Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Linehan candidate for Bucs offensive coordinator

18

January

Former Rams coach Scott Linehan has emerged as a strong candidate to become the Bucs offensive coordinator.

On Sunday, Linehan declined an opportunity to become the 49ers offensive coordinator, saying the decision wasn't based on salary.

Linehan, 45, is believed to have several opportunities. In addition to the Bucs, he could be a candidate to join the New York Jets if Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan is hired as head coach.

He says he has been contacted by other teams about positions and expects to attend the Senior Bowl in Mobile.

"I'm going to have to move some time,' Linehan told the Associated Press. "I've got to find a spot here sooner or later. I'm trying to figure out what's the best situation for the Linehans.''

"It's just timing right now. I'm just not ready to make a decision...I just wouldn't want to leave (49ers coach) Mike (Singletary) or (general manager) Scot (McCloughan) or anybody hanging and drag this thing out.''

The hiring of an offensive coordinator is considered the most important decision that has to be made by new coach Raheem Morris, whose expertise is defense. And the Bucs have to fill the play-calling void left by the firing of coach Jon Gruden Friday.    

Linehan was an offensive coordinator with the Vikings (2002-04) and Dolphins (2005). In Minnesota, his offense ranked second, first and fourth in the NFL.

Linehan was fired in the third season of a four year contract as Rams head coach after starting the season 0-4. He was 11-25 with St. Louis.

Morris and new general manager Mark Dominik did not return messages left by the Times Sunday night.

Linehan has had a history of building NFL offenses from scratch, having accomplished that in Minnestoa and Miami.

In Tampa Bay, he would inherit the second-youngest offensive line in the NFL, a puzzle at quarterback and top receiver Antonio Bryant eligible for free agency. Brian Griese and rookie Josh Johnson are the only quarterbacks under contract for the Bucs.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:23pm]

    

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