookie of the year honors in 2008 as QB of the Atlanta Falcons.
Prior to coaching at BC Jagodzinski served as offensive coordinator for the Packers, where he led an offense that featured QB Brett Favre and RB Ahman Green.
Before that Jagodzinski served on the staff of the Atlanta Falcons as offensive line coach while working closely with offensive line consultant Alex Gibbs, arguably one of the best offensive line coaches in NFL history.
Jagodzinski will no doubt take an active role in scripting and calling plays on offense during the 2009 season, but he will certainly have his work cut out for him trying to figure out which QB will get him to the playoffs. It certainly helps that he has coached both a future HOF and a rookie-of-the-year QB.
Joining this wealth of experience are Joe Baker, defensive backs coach with 14-years of NFL experience, Joe Barry, linebackers coach with 10-years of NFL experience, Robert Nunn and Todd Wash defensive line coaches, Pete Mangurian, Offensive line, Greg Olson, QB coach, Steve Logan, running backs coach and Alfredo Roberts, tight ends coach.
Richard Bisaccia, Associate head coach/ Special teams coordinator, brings 8-years of NFL coaching experience to the table, all of which he’s spent with the Bucs. Over the past four seasons, three of Bisaccia’s special teams players have made the Pro Bowl.
Richard Mann, Assistant head coach/ wide receivers coach, rounds up the coaching staff with 28-years of NFL experience. Mann’s coaching career began at his prep Alma Mater in 1970.
Under his guidance the Buccaneers have produced a 1000-yard rusher in every one of his seven seasons as wide receivers coach.
With the wealth of experience and NFL coaching success surrounding him, Morris seems poised for success in his first season as captain of the ship and head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.