Defensive Line Coach Search

As you all know, Todd Wash will likely be removed from his position. The Bucs recently offered Karl Dunbar of the Vikings the position. Reports came out yesterday that Dunbar will not accept the offer. The money was probably not enough to warrant a lateral move. It's impossible to come up with an exhaustive list of who the Buccaneers are targeting for this position, because they have been so tight-lipped on the process. What I will try to do is create a list of possible replacements.

Mike Waufle - Waufle is currently the defensive line coach of the Oakland Raiders. Before spending the last two seasons there, he was the defensive line coach of the New York Giants, including for the Super Bowl championship team. Waufle is the premier DLine coach in the NFL for a 4-3 defense. This season, the Oakland Raiders finished second in the league in sacks despite a defensive line of Matt Shaughnessy, Tommy Kelly, Lamarr Houston (Rookie), Richard Seymour and Desmond Bryant. Bryant backed up an banged up Seymour and saw plenty of snaps. Bryant and Shaughnessy were both 2nd year players. I can go back to his days in New York of turning players like Justin Tuck and gang into dominating defensive lines and sustaining Strahan's aged career. He accepted the position in Oakland because of his close ties with Tom Cable. With Tom Cable gone, there is more incentive for him to leave. The Bucs can not simply offer a lateral move to Waufle. They must offer him some leadership of the defense or the Associate Head Coach position, one left vacant by now departed Rich Bissacia. Doing this springboard Waufle's career in that it better prepares him for a DC position in the near future, and possibly in Tampa if Morris chooses to ever hand  those reigns over. Waufle is a California guy, so the money will also have to be substantial for him to move. This would be a tremendous hire for Tampa IF they were able to lure him away.

Robert Nunn - Nunn is a former Buccaneer, coaching last season in Tampa. He moved to New York (a better job in every way). Nunn left on his own accord and thus Todd Wash was promoted. Luring Nunn back will be difficult only because he's been in this position for a year and is doing a tremendous job. Nunn is a solid coach. He led a Packers DLine that often stood out. It's not a Waufle hire, but one that is an upgrade over Wash, with familiarity in the system and with the players. Nunn will also need to be offered more money and more responsibility (similar to what I discussed with Waufle).

Giff Smith - Smith was incredibly successful as Georgia Tech's Defensive Line coach. He developed Derrick Morgan and Michael Johnson. On top of that he coached very productive defensive lines with poor recruiting. He was the Bills Defensive Line coach for a year, coaching the Bills to an average defense against the run and in forced fumbles. They were poor in sacks accumulated, but better than Tampa Bay with less to work with. Smith is young, energetic and would fit well in a Raheem Morris coaching staff. Get this guy in front of Morris, and I think Morris is a buyer. He's a southern guy (Georgia) and let's be honest; he's on a jacked up coaching staff with terrible talent and living in one of the most miserably cold cities in the country, Buffalo. He's got two kids and I'm sure it wouldn't be a difficult sell for his wife. Like Morris, Smith has previously coached DB's and has worked his way through the college ranks.

Brick Haley - Brick Haley is the current Defensive Line coach of the LSU Tigers. Before arriving in Baton Rouge, he was the Defensive Line coach for two years in Chicago (2007-2008) coaching Tommie Harris to his best overall season. Haley, on top of having an awesome name, has been defensive coordinator at Baylor, linebackers coach at Georgia Tech and has developed a solid resume. I imagine Haley would like to be back in the NFL and have an opportunity to coach some young guys. He has a good understanding of defense and is a little bit of a harder nose guy than some previously mentioned.

Jeff Weeks - Coaches often change positions in which they coach. Most do it successfully. It is also a career move to work their way to defensive coordinator. In looking at possible replacements I was not only looking for successful position coaches, but young coaches who have worked under very smart defensive personnel. Jeff Weeks is a defensive assistant for the New York Jets. Put your feelings for Rex Ryan aside for now, he is a phenomenal defensive coach. Weeks has been a friend of the Ryans for a long time, but has not had an opportunity to move up. This is a promotion for Weeks. He has worked closely with not only Rex Ryan but also Bob Sutton who is the current OLB/Senior Defensive Assistant who knows what he's doing. Mark Carrier is the current DL coach for the Jets, but is not likely to move to a similar position in a smaller market. Weeks has coached in the college and pro ranks and would likely jump at this opportunity.

The more information that comes available, we will let you know. For now, this is my coaching search in order of preference.

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