Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE
If Mike Sullivan leaves for a head coaching job, the Buccaneers offense won't change. But is that really realistic?
With Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator interviewing for a head coaching job with the Chicago Bears, and that interview going surprisingly well, plenty of fans are worried that Sullivan could leave. If he does leave, that could have potentially disastrous results for Josh Freeman and the offense. The Bucs just had arguably their best season on offense in the history of the franchise, and another year in the same system should only improve that. But if Sullivan leaves, the offense could change.
Mark Dominik more or less dispelled that notion during an interview on 620 WDAE, via the Tampa Bay Times:
"I think a lot of things we did on offense becomes the Buccaneers offense last year,'' Dominik said Monday during an interview with Steve Duemig on 620-WDAE. "So it wasn't just Mike Sullivan and the New York Giants in case he ends up becoming Mike Sullivan and the Chicago Bears. But it'll be the Buccaneer offense that we started to run last year and you saw that when we opened it up and started taking shots. It was different than what the Giants traditionally do.''
That sounds fine and dandy, but who would then become offensive coordinator and continue to teach this scheme? If Dominik is correct in implying that the offense will stay regardless, they would undoubtedly promote from within. But who would fit the bill, there?
Would it be Jimmy Raye II, currently a senior offensive assistant, fired by the 49ers and lackluster as an offensive coordinator throughout his career? Will it be Bob Bostad, an offensive line coach who did a good job -- but whose NFL experience consists of the past season? The most likely candidate may be running backs coach Earnest Byner who has done an outstanding job throughout his career -- but he has never done more than coach running backs, either.
It's one thing to say that you've found the "Buccaneer offense", but another entirely to keep it going. And the Bucs will have to find a way to do so, because Sullivan will leave sooner or later. If it isn't this year, it will be another year, but he's clearly a name on the rise, and someone will give him a shot as a head coach. When that happens the Bucs need to prepared, they need to know who their offensive coordinator is going to be -- or they need to move on and find a new offensive coordinator to install his offense.