The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have officially announced the hiring of four new assistant coaches to help head coach Dirk Koetter and defensive coordinator Mike Smith. The four new coaches are defensive line coach Jay Hayes, linebackers coach Mark Duffner, defensive backs coach Jon Hoke and special teams coordinator Nate Kaczor. All four hirings had been reported last week.
There's a pretty clear theme: they're all veteran coaches with decades of experience in the NFL and college football. Hayes spent the past 13 years coaching defensive linemen under Marvin Lewis in Cincinnati and Kaczor has bounced around college and the NFL in various assistant positions for the previous two decades. Jon Hoke has been in football as a coach since 1982, and in the NFL since 2002 spending only 2015 back in college football. And Mark Duffner has been an NFL linebackers coach since 1997.
With the exception of Jay Hayes, all of these coaches have some form of history with either Dirk Koetter or Mike Smith. That's how the NFL works: you hire who you know. At least this time none of the coach's direct family members are on staff.
All of this represents a shift from the last two years, when the Bucs had a number of junior candidates on staff. Now, they're going for a fairly uniform and extremely veteran staff. That has both good and bad sides: everyone knows what they're doing, but they may not be bringing many fresh perspectives to the staff. We'll have to wait and see how this plays out.