Could the best head-coaching candidate for the Bucs be right in their own backyard?
If they're looking for a coach capable of getting the most out of a young quarterback, offensive coordinator Todd Monken might be the best choice, at least in the mind of New York Daily News columnist Manish Mehta.
Dirk Koetter turned over playcalling duties to Monken, so why not the head-coaching reins?
But Mehta isn't talking about the Bucs. He's referring to the Jets.
"Monken might be the best and smartest option available for a franchise desperately searching for the right person to unleash Sam Darnold's prodigious talents," Mehta writes.
Monken will travel to New York to interview with the Jets on Monday, the Times' Rick Stroud reports.
In Tampa Bay, Monken called plays for an offense that set numerous club records and was among the best in the NFL.
Apparently, it did not go unnoticed.
"The Buccaneers offensive coordinator's aggressive and creative schemes created plenty of chatter in NFL circles this year," Mehta writes.
Monken received a strong recommendation from Bucs quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who — under Monken — became the first QB in NFL history to pass for more than 400 yards in three consecutive games.
"I'm telling you, he's got it," Fitzpatrick told the Daily News. "He's got the 'It factor' as a head coach. He's smart enough. He's a big-time offensive coach. If that's what they're looking for, then it'll be good for Sam (Darnold)."
Fitzpatrick said he was a more confident quarterback when Monken was calling plays. Monken's progressive scheme is a great fit for today's NFL, and his energy, honesty and consistency make him respected around the locker room.
"He's a bright offensive mind that has a good feel for the NFL now and where the NFL is heading," Fitzpatrick said. "If you need more proof, look at me.
"He brought out the best in me, and I think he has a way of doing that for quarterbacks. If you're trying to build a franchise around a young quarterback, I don't know if there's a better choice than this guy."