Wow, who would've thought we'd be writing this column 10 days before the season opener? For those that haven't heard, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have fired offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski. Greg Olson, quarterbacks coach, will be promoted to offensive coordinator.
This type of upheaval just before the season starts surely indicates something else was going on. Coach Jags said he was offered the chance to stay on as QB coach, but declined.
So why on Earth would the Bucs make this move?
Let's take a look at some of the rumors/reasons floating around
Jags didn't want Leftwich as the QB - A once unanimous decision, Jags may have fought it or rethought the decision to put the great, immobile object behind center. Jags offense is based on runs, mid-direction and play-action and perhaps he felt Leftwich could not provide the mdoerate mobility needed on some of these plays.
The offense was stagnant in the preseason - This is a HUGE stretch, as the preseason typically doesn't show much and the Bucs were able to move the ball at points. In no way did their offense look worse than previous years, and without our top two wide receivers, and all of our running backs, I don't see how this determination was made.
Freeman and Olsen are close- Josh Freeman has gone out of his way to mention how Olson has mentored him but I hadn't heard him talk about Jags.
Jags wanted to make a play at the KC job - With Chan Gailey getting canned, there was or will be an opening for OC out there (Head Coach Todd Haley currently has taken over the role). Jags may have felt that was a better fit, more weapons, any number of reasons. Remember, Jags and Boston College had a dust up, so it's not far fetched to think Jags might have gone behind the Buc'c back or tried to slip around the team. Chan Gailey - With him being on the outs in Kansas City, and the Bucs sniffing around him previously, a move could be in the works. If thats the case, I don't see the promotion of Olson.
I'm sure there are more theories out there. Raheem Morris is set to talk to the media later in the day and might give us some insight. Fun Fact: The first Bucs offensive coordinator in years didn't even coach a real game. Maybe Chucky had it right all along.
Personally, I think it's a mixture of the decision of Leftwich and how the offense would be handled. Jags may have been strong armed into having Leftwich as his quarterback and didn't feel as if he had control of the team.
The questions that will be asked are why was Jags let go just before the season, and who did it, Morris, Dominik, or the Glazer's?
The bigger question? How on Earth will our offense function with a new head coach and new OC now. What type of offense will we run? How will we adapt? Not exactly how we wanted to go into the season.
Update: This quote was released by Jags
I am certainly disappointed but I wish nothing but the best for Raheem Morris and the entire Buccaneer organization, I was given the chance to remain on staff as the quarterbacks coach, but felt that the timing for such a move was not in the best interest for either side. I appreciate the opportunity that was given to me. Again, I wish nothing but the best for this organization.
Also hearing some rumors that the Chiefs wanted to interview Scott Olson for the OC job, and as you can't block an upward move from a team level (QB coach to OC), the Bucs felt pressured to retain him and bump him up.
In all likelihood, there probably is some truth to each of these ideas
Update #2: Had a buddy email me this quote
When you talk abouy being in chaos, you talk about not having a plan. We have a plan. We have a zone blocking scheme. We wanted a different direction with the passing game. We wanted a more vertical threat. We are positive in that direction.”
That may be the difference. Jags may have wanted a shorter route, timing based offense with McCown and Morris wanted a more vertical game with Leftwich. Makes sense, but why the heck didn't you figure that out in the interview?
Update #3: From blogs.tampabay.com
Even before Jeff Jagodzinski was named the Bucs’ offensive coordinator, multiple sources, including former Boston College players, told the Times he had limited experience calling plays.
In fact, those duties normally fell to Steve Logan, the former East Carolina coach who was hired as the Bucs’ running backs coach.
On Thursday, the Bucs dismissed Jagodzinski, who declined an opportunity to remain with the staff as quarterbacks coach.
Sometime during training camp, it became increasingly apparent to Bucs officials and players, that Jagodzinski was not equipped to install and direct an NFL offense. His expertise centered mostly around the zone blocking scheme, which he helped operate for the Atlanta Falcons.
and from ESPN
This guy was better suited to be a head coach than a coordinator," the team source said. The source also said Jagodzinski was not calling plays in the preseason. That responsibility fell to running backs coach Steve Logan.
As UNFNole pointed out in the comments below, it makes more sense now. Perhaps Jags just wasn't ready to carry an entire offense, install a new scheme and call plays. If so, that is fine, and the right move was made.
But I'm not letting the Bucs off the hook. Shouldn't this have been discussed or looked into BEFORE the hire?