Tuesday, October 23, 2018

With Gruden headed to Raiders, maybe Bucs liked Koetter better than this field of candidates

Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter said it took 'courage,' for the Glazer family, which owns the team, to bring him and his staff back for 2018 following a 5-11 record this season.

"They are going to give me and my staff the opportunity to come back and fix the things that we didn't do good enough this year,'' Koetter said. "I really appreciate that and I do think it took courage because just look around the league. There [are] ones that surprise you the way they went and there are other ones that surprise you the way they didn't go. I'm sure plenty of people are surprised by this, but I appreciate the opportunity and we are going to do our best to fix it."

The Glazers really like Koetter and are gambling a bit that he is the same guy who went 9-7 in his first season as Bucs coach.

But assuming the Bucs either couldn't pry Jon Gruden from the Raiders, or never discussed the job with him as has been claimed, a bigger leap of faith may have been hiring one of the candidates being mentioned for the six head coaching jobs currently available.

Excluding Gruden, who seems certain to be named the Raiders head coach by early next week, the list begins with Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia.

McDaniels, who went 8-8 as head coach of the Broncos in 2008 and was fired after a 3-9 start in 2009, is considered among the top candidates for the job with the Giants and Bears. Patricia is mentioned among the favorites with the Lions, Giants and Cardinals.

Others who are likely to interview for head coaching jobs include:

Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz: He was the head coach of the Lions from 2009-13, going 29-52 and reaching the post-season one time in '11, where he lost to the Saints in the first round. The Eagles have granted the Giants permission to interview Schwartz.

Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur: Former Browns head coach from 2011-12 where he went 10-23. Shurmur already has interviewed with the Lions.

Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFlippo: Former offensive coordinator of the Browns brings a wealth of knowledge and has earned credit for mentoring Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz. DeFlippo will reportedly interview with the Bears and Cardinals.

Texans defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel: Long-time Super Bowl champ as a linebacker with the Patriots, Vrabel will be a head coach one day. He's landed on the Lions list of candidates.

Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin: Well-respected in league circles, may land as defensive coordinator in Cincinnati. Austin has been mentioned as a head coaching candidate in Detroit.


Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley, who was a head coach with the Chiefs from 2009-11.

Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable, who was the Raiders head coach from 2008-10.