Mark Konezny-US PRESSWIRE
The Bucs have hired Dave Wannstedt as their special teams coach. But, ehm, why?
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have hired Dave Wannstedt as their special teams coordinator, according to Adam Schefter (Update: confirmed by Rick Stroud). This hiring contradicts yesterday's report that the Bucs had hired Paul Ferraro as special teams coordinator. It may be that Ferraro was, instead, hired as an assistant -- or perhaps he wasn't hired at all. Now we'll get to wait and see whether the report of the Wannstache hiring is actually true.
The hiring of Wannstedt at least continues Schiano's long-standing policy of hiring old people who have failed as head coaches.
Surprisingly, Wannstedt never actually worked with Schiano (Oops -- Schiano coached under Wannstedt from 1996 to 1998 in Chicago) -- but the two did coach against each other for 6 seasons. Wannstedt was the head coach at the University of Pittsburgh from 2005 through 2010, while Schiano was coaching Rutgers. Both those teams played in the Big East at the time. Wannstedt's resume is fairly imposing: he has been a head coach in the NFL twice, with the Chicago Bears from 1993 to 1998 and with the Miami Dolphins from 2000 to 2004. He's been a defensive line coach at Oklahoma State and USC, was the defensive coordinator at the University of Miami for those imposing mid -1980s defenses under Jimmy Johnson. He then moved on to become the Cowboys' defensive coordinator, winning two Super Bowls with Johnson. Most recently, he served as the Buffalo Bills' defensive coordinator.
One important note: he's never coached special teams before. So that makes this a weird hiring. But by adding the 'stache to the fold, Schiano has added another quality coaching mind and a very experienced one at that. Although he hasn't exactly been successful as a head coach, he's been very successful as a defensive coordinator. Collecting experienced veteran coaches like that appears to be a neat hobby for Schiano, who has added people like Jimmy Raye and Butch Davis to his coaching staff in poorly-defined roles (at least, publicly poorly-defined).
In other news, I am never trusting reports again. Am I being paranoid if I think the Bucs are leaking false information throughout their organisation to weed out the leaks? Because that sure is what it looks like. We've had numerous false reports the past month from organizations that are almost always accurate. Football Scoop reported yesterday that the Bucs had hired Paul Ferraro as special teams coach. But, apparently, that's not correct. Pewter Report reported earlier this offseason that Randy Melvin had been fired as defensive line coach. Except, not true. The reports flowing in free agency will be hilarious.