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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Have the Bucs already narrowed their field?



Candidates being considered in the Bucs' coaching search, including former Vikings coach Brad Childress, have said in recent days they haven't heard anything new from the Bucs.

But there was an interesting side note after Joe Philbin's press conference in South Florida on Saturday that may advance the story a bit.

Philbin, the former Packers offensive coordinator who also was a candidate in Tampa Bay, was hired by the Dolphins as their head coach on Friday. But Sun-Sentinel Dolphins reporter Omar Kelly reports that Philbin apparently had been identified as a finalist for the Bucs job and also had to be pulled off a flight to Oakland -- which also has an opening -- after the Dolphins reached a decision.

If true, that would indicate the Bucs are farther along in this search than anyone knew. We have been told for more than a week that they would be narrowing their field and identifying the finalists for the job. But the Bucs still spent much of last week doing initial interviews with new candidates.

Then again, who knows? The Bucs continue to refuse to answer any questions from reporters about the process and seem to have done an equally poor job of keeping their candidates in the loop (when candidates for the job are asking reporters in their respective cities what they're hearing, that's never a good thing).

So, take this piece of information for what it's worth, and let's hope it means this three-weeks long process is winding down.

[Last modified: Sunday, January 22, 2012 8:59am]


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