Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs have coaching staff of 24

RECOMMENDED READING


TAMPA — Greg Schiano's office was largely empty at One Buc Place when he was hired just more than 13 months ago with very few reminders of the men who burned the midnight oil there before him. He had a blank canvas on which to make his strokes on the football operation.

But finding the right men to coach alongside him wasn't easy. Most of the league's new staffs had already formed, and assistants Schiano planned to hire were either under contract with another team or decided to remain at Rutgers.

After going 7-9 in his rookie season, Schiano knew there had to be changes. He started with his staff.

"I'm really excited about our staff," Schiano said. "Last year I knew … it wasn't going to be exactly right and there were going to be some growing pains. I think my job is to sit back, evaluate and do what I think makes our football team better. That's what we did."

Including Schiano, the Bucs have 24 members on their staff for 2013, or nearly one for every two players on the 53-man roster. Roughly half of those assistants have worked for or with Schiano, many at Rutgers. Still others have crossed paths with him during his career.

The list of new hires begins with Dave Wannstedt, the former Bears, Dolphins and University of Pittsburgh coach who will be special teams coordinator. Wann­stedt, the Cowboys' defensive coordinator during their Super Bowl XXVII season of 1992, was the Bills' defensive coordinator last season. Schiano coached defensive backs for two seasons on Wannstedt's Bears staff.

"To get a guy like Dave Wannstedt to be our special teams coordinator with all the experience he brings — a guy I really trust that I've worked for and worked with — it's critical," Schiano said.

Wannstedt, who has never coached special teams, replaces Bob Ligashesky, who was fired after one season.

The Bucs also hired John McNulty to coach quarterbacks. McNulty, who previously held the same position with the Cardinals, spent five seasons with Schiano at Rutgers, including one as offensive coordinator. Schiano attempted to hire him as offensive coordinator a year ago, but the Cardinals would not let McNulty out of his contract.

Other new hires include former Cowboys tight ends coach John Garrett (receivers), Jaguars defensive backs coach Tony Oden (cornerbacks) and Rutgers linebackers coach Robb Smith (linebackers).

To make room for Smith, Schiano named previous linebackers coach Bob Fraser assistant defensive coordinator, a position typically not found in the NFL.

"(McNulty) is an excellent football coach, and he can help Josh (Freeman) at the quarterback position," Schiano said. "Robb Smith was with us a few years at Rutgers, stayed at Rutgers as a defensive coordinator and had a top-five defense in the nation. I just felt like now he has a desire and I still have a desire because I would have liked for him to have come last year."

Certainly, the hires give Schiano flexi­bility. If he decides to make a change with offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan or defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan after 2013, their replacements likely are already on the staff in McNulty and Wannstedt.

So why such a large coaching staff in Year 2?

"I think it's always a fluid situation," Schiano said. "Do you always need to have a staff as large as we do? Maybe not down the road. But the people we have in place right now are all people that I trust and believe in.

"And they all have a function or a role. And as those roles change, then our staff will change. But right now, I feel very good about our staff."

Rick Stroud can be reached at [email protected] and heard from 6 to 9 a.m. weekdays on WDAE-620.

Comments
NFL Week 12: Tampa Bay Times staff picks

NFL Week 12: Tampa Bay Times staff picks

Happy Thanksgiving! It's already week 12 of the NFL season, and the football feast is set to begin. It all starts at at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, when the Lions try to win their fifth straight Thanksgiving Day game against a Minnesota team out to bec...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Cannon Fodder podcast: Examining the Bucs’ Hall of Fame semifinalists

Cannon Fodder podcast: Examining the Bucs’ Hall of Fame semifinalists

Times Bucs writer Greg Auman takes a closer look at the three former Bucs who are semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.He also looks at the constant churn on the Bucs’ practice squad and why Julio Jones’ stats have dropped off this season,...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Bucs’ Barber, Lynch, Rice among Hall of Fame semifinalists

Bucs’ Barber, Lynch, Rice among Hall of Fame semifinalists

Ronde Barber, John Lynch and Simeon Rice — teammates on the Bucs' 2002 Super Bowl championship team — are among the 27 semifinalists to be considered for this year's Pro Football Hall of Fame class.Lynch is a semifinalist for the sixth st...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rick and Tom podcast: USF vs UCF is the biggest game in Florida this weekend

Rick and Tom podcast: USF vs UCF is the biggest game in Florida this weekend

It’s a Thanksgiving Football Wednesday as Rick Stroud and Tom Jones preview the Bucs-Falcons game, USF-UCF, Alabama-Auburn, Ohio State-Michigan and more.The guys agree on the Bucs game outcome with Rick saying they can’t win. They also agree that Tha...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Bucs-Falcons: It’s time to start believing Miko Grimes

Bucs-Falcons: It’s time to start believing Miko Grimes

TAMPA — The most valuable player for the Bucs is Brent Grimes. It felt odd typing that line, but it’s time to say it.In two seasons, the Bucs haven’t won a game without him. They are 4-3 when he plays, 0-3 when he doesn’t.He’s 34 and looks 24.He’s 5-...
Updated: 13 minutes ago

Giants are NFL’s most disappointing team this season, but Broncos are close

The New York Giants made the playoffs for the first time in four years last season under the guidance of coach Ben McAdoo, setting high expectations for the 2017 campaign. They pushed those expectations even higher with the addition in free agency of...
Published: 11/21/17
Bucs journal: Defense struggling to get off the field on third and long

Bucs journal: Defense struggling to get off the field on third and long

TAMPA — Third and long, normally an ideal situation for an NFL defense, continues to be a problem as the Bucs try to get opposing offenses off the field.In the second half of Sunday’s game, the Dolphins converted six third downs when they needed 8 ya...
Published: 11/21/17
Bucs-Falcons: Has this former Buc become a pass-rushing force?

Bucs-Falcons: Has this former Buc become a pass-rushing force?

TAMPA — The Bucs face the defending NFC champions twice in their final six games. As they prepare to go to Atlanta on Sunday, former Tampa Bay first-round pick Adrian Clayborn is enjoying quite a two-week run.Clayborn, 29, had six sacks Nov. 12 in a ...
Published: 11/21/17
Clayborn shining for Falcons as Bucs come to town

Clayborn shining for Falcons as Bucs come to town

The Bucs face the Falcons twice in their final six games, and as they prepare to go to Atlanta on Sunday, former Tampa Bay first-round pick Adrian Clayborn has had a nice two-week run.Clayborn had a huge game nine days ago with six sacks in a win aga...
Published: 11/21/17
Cannon Fodder podcast: Setting up Bucs vs. Atlanta

Cannon Fodder podcast: Setting up Bucs vs. Atlanta

Times Bucs writer Greg Auman says it’s another week without Jameis Winston as the Bucs prepare to go to Atlanta, and there’s more on the Bucs’ run-game issues and how the defense has struggled on third and long, a situation most defenses love to be i...
Published: 11/21/17