Friday, November 24, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs add linebackers coach

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Robb Smith, an assistant to Bucs coach Greg Schiano at Rutgers, was among the five coaching hires announced by the Bucs on Thursday.

Smith will serve as linebackers coach, replacing Bob Fraser, who will assume the role of assistant defensive coordinator. Smith was defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Rutgers last season, and he and served in several capacities at the school before that, including linebackers coach.

Under Smith, Rutgers was fourth in points allowed last season (14.2 per-game average), sixth in rushing defense (95.2 yards per game) and 10th in total defense (311.6 yards per game).

The Bucs also changed the title of defensive assistant Bryan Cox to pass-rush specialist. Cox served as front-seven coach in 2012.

The Bucs had made a series of staff changes over the past month, all confirmed in Thursday's release. They included the hiring of quarterbacks coach John McNulty, secondary coach Tony Oden, receivers coach John Garrett and special teams coach Dave Wannstedt.

Bountygate coach Williams reinstated

The last of the Bountygate punishments has passed into history. The league reinstated former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who was hired by the Titans as a senior defensive assistant.

Williams was suspended indefinitely by commissioner Roger Goodell in March after the league uncovered bounties it said Saints coaches used as incentives for injuring opponents. Williams was deemed to be the scheme's architect and main operator, and got the stiffest of the penalties.

Coach Sean Payton was suspended for a season. General manager Mickey Loomis, assistant head coach Joe Vitt and several players were docked games.

Williams apologized and cooperated with Goodell's investigation, which Goodell cited among the reasons for his reinstatement.

"I understand and respect the game an awful lot, and the past is the past, and what I'm talking about right now is creating a resume from this day forward," Williams said.

Williams, 54, was hired by Titans coach Mike Munchak to return to the franchise where he coached for 11 seasons before being hired by as Bills head coach in 2001. "He knows changes have to be made in the way he's done things in the past," Munchak said.

Williams will be monitored periodically, the NFL said.

In other Saints news, University of Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham interviewed for the same job.

more titans: All-Pro running back Chris Johnson will return next season, Munchak said. The team had to make a decision by Saturday, when $9 million of Johnson's $10 million 2013 salary would have been guaranteed if he was on the roster.

peterson has hernia surgery: NFL MVP Adrian Peterson had surgery to repair a sports hernia in his abdomen, which bothered the Vikings running back for much of the season's last month. He came up 8 yards short of Eric Dickerson's season rushing record, 2,105 yards.

jaguars: Coach Gus Bradley finalized his staff, adding four assistants including running backs coach Terry Richardson, who had the same job at the University of Miami and was UM's Florida recruiting coordinator.

'freak' in money trouble: Ex-Pro Bowl defensive end Jevon Kearse is facing foreclosure on his Pompano Beach home and is the subject of an IRS tax lien for $432,015, the South Florida Business Journal reported. Known as "Freak" for his athletic ability while at Florida, Kearse bought the 6,064-square-foot home along the ocean for $6.05 million in 2004. Two years later he signed a $5.25 million mortgage on it. The Titans' first-round draft pick in 1999 and the league's defensive rookie of the year, Kearse earned about $45 million in an 11-year career.

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