Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano was a dealt a tough blow when the Arizona Cardinals declined the team's request to interview Cardinals receivers coach John McNulty for the position of offensive coordinator.
McNulty served on Schiano's staff at Rutgers from 2004-08 and was the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach during his last three seasons with the Scarlet Knights.
Considering the investment the Bucs have in quarterback Josh Freeman, offensive coordinator is arguably the most critical hire on Schiano's staff. It's believed that Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt made the call on prohibiting McNulty from interviewing with the Bucs.
Because it's such an important hire, the Bucs still are working behind the scenes to acquire McNulty, the Times confirmed. The effort may include an appeal directly to Cardinals owner Bill Bidwell. But it's hard to imagine the Cardinals reversing course at this point.
Under McNulty, Rutgers set school records for total offense (5,841 yards), points scored (421) and first downs (295). They also became the first team in NCAA history to have a 3,000-yard passer (Mike Teal-3,147 yards), a 2,000-yard rusher (Ray Rice-2,069 yards), and two 1,000-yard receivers (Kenny Britt-1,232, Tiquan Underwood-1,100 yards). During McNulty's five seasons at Rutgers, the Scarlet Knights posted a record of 38-24 and won three consecutive bowl games while he was in charge of play calling.