TAMPA — The Bucs’ search for an offensive coordinator seems to be headed for overtime.
Seahawks quarterbacks coach Dave Canales will interview for the position this week, the eighth candidate to replace Byron Leftwich, who was fired on Jan. 19.
Bengals quarterbacks coach Dan Pitcher on Wednesday interviewed with the Bucs for the second time and the first in person. Pitcher had a virtual interview on Jan. 27, two days before the Bengals’ 23-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game.
Canales helped with the revival of quarterback Geno Smith after the Seahawks traded Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos in March 2022. Canales had a second interview with the Baltimore Ravens for their offensive coordinator job this week.
Smith passed for 4,282 yards with 30 touchdowns and 11 interceptions while leading the Seahawks to a 9-8 record and appearance in an NFC wild-card game.
The Seahawks tied for fifth in the NFL with a 4.8-yard rushing average last season.
Canales, 41, joined the Seahawks as a receivers coach in 2010. He switched to quarterbacks coach in 2018-19, then served as passing game coordinator in 2020-21 before returning to coach quarterbacks in 2022.
Pitcher, 36, has helped develop Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow over the past three seasons. He is considered a strong candidate for the Bucs job and is the only one so far to interview with the team twice.
The Bucs also have interviewed Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken, Giants quarterbacks coach Shea Tierney, Broncos quarterbacks coach Klint Kubiak, Jaguars passing game coordinator Jim Bob Cooter, Vikings receivers coach Keenan McCardell and Saints passing game coordinator Ronald Curry.
Tampa Bay’s offense averaged only 18.1 points per game this past season and was last in the NFL in rushing (76.9 yards per game), rushing attempts (386), rushing yards (1,308) and rushing average (3.4 yards per carry).
Cincinnati’s offense was seventh in the NFL in scoring, averaging 25.8 points per game. But the Bengals weren’t much better running the ball than the Bucs, finishing 29th in rushing (95.5 yards per game) and tied for 29th with a 3.8-yard average.
Shortly after the AFC title game, the Bengals signed Pitcher to a lucrative contract extension. It’s believed the team is prepared to promote him again if offensive coordinator Brian Callahan gets a head coaching job.
Pitcher began his NFL career in 2013 as part of the Colts’ scouting department. He joined the Bengals staff as an offensive assistant in 2016 and remained in that role for three seasons. He was promoted to assistant quarterbacks coach in 2018 and then took over his current job when the Bengals made Burrow the first overall pick in the 2020 draft.
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