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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Barry will rejoin Bucs if Bradley exits

6

January

The Bucs new linebackers coach could be their old linebackers coach.

Recently fired Lions defensive coordinator Joe Barry has interviewed for the position he held in Tampa Bay from 2001-06.

Whether Barry rejoins the Bucs depends on the future of linebackers coach Gus Bradley, who interviewed Tuesday in Seattle for the Seahawks' defensive coordinator position.

New Bucs defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, who is a candidate for the Denver Broncos head coaching position, says he is set to hire Barry is Bradley joins the Seahawks.

"To have a chance to come back here would be unbelievable,'' Barry said Tuesday night from his condo in Madeira Beach. "This is the place we used to call Mecca. That was a special time and we did a lot of great things. If an opportunity came about here where I could come back, I'd cherish it.''

Needless to say, Barry's first crack at being a defensive coordinator in the NFL was not met with any success. The Lions were last in the NFL in 2007 in points allowed with 27.8 per game and yards per game (377.6). In 2008, of course, the Lions became the first team to go 0-16 and the defense was a major reason why. The defense yielded 32.3 points and 404.6 yards per game.

Despite that experience, Barry still is a very confident coach not far removed from being part of a Bucs staff whose defense finished ranked in the top five in the NFL four years in a row.

"You know me, I'm very confident in my abilities,'' Barry said. "I left here 23 months ago, in my opinion, a very good coach. I know I don't have a lot to show for it 23 months later, but I'm still a very good coach. I don't have the stats or the records to prove that. But going through it, being a first-time coordinator, you learn things every day, every week, every game.

"But it was tough to go through what we went through. People said I would look back 10 years from now and I will be glad I went through it. But as you're going through it, you realize it's brutal and wonder why do I have to go through this to learn. But I'm a better man for it and a better coach for it. Twenty-three months later, I'm a better coach today than when I left.''

Ironically, Barry becoming a defensive coordinator under Lions coach Rod Marinelli - his father-in-law - is what gave Bradley a chance to take over his job as linebackers coach. Now Bradey's possible departure could open the doors again in Tampa Bay for Barry.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:21pm]

    

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