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Tampa Bay Buccaneers want QB Josh Freeman to get personal attention

ORLANDO — The 2010 Buccaneers coaching staff is going to look strikingly similar to last season's cast.

Coach Raheem Morris, attending practices for the East-West Shrine college all-star game at the Citrus Bowl, said things are largely "status quo" on his coaching staff despite the widely held assumption there would be extensive turnover.

Morris confirmed Greg Olson will remain as offensive coordinator and most position coaches will remain unchanged.

The most notable changes will be at receivers coach — Richard Mann is moving on, according to Morris — and quarterbacks coach, a job Olson will no longer handle.

The priority is quarterbacks coach, seeing how Morris has proclaimed this offseason to be chiefly about building around rookie quarterback Josh Freeman.

With Olson assuming the coordinator role just 10 days before the start of last season, he was unable to devote himself to his original job, quarterbacks coach. He was forced to perform two critical roles in a situation that was less than ideal.

Hiring a quarterbacks coach will give Freeman needed one-on-one attention, Morris said.

"You have (Freeman) in town. You want somebody else to just be able to be with him for a whole year, and we'd like to get (Freeman) with him in the offseason," Morris said. "You know how it is when you're a (position) coach and you have the ability to sit down and just break down that particular guy and go over their techniques.

"Even though it might be the same thing that Greg is saying to him, it's more focused attention on Josh. Greg has to focus on some scheme things, and he has to focus his attention on direction. It would be nice to have that guy to just sit with Josh and go over quarterback (stuff)."

Morris declined to talk about specific candidates, but some have been contacted.

Regarding Olson, the official answer from the organization is it believes he can be more successful with an entire offseason of preparation rather than employing the scheme he utilized last year, which was thrown together on the fly after Jeff Jagodzinski was fired.

Asked about coaches who were linked to outgoing defensive coordinator Jim Bates, who was relieved of his duties during the season, Morris suggested defensive backs coach Joe Baker and defensive line coach Robert Nunn still could be valuable despite Morris' decision to take over the defense.

His defensive philosophy is quite different than Bates', raising the question of if Baker and Nunn could continue in their roles.

"They're all breaking down tape," Morris said, making it clear they've been retained. "Nobody's tied to each other in this business. You're not tied to any one particular coach. When Mike Tomlin left (the Bucs staff), nobody expected him to go to Minnesota (which ran a different system).

"Just because we're tied to each other … doesn't mean your individual coaching skills don't matter just as much. It's all about people. It's about having smart guys around you."

General manager Mark Dominik has said he would like to have the vacancies filled by next week's Senior Bowl, but Morris said that might not happen.

Stephen F. Holder can be reached at sholder@sptimes.com.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers want QB Josh Freeman to get personal attention 01/20/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 20, 2010 9:25pm]
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