Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Challenges for new Bucs coach

Whoever takes over for Greg Schiano will have questions to answer as he tries to turn the Bucs around from a 4-12 season. Here are five issues the new coach will have to confront in 2014 — going into the season and during his first season.

1. What do you do at quarterback? Had Schiano returned, he made it clear Mike Glennon (left), drafted in 2013, was his quarterback moving forward. But with a new coach, there's no such assurance. The Bucs have the No. 7 pick in the draft. Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel or Fresno State's Derek Carr could be there, or the team could bring in an established veteran. Glennon threw 19 touchdown passes but also had five straight games in which the Bucs totaled fewer than 250 yards as a team.

2. Find an outside pass rusher. Adrian Clayborn (left), with six sacks, was the only Bucs end with more than two this season. So as strong as Gerald McCoy was on the inside, the Bucs didn't have an elite outside threat. This will be a major priority via a high draft pick or free agency. Then again, a new coach and coordinator could install a 3-4 defense, which means shifting personnel to a new scheme.

3. Bring the fans back: The Bucs' 2013 average announced attendance, 58,818, was the highest since 2009 but still ranked 29th among 32 teams. And blackouts loom if opponents don't entice fans or the Glazers aren't willing to buy unsold seats. If the Bucs don't make a splash hire, the new coach has to open strong. Another weak start, like this past season, would bring more empty seats.

4. Get healthy on offense: The Bucs ranked last in the NFL at 277 yards per game and 30th at 18 points per game. Improvement should come with getting running back Doug Martin (left) and receiver Mike Williams back from injuries. (They combined for 21 touchdowns in a healthy 2012 but just three this season.) Tampa Bay hasn't drafted an offensive lineman since 2009, so adding youth there wouldn't hurt.

5. Lock up Gerald McCoy The two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle (left) has another year remaining on his rookie contract. But this offseason is a chance to negotiate a long-term extension and keep him from hitting the open market or getting a franchise tag. The Bucs don't have a major contributor who could leave as a free agent this offseason, so there's an opportunity to lock up the team's defensive anchor and a central locker room leader.

Challenges for new Bucs coach 12/30/13 [Last modified: Monday, December 30, 2013 10:44pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Good news for Rays on Steven Souza Jr. as MRI shows 'no damage' to hip


    The Rays got good news today on RF Steven Souza Jr., as an MRI showed "no damage" to his left hip.

    Steven Souza Jr. #20 of the Tampa Bay Rays holds his leg after hurting himself trying to steal second base in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Alameda Coliseum on July 19, 2017 in Oakland, California.
  2. Bucs raise prices for single tickets to marquee games


    The Bucs will have single-game tickets for 2017 home games on sale July 28, with a new wrinkle: the best games will cost more for fans.

    Bucs fans cheer Jameis Winston after a victory in their final home game of the 2016 season. Individual tickets for the Bucs' three most coveted home games (against the Patriots, Bears and Giants) will cost more in 2017.
  3. RHP Alex Cobb feeling safer as Rays make playoff push

    The Heater

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing in the fourth inning of the game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Tampa Bay Rays at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Fla. on Tuesday, March 21, 2017.
  4. HomeTeam 100: Players 61-70


    Jefferson wide receiver Dontavius Smith during the game between Jefferson High School and Jesuit High School at Jesuit on Friday, Sept. 16, 2016, in Tampa, Fla.
  5. A second chance at life, away from the game he loved

    The Heater

    Dylan Delso, a catcher for the Tampa Bay Rays' Gulf Coast League team, displays his scar at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Fla., on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. On June 25, 2016 Delso fell backward down a flight of stairs, suffering a nearly fatal head injury that put him in a coma for eight days. He's finally back on the baseball field after a miraculous recovery.