Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have hired John Garrett as their wide receivers coach, according to reports by Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times and Pewter Report. Garrett will replace P.J. Fleck, who left to become the head coach of Western Michigan. Fleck oversaw Vincent Jackson's addition to the offense, who promptly had the best season of his career, while Mike Williams rebounded from a poor 2011 effort.
Garrett was most recently the passing game coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys, while being their tight ends coach for four previous seasons. Garrett is Dallas head coach Jason Garrett's brother. It's not clear whether John Garrett was let go, encouraged to seek other employment or some other euphemism for "you're fired", but the Cowboys fired several assistant coaches this offseason. A not so flattering quote on his time with the Cowboys, courtesy of the Dallas Star-Telegram:
According to multiple sources, John Garrett was not well liked by other staffers at the team's Valley Ranch headquarters. There has also been a lack of tight end development behind Pro Bowler Jason Witten during his tenure.
Of course, such rumors are fairly common when coaches are fired.
Garrett coached Jason Witten and notably Martellus Bennett during his time in Dallas. Bennett never lived up to his potential under Garrett, but Witten turned into the league's best tight end with the coach's guidance, producing all of his 1,000-yard seasons with Garrett as coach. Garrett's connection with Martellus Bennett may help the Bucs persuade the tight end to come to Tampa, if they choose to pursue the impending free agent.
Garrett himself spent one season as a wide receiver in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals, producing a whopping two catches for 29 yards in 1991. He became a front office assistant with the Buccaneers from 1992 to 1994 before starting work as a coach with the Bengals. He has held jobs as a receivers coach, tight ends coach, quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator throughout his career, and at the very least has plenty of experience as a coach.
The Bucs now have one opening on their coaching staff, but it's an important one: defensive backs coach. The Buccaneers had an awful secondary last year, and while part of that may be due to