Friday, November 17, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Wannstedt to coach Bucs special teams

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NEW ORLEANS — Dave Wann­stedt gave Greg Schiano his first NFL job. Friday, the Bucs coach repaid the favor, sort of.

The Bucs reached a deal with Wannstedt, 60, to become their special teams coach. He replaces Bob Ligashesky, who was fired Wednesday after one season.

As coach of the Bears in 1996, Wannstedt hired Schiano to be a defensive assistant. He promoted Schiano to defensive backs coach in 1998.

Tampa Bay was 30th in the NFL in kickoff returns this season with a 20.3-yard average and tied for 19th in punt returns with a 9-yard average.

Wannstedt, who has never been a special teams coach, was an assistant with the Bills the past two seasons. He coached linebackers and was the assistant head coach in 2011, and defensive coordinator this season.

Wannstedt coached the Bears from 1993-98, the Dolphins from 2000-04 and the University of Pittsburgh from 2005-10. He also was the defensive coordinator for the Cowboys from 1989-92, including their Super Bowl team of 1992, and the Dolphins in 1999.

Falcons: Owner Arthur Blank denied an Atlanta Business Chronicle report saying he was approached by Los Angeles officials who want a team. Blank wants to replace the Georgia Dome. One plan has the team paying $700 million toward a $1 billion retractable-roof stadium and the state of Georgia the rest.

Rams: An arbitration panel ruled for a $700 million plan by the team to renovate the Edward Jones Dome. The city of St. Louis, which owns the stadium, proposed a $124 million plan to make the stadium among the top eight in the league, as required by the lease. The city, which must pay for the renovations, has 30 days to accept or reject the decision. If the city rejects it, the team can leave St. Louis, where it has been since 1995, after the 2014-15 season.

Texans: Running back Arian Foster denied an NFL Network report saying he likely would have a heart procedure in about a month. "I am feeling well and am as exuberant as ever," he said. Foster left the Dec. 23 game against the Vikings because of an irregular heartbeat.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

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