Now that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have hired Greg Schiano, the focus can switch to the coaching staff he will bring to the Bucs. As important as the head coach is to a football team, the coordinators and other assistants might be even more important. They're the ones who have to handle the players on a day-to-day basis and have to manage all the details.
For the Bucs the most important position of all is probably the offensive coordinator position. Greg Schiano is a defensive-minded head coach, which means that his offensive coordinator will likely determine the type of offense the Bucs run. That offensive coordinator will have to take care of that side of the ball, but he will also have to manage and develop Josh Freeman. NFL teams stand or fall with the success of their quarterback, and the Bucs must find a way to get Freeman back on track.
Based on Greg Schiano's history and the offensive coordinators currently available, I've identified six strong candidates for the offensive coordinator job: Hue Jackson, Brad Childress, Mike Sherman, Todd Haley, Frank Cignetti Jr., John McNulty. Hit the jump to get a quick profile on each of these coaches.
- John McNulty
Why he would be a good candidate: You probably haven't heard of McNulty, but you should get to know his name. He is currently the Arizona Cardinals' wide receivers coach, but he was an offensive assistant at Rutgers under Greg Schiano for five seasons, and the offensive coordinator for that team for two seasons. Once McNulty and his pro-style offense left, the Rutgers offense declined. Meanwhile, McNulty has done a pretty good job as a receivers coach with the Cardinals the past three seasons - although it's easy to look good when you have Larry Fitzgerald. McNulty may be ready to step up and take a job as a coordinator, but the Cardinals can block any interviews if they want to.
Why he would not be a good candidate: He's inexperienced, he hasn't done much - especially at the NFL level - and he hasn't had overwhelming success. He might be ready to take the next step, but there are other coaches out there who have had much more success.
- Frank Cignetti, Jr.
Why he would be a good candidate: Another candidate you probably don't know, he has been the offensive coordinator for Rutgers since McNulty left. Which is basically why I think he's a candidate for the Bucs' job. That's all there is to it. Head coaches always try to take some of their staff with them, after all.
Why he would not be a good candidate: He was the Rutgers offensive coordinator. He has some experience as an NFL quarterbacks coach, but he wasn't massively successful there, and Rutgers hasn't exactly had a massively successful offense in recent years.
- Hue Jackson
Why he's a good candidate: Hue Jackson was recently fired as the Oakland Raiders' head coach, but he made his name as an offensive coach in the NFL and in college. As the offensive coordinator of USC from 1997 to 2000 he was very successful, and when he jumped to the NFL he was consistently successful as well. He has coached for multiple teams as a quarterbacks coach, wide receivers coach, running backs coach and offensive coordinator. He coached Chad Ochocinco and T.J. Houshmandzadeh in their prime, helped develop Joe Flacco in his first two seasons and finally gave the Oakland Raiders a capable offense again.
Why he's not a good candidate: He's an ambitious job-hopper, always looking to make the move up. He hasn't stayed at one position for more than three years, ever. Constant turnover is an offense's worst enemy, and while Hue Jackson might be a good short-term solution, he wouldn't be in Tampa for very long, always looking to make that move up.
- Brad Childress
Why he's a good candidate: Childress flopped as a head coach but he got that job because he was incredibly successful as an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in Philadelphia. He runs a typical west coast offense, but he's very good at it. He helped develop McNabb into a pretty good NFL quarterback, and when he finally had a halfway decent in Minnesota he created a very good offense there too. For a year. Plus, he has experience as an NFL head coach, so he should be able to assist Schiano.
Why he's not a good candidate: I can't think of any reason why he wouldn't be a good candidate, really. He flopped as a head coach, but he's always succeeded as an offensive coach.
- Mike Sherman
Why he's a good candidate: Again, a successful former head coach running a west coast offense. He's had a lot of success in the past, he likes to run the ball, and his head coaching experience means he could help Schiano in some ways adjust to his new job.
Why he's not a good candidate: He hasn't been as successful as Brad Childress, and most of his success did come with Brett Favre. He's also a little conservative in the way he calls games. That's all I have. He'd be a good coordinator.
- Todd Haley
Why he's a good candidate: He's been very successful in Arizona, and has been moderately successful creating a good offense with mediocre personnel in Kansas City. He's also a very good receivers coach, and he should be able to get Mike Williams and Arrelious Benn to play up to their considerable potential. And, as with the previous coaches, he has head coaching experience.
Why he's not a good candidate: How much of his success in Arizona was him, and how much of it was Kurt Warner, Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald? There are also a lot of stories about how he's hard to get along with, and how he made Kansas City a difficult place to work. Who knows how much there is to those stories, but it could be a concern.