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Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive assistant Robert Nunn leaves for Giants

Sick QB: Florida’s Tim Tebow practices at the Senior Bowl despite having strep throat. He expects to play Saturday.

Associated Press

Sick QB: Florida’s Tim Tebow practices at the Senior Bowl despite having strep throat. He expects to play Saturday.

MOBILE, Ala. — For the second straight day, the Bucs let a coach out of his contract so he could go to another team.

Defensive line coach Robert Nunn was granted permission to interview for the same job with the Giants, who hired him Wednesday.

Nunn, 44, who just finished his 10th season in the league, had shared defensive line coaching duties with Todd Wash. GM Mark Dominik said the Bucs traditionally have had one defensive line coach. But Nunn was hired before last season, in part, because of his familiarity with the system of defensive coordinator Jim Bates, who was ousted after 10 games.

Coach Raheem Morris will continue to run the defense next season, which will be a variation of the Bucs' traditional one-gap, Tampa 2 scheme. Wash will coach the defensive line by himself.

On Tuesday, the Bucs released linebackers coach Joe Barry from his contract so he could take the same position at Southern Cal.

"We do like Robert Nunn as a coach," Dominik said. "He certainly was an expert in Jim Bates' system, which is why we had two defensive line coaches in the first place.

"But the reason why we (let him go) — and we take it on a case-by-case basis — is over the history of what we've done here in the Tampa 2, we've always had one D-line coach. So we have Todd Wash, who's familiar with the system. So that's why we let Robert Nunn interview for the job. And good for him, he got it."

SICK TEBOW IMPROVES: Florida QB Tim Tebow has strep throat, but that did not stop him from putting together another good practice at the Senior Bowl.

Tebow was asked if reports that he had a 103-degree fever and had to be hospitalized Monday were true.

"Let's just say I needed to see some doctors for a little bit," he said.

Tebow has not missed any practice time and is expected to play in Saturday's game.

"I'm feeling a lot better now," he said. "But you don't want to touch me."

ON THE RADAR: The Bucs are looking for defensive help, and one player who caught their eye this week is Missouri LB Sean Weatherspoon.

He weighed in Monday at 241 pounds, which was down from his playing weight as a senior of more than 250.

Some project Weatherspoon as an outside linebacker, but the Bucs see him as a middle linebacker. He saw time at both for the Tigers.

Barrett Ruud is a restricted free agent and could be unrestricted if a new collective bargaining agreement can be reached.

Weatherspoon is a fiery, vocal player who can deliver blows to ball carriers. He is projected as a second-round pick but could move into the first because of a weak linebacker class.

"It's fun being out here with elite athletes at every position," Weatherspoon said. "What more can a linebacker ask for, seeing players that can run at every position? It's great going against good quarterbacks and other good running backs.

"A lot of people see it as pressure-packed, and I know the GMs are watching. But I just see it as us out here having fun."

Weatherspoon said he had a nice meeting with Dominik.

"I remember Mr. Dominik telling me he went to Kansas," Weatherspoon said. "And we joked about being big rivals."

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive assistant Robert Nunn leaves for Giants 01/27/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 27, 2010 10:34pm]
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