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Tampa Bay Buccaneers GM Dominik: Butch Davis to be extra set of eyes for new coach Greg Schiano

TAMPA — Butch Davis will be an extra set of eyes for new Bucs coach Greg Schiano, but has no interest in being a hands-on member of the coaching staff.

That's according to general manager Mark Dominik, who said the Bucs, if necessary, would consider approaching the University of North Carolina about Davis' $2.7 million settlement that prevents him from coaching.

"Sure, we would do that," Dominik said Tuesday. "But right now, that's not why he's here and not what he's doing here.

"The main reason Butch Davis wanted to come here was to work with his good friend, Greg Schiano and to help him because he understands the pressures and how hard it is as a first-year NFL head coach. And so he wanted to come here and advise. That is his 100 percent goal. Having met him, I can see why Greg Schiano wanted to have Butch Davis on his staff as well."

Davis, 60, was fired just before the 2011 season when North Carolina's program was found to have committed multiple NCAA rules violations. On Monday, he was named the Bucs' special assistant to the head coach and will assist Schiano in a "wide range of football aspects." Schiano was Davis' defensive coordinator with the Miami Hurricanes from 1999-2000.

Dominik outlined those duties for Davis to include, but not be limited to, attending offensive, defensive and special teams meetings and evaluating player personnel. He also said Davis will observe practice and could have a role in the coach's box on game days.

"There are certain things we're going to ask Butch Davis to do that I think are the most important things and that's being an extra set of eyes for us," Dominik said. "He can evaluate talent for him, he can evaluate our team, he can listen in meetings and make sure that things are going the right way. Those are the things that are the most important.''

The Bucs still plan to hire a defensive coordinator, perhaps after next week's NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis.

Dominik said the Bucs aren't concerned about the slow pace of hiring Schiano's staff and are more focused on acquiring the right coaches. Tampa Bay has been denied requests to interview position coaches for coordinator jobs by several NFL teams. They could not talk to Cardinals quarterbacks coach John McNulty, Packers tight end coach Ben McAdoo and 49ers defensive backs coach Ed Donatell.

Dominik said those denials were not the result of retribution toward the Bucs.

"There are a lot of clubs that have policies in place or they have coaches,'' he said. "In a way, it's a compliment not only to Coach Schiano and the guys he's trying to uncover and talk to but it's also a compliment to those coaches on those staffs that they're talented coaches they don't want to let go. That happens everywhere in the National Football League.''

Dominik reiterated a pledge he made last month to be active in free agency. The Bucs have the second-most cap space in large part because they had $23.519 million of carryover cap money from 2011. Only Kansas City has more than Tampa Bay's $60.496 million in salary space.

"We'll be involved in free agency this year," Dominik said. "To what capacity? It depends on what the list looks like and who comes free. But we're prepared. We purposely rolled every penny we could into this year's cap and clubs didn't have to do that. We wanted to. We have plans."

Around the league

INDIANAPOLIS — According to Colts owner Jim Irsay, Peyton Manning will decide whether he plays another game for Indianapolis.

Irsay expects to meet with Manning in the next seven days, and the owner told the Indianapolis Star the return of the four-time MVP depends on his willingness to restructure his contract.

Manning has spent five months recovering from his third neck surgery in less than two years.

The Colts owe Manning a $28 million roster bonus by March 8. They want to use the No. 1 pick in this year's draft on his successor, and the future of their star QB will affect how much room they'll have under the salary cap.

Manning turns 36 in March.

"We can make it work if he wants to be here," Irsay said.

Also, the Colts added eight assistants and kept retaining former offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen, but just as quarterbacks coach. Christensen is the former Bucs offensive coordinator.

RAMS: Les Snead, who spent the past 13 years in the Falcons front office, was named general manager.

ARENA LEAGUE: Former Bucs cornerback Donnie Abraham returns for his second season on the Storm's coaching staff, joining newcomers Lawrence Samuels and John Gregory. Abraham will be defensive backs coach; Samuels, a former star with the Storm, will handle wide receivers; and Gregory will be offensive coordinator. The team opens training camp Saturday at Skyway Park in Tampa.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers GM Dominik: Butch Davis to be extra set of eyes for new coach Greg Schiano 02/14/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 11:28pm]
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