In their quest in finding new assistant coaches, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been repeatedly blocked by other teams. Until now, three names had surfaced consistently as being prevented from interviewing with the Buccaneers: San Francisco's secondary coach Ed Donatell, Geen Bay's tight ends coach (now quarterbacks coach) Ben McAdoo and Arizona's receivers coach (now quarterbacks coach) John McNulty. But according to the National Football Post's Dan Pompei, the Bucs have been blocked from interviewing as many as 15 coaches.
Pompei adds three new names to the list: Houston Texans linebackers coach Reggie Herring, Green Bay Packers safeties coach Darren Perry and San Francisco 49ers defensive line coach Jim Tomsula. Presumably those three would have interviewed for the position of defensive coordinator, but the Bucs eventually had to settle for their eighth or so choice: Bill Sheridan.
In fact, all these blocks may explain why the Bucs have been forced to raid college staffs for their coaching hires, as they saw themselves blocked from interviewing NFL coaches. It's telling that the one time they were allowed to interview an NFL assistant, as they were with new offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan, they immediately hired him.
Under NFL rules teams can block any interview for a position other than that of head coach. This came about for various reasons, most notably because when coaches were allowed to interview for promotions, teams started to manipulate coaching titles to give the appearance of promotions when there really were none.
As Dan Pompei explains, this is starting to become a problem for the NFL. Coaches are routinely blocked from improving their careers. From a team's perspective this is entirely understandable: they don't want to lose their coaches if they can help it. For a coach this has to be incredibly frustrating, however. It makes the league look bad when it prevents coaches from interviewing for better jobs.
I wouldn't be surprised if this offseason, the NFL will change the rules once again and will find a way to allow position coaches to interview with teams once again. That will come too late for the Buccaneers, though.