The Tampa Bay Buccaneers requested and received the Green Bay Packers' permission to interview Green Bay offensive coordinator Joe Philbin earlier this week. Whether the interview has taken place or will take place is unclear at this point. He's considered a finalist for the Miami Dolphins' coaching job, so the Bucs have some competition for his services if they are genuinely interested in him.
Raiding the coaching staff of successful teams is a tried and not-so-true way of finding new head coaches, and no team has been more successful in recent years than the Green Bay Packers. Teams have been doing that for years, but the success has been mixed. None of the New England Patriots' assistant coaches have gone on to successful as head coaches, for instance, despite ample opportunity. Similarly, when the Bucs were raided in the late '90s and early '00s their coaches had some success - but the result hasn't been a championship for any of the assistants to leave Tampa Bay.
Will the Bucs feel they have struck gold with Joe Philbin despite those results or will he be just another name added to the list and then discarded?
Graduate Assistant, Tulane, 1984-1985
Offensive line coach, WPI, 1986-1987
Offensive line coach, USMMA, 1988-1989
Offensive line coach/coordinator, Allegheny Colege, 1990-1993
Offensive line coach, Ohio, 1994
Offensive line coach/coordinator, Northeastern, 1995-1996
Offensive line coach/coordinator, Harvard, 1997-1998
Offensive line coach, Iowa, 1999-2002
Assistant offensive line coach, Green Bay Packers, 2003
Tight ends coach/assistant offensive line coach, Green Bay Packers, 2004-2005
Offensive line coach, Green Bay Packers, 2007-Present
Why Joe Philbin should be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' head coach
- Is the offensive coordinator of perhaps the best offense in the NFL
This is Joe Philbin's main claim to fame: he's the offensive coordinator of one of the best offenses in the NFL. That offense revolves around Aaron Rodgers and every offense would probably look good with Rodgers at the helm, but the Packers do a lot of innovative things with personnel packages, pre-snap movement and formations to make it easier on the Green Bay quarterback. Philbin could bring that aggressive, downfield passing attack to Tampa Bay.
- Has a lot of experience at different levels
Joe Philbin has coached at a lot of different places in his career and has been exposed to many different coaching styles, though more so in college than in the NFL. This doesn't necessarily mean he himself is ready to be a head coach, but it does mean that he's seen what works and what doesn't work in a lot of different context and will be able to apply those lessons to his own coaching.
- Could bring the Green Bay Packers' culture to the Buccaneers
Good teams and franchises have a quality culture in the building. They're focused on winning football game, and they know how to create an environment best suited to doing so. The Green Bay Packers have the right culture in their building, they know what it takes to win - and Joe Philbin could bring that culture to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
- How involved is he really in the Packers' offense?
It's no secret that the Packers' offense is really head coach Mike McCarthy's offense. He's the one who designs the offense in general, and he's the one who calls the plays on the field. So the question becomes: how much of the Packers' success on offense can be attributed to Joe Philbin's work? As a former offensive line coach, how involved is he in the passing game, the Packers' main strength? Philbin's main accomplishment in the NFL must be looked at critically, as it's unclear how much of it is really his doing.
- Can he bring in a quality coaching staff?
Joe Philbin has a lot of experience at the college level, but his NFL experience is limited exclusively to the Green Bay Packers. So the question becomes: does he have the necessary connections to put together a quality coaching staff? Can he attract good assistant coaches and coordinators, something that is nearly as important as how good he is at the job of being a head coach?
- Can he be a head coach?
This isn't an easy question to answer, but it's entirely unclear whether Philbin has what it takes to be a head coach. He has been an assistant coach his entire career and has never before been at the helm of a football team. Being an offensive coordinator is one thing, but being a head coach requires a very different skillset.