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Former Cowboys OC Kellen Moore joins list of young Bucs candidates

As the Buccaneers attempt to get their offense again to scoring commonly within the 30s, their seek for a brand new offensive coordinator has centered totally on up-and-coming offensive minds themselves nonetheless of their 30s.

Former Bucs and present Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken, 56, remains to be very a lot a candidate and anticipated to interview this week, and the staff has already interviewed former Tampa Bay receiver Keenan McCardell, now 53 and the Vikings‘ receivers coach.

But because the Bucs’ seek for a alternative for Byron Leftwich continues, we will have a look at 5 young assistants — 4 have interviewed, one is more likely to this week — who might observe the NFL‘s development of groups trusting under-40 offensive coaches in necessary roles. Prime examples of that development embody present head coaches Sean McVay, Kevin O’Connell, Mike McDaniel and Zac Taylor, amongst others.

It’s price noting that Bucs head coach Todd Bowles hasn’t labored instantly with any of these candidates, suggesting a willingness to rent somebody from exterior his rapid circle. The new coordinator will probably have vital affect within the hiring of three vacancies on the offensive workers, for brand spanking new assistants to work with the quarterbacks, operating backs and receivers. The Bucs had made Bowles the NFL’s highest-paid defensive coordinator beneath former coach Bruce Arians, so it stands to motive they’d be keen to pay handsomely for the coordinator on the other aspect of the ball.

There are 10 NFL groups with offensive coordinator openings, which makes for a aggressive setting and urgency within the subsequent week or two, particularly as new head coaches are employed and may fill their very own staffs with assistants. Here are the 5 young coaches linked to the Bucs’ emptiness:

Kellen Moore, 34

The Cowboys parted methods with Moore on Sunday after 4 years as their offensive coordinator regardless of Dallas ending sixth or larger in scoring 3 times. Over Moore’s four-year run, solely the Chiefs scored extra factors and gained extra yards, with the Bucs (beneath Leftwich) third in each statistics. Moore has had prime expertise to work with, and the Bucs noticed what he can do first-hand of their wild-card playoff loss, as Dallas piled up 425 yards in a 31-14 rout that noticed quarterback Dak Prescott submit one of the best quarterback scores in postseason historical past.

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That similar offense was held in test by the 49ers in a 19-12 loss within the divisional spherical, however Dallas has gone 12-5 in every of the previous two seasons with Moore calling performs, so he’ll be coveted among the many league’s many coordinator vacancies and reportedly is already involved with the Chargers.

Klint Kubiak, 35

This previous season was a disappointing one for Kubiak because the passing sport coordinator for the Broncos beneath fired first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett. But Kubiak’s three years in Minnesota, initially as quarterbacks coach beneath his father, Gary, after which as offensive coordinator in 2021, have been very productive. Consider Kirk Cousins‘ numbers in three seasons working with Klint: 26 touchdowns in opposition to six interceptions as a Pro Bowl choice on a playoff staff in 2019, 35 touchdowns in opposition to 13 interceptions in 2020 after which 33 touchdowns in opposition to seven interceptions in one other Pro Bowl season in 2021. The Vikings averaged at the very least 25 factors per sport in all three seasons.

Kubiak additionally has a historical past with one of the important thing Bucs gamers: He overlapped two years with receiver Mike Evans at Texas A&M in 2011-12, first as an offensive high quality management coach after which as a graduate assistant. 

Jim Bob Cooter, 38

Much like Kubiak, Cooter is a former coordinator who was in a lesser position this previous season, however his was a constructive flip as passing sport coordinator with the Jaguars as they received the AFC South title and a playoff sport in a formidable turnaround season behind quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Cooter was the Lions‘ offensive coordinator from 2016 to 2018, working with Matthew Stafford in an offense that ranked seventh in scoring in 2017.

Cooter is a former Tennessee quarterback who labored in low-level roles with Peyton Manning in stops with the Colts (2009-10) and Broncos (2013). His time in Indianapolis overlapped with Tom Moore, who remains to be teaching at 84 and is a trusted advisor to Bowles and Bruce Arians.

Dan Pitcher, 36

With the Bengals simply lacking a second straight Super Bowl look, there’s curiosity in Pitcher, who has been Cincinnati’s quarterbacks coach for all three seasons with Joe Burrow. Pitcher interviewed with the Bucs final week and was capable of land a brand new contract from Cincinnati, which can make it harder to lure him away however not not possible. Pitcher is a former small-school quarterback (SUNY-Cortland) who got here up as a scout with the Colts and has been with the Bengals since 2016. Cincinnati’s offense has ranked seventh in scoring in every of the previous two seasons.

Shea Tierney, 36

Another up-and-comer who has by no means been a playcaller, Tierney was the Giants‘ quarterbacks coach in 2022 as Daniel Jones led the staff to a playoff berth and wild-card upset over the Vikings. He adopted Brian Daboll from Buffalo, the place he spent 4 years, first as an offensive assistant after which in 2020 and 2021 as assistant quarterbacks coach, working intently with Josh Allen. Tierney additionally labored beneath Nick Saban at Alabama in 2016 and 2017 as half of two nationwide championship groups.

Greg Auman is FOX Sports’ NFC South reporter, overlaying the Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers and Saints. He is in his tenth season overlaying the Bucs and the NFL full-time, having hung out on the Tampa Bay Times and The Athletic. You can observe him on Twitter at @gregauman.

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