As the Bucs conduct their second interview with Mike Sherman, reports surfaced that they would likely interview Rob Chudzinski as well. Those two would appear to be the finalists for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' head coaching job - but are they the only finalists, or will the Bucs pull a surprise move?
That's what they did when they were reportedly close to hiring Chip Kelly this weekend, before Kelly pulled out and returned to Oregon. I wouldn't be surprised if the Bucs pulled another new name out of the hat instead of looking at the coaches they've already interviewed. So which names could interest them?
I can think of three names who would be real possibilities if they were looking for another coach in the mold of Chip Kelly: an innovative offensive mind, not necessarily from the NFL.
Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy
Gundy has never coached in the NFL, but he has had massive success in college, mostly with Oklahoma State. He has consistently produced a quality offense in the BIg 12, and has a 59-30 record. He resurrected a struggling and inconsistent program, and most recently won the Fiesta Bowl in a year when many thought they should have gotten a shot at the National Championship. He's a successful offensive mind running a pass-first spread offense who could look good in the NFL.
Montreal Alouettes head coach Marc Trestman
Trestman has a lot of experience as an NFL coach on the offensive side of the ball, having been in the NFL from 1985 to 2004, mostly as a quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator. He was Rich Gannon's quarterbacks coach in 2002, when he won an NFL MVP but got crushed by the Bucs in the Super Bowl. Trestman's most impressive work has come in the Canadian Football League, however. He's been the Head Coach of the Montreal Alouettes since 2008, and has won two Grey Cups (the CFL championship) and made it to a third, all on the back of an impressive offense.
The CFL is a different beast than the NFL, but Trestman has enough NFL experience to know how the league works. Could he be successful in the NFL too? I think it's worth finding out.
Boise State Head Coach Chris Petersen
Petersen is basically a poor man's Chip Kelly. Oregon certainly thought so, as they were reportedly interested in hiring Petersen if Kelly left. That proved moot, but the Bucs might want to make a run at Petersen anyway. He's another young, aggressive, innovative offensive-minded coach who has had massive success in the NFL. He has lost just six games in his tenure, excluding bowl games, and holds a 73-6 record with Boise State. He has won two Fiesta Bowls and two Maaco Las Vegas Bowls in his time with Boise State, and has essentially won everything there is to win with his program. Could he translate that success to the NFL?