After news about Jerry Gray being interviewed via Rick Stroud, we now have news about another head coaching candidate. Former Green Bay Packers head coach Mike Sherman will be interviewed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers according to ESPN's John Clayton. Jason La Canfora claimed on NFL Network that he's heard Sherman's name tied to the Bucs, and he would fit La Canfora's description of the future head coach as someone with playoff experience at the NFL level.
Today's Coaching Candidate:
Mike Sherman has a lot of experience as a head coach, having coached the Green Bay Packers for six years and being the head coach of Texas A&M for the past four years. With the Packers he had a career 57-39 record, winning three division titles and going 2-4 in the playoffs. He arguably under-performed with a good team and a Hall of Fame quarterback, but he was a very steady head coach for the Packers. He was fired after going 4-12 in his final season - the first losing season in Green Bay since 1991. Bucs fans may know him best for blowing a gasket at Warren Sapp after the defensive tackle's vicious but legal blindside block broke Chad Clifton's hip in 2002.
Sherman did not have as much success with Texas A&M, going 25-25 over his career, losing his two bowl game appearances before being fired late last season after blowing numerous second half leads.
Graduate Assistant, Pittsburgh, 1981-1982
Offensive Line Coach, Tulane, 1983-1984
Offensive Line Coach, Holy Cross, 1985-1987
Offensive Coordinator, Holy Cross, 1988
Offensive Line Coach, Texas A&M, 1989-1993
Offensive Line Coach, UCLA, 1994
Offensive Line Coach, Texas A&M, 1995-1996
Tight Ends Coach, Green Bay Packers, 1997-1998
Offensive Coordinator, Seattle Seahawks, 1999
Head Coach, Green Bay Packers, 2000-2005
Assistant Head Coach, Houston Texans, 2006
Offensive Coordinator, Houston Texans, 2007
Head Coach, Texas A&M, 2008-2011
Why Mike Sherman should be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' head coach:
- Is an experienced, steady head coach with a reputation as a disciplinarian
Essentially, Mike Sherman is everything Raheem Morris wasn't. He won't get too emotionally involved, he'll be a steady influence on the sidelines, and he'll be a disciplinarian. Those are all things this young Buccaneers team needs, and Sherman would try to install a culture of accountability and discipline.
While Sherman is experienced, he doesn't have the kind of clout and former success to demand control of personnel - which is a positive in my mind. Sherman isn't exciting, but he will likely do a solid job coaching a young team in need of direction.
- Is an offensive head coach
I'm a fan of offensive head coaches. I think they're generally more aggressive than defensive head coaches, and the Bucs desperately need a quality offensive coach to help Josh Freeman get back on track. Of course, Mike Sherman has a reputation as a conservative head coach, so part of that equation may not work.
As a former offensive line coach, Sherman is also a coach who favors a relatively run-heavy offense. That's the kind of offense the Bucs have tried to assemble recently, so he may be a good fit for the personnel already in place.
- Experience and connections would allow him to assemble a quality coaching staff
The downside to hiring a young coach is inexperience, and questions about their ability to find quality coordinators for their coaching staff. Mike Sherman has been around the NFL and in the coaching community for a very long time and should have little trouble finding the right coordinators to run his offense and defense.
- Was boring and not all that successful in his previous stints as head coach
Mike Sherman has not had overwhelming success in the NFL and wasn't a particularly exciting head coach. He was steady but boring, and while he has a good record, he also had Brett Favre at quarterback during that time. As with all head coaches with good quarterbacks, the question becomes to what extent Sherman was responsible for the Packers' record during his tenure. His tenure at Texas A&M can probably be seen as a failure with a .500 record and no Bowl wins.
One question that has to be asked is: can he excite the fanbase? That seems doubtful, although this may not be all that important in the long run. The Glazers have made it clear that they're not looking for a splash hire, but for a coach who will win games - regardless of whether fans will be excited about his name initially.
- Is a conservative coach with a conservative offensive philosophy
Mike Sherman has a background as an offensive line coach, and as with most offensive line coaches he is fairly conservative on offense. He wants to establish the run and hasn't really run a pass-first offense. But in today's NFL, pass-first offenses seem to be thriving. At the same time the Bucs went away from the run game too often and too early this season, contributing to their collapse.
This was reflected to an extent in his Green Bay offenses, which were never spectacular. They were better passing than running, which should be no surprise with Brett Favre at quarterback.
- Didn't have much success building a team in Green Bay
It's not clear how much impact he had in the Packers' drafts during his tenure. He was named the Packers' General Manager in 2001, but lost that job to Ted Thompson in 2005. The drafts during his tenure weren't overly successful and certainly didn't get the Packers an exciting offense. The best picks during that era came at offensive tackle: Mark Tauscher, Chad Clifton and Scott Wells are the most prominent draft picks made during his era. Aaron Kampman, Na'il Diggs, Nick Barnett, Nick Collins and Aaron Rodgers round out that group. While that's a pretty decent collection of talent, it's not exactly a group that screams 'explosive offense'.
With the exception of Aaron Rodgers, they're all steady and solid pros, but not superstars. At the same time, Ahman Green and Donald Driver thrived during his tenure as head coach - so he does know how to put together an offense.