Does anyone want to Bucs’ OC job?

by Gary Shelton on January 31, 2024

in general

Wednesday, 4 a.m.

Those who follow the Tampa Bay Bucs don’t ask for a lot when they’re wishing for a new offensive coordinator.

All they want is someone who doesn’t run up the middle on first down as if they’ve discovered a secret way to finding the end zone.

They want him to throw deep a lot.

They want him to go for a few fourth-and-ones, but only the ones where the play call will be successful.

Oh, yeah. And they’d like someone to take the job, pretty please.



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There has been a revolving door at One Bucs lately, with potential new gurus coming in daily with their favored  shortcuts to success. The team with the lousy running game and wobbly offensive line wants someone who can light up the scoreboard, not that the previous guy did that all the time (the Bucs were 20th in points scored).

Still, that was enough to earn Dave Canales a silly six-year head coaching contract with the Carolina Panthers which, for Canales, is insurance against a temper tantrum by a silly owner. It hasn’t helped that Canales has taken, to date, three Bucs’ assistants with him.

And so the names rush past. Brian Johnson. Alex Van Pelt. Antwan’s Randle  El. Tanner Engstrand. Jake Peetz. Already going elsewhere are Zac Robinson and Kellen Moore. Jerrod Johnson isn’t moving from Houston

They are a hot item, offensive coordinators, almost as hot as head coaches. That’s because every fan base wants to hire someone with the secret sauce.

The truth about offensive coordinators is that there are very few new plays to call. Most offensive coordinators rely on a good quarterback, a strong line and elusive receivers. They try to take advantage of mismatches and boldness. There are only so many routes on the route tree, and hey, eventually, you have to be able to run ups the middle a little bit.

Still, some coordinators, like some head coaches, have a better knack for play-calling than others. And that’s what a fan should want. Granted, it’s hard to get Grade A results with a Grade C roster. But you try.

And maybe that’s why the Bucs still don’t have one.

Look, an offensive coordinator’s job is to evaluate. That’s true of his huddle, and that’s true of his own job.

For instance, it’s hard to blame Zac Robinson for going to Atlanta instead of Tampa Bay. Raheem Morris is the new kid in town. His cycle is just starting. Todd Bowles? He’s under-appreciated, but you wonder just how beloved he is from above. Kellen Moore went to Philly, which has a better roster and Jalen Hurts. Jerrod Johnson is staying in Houston with C.J. Stroud. And so it goes. A man can come to Tampa Bay and do a good job, only to see the staff blown up in a year.

Still, remember this: Canales wasn’t embraced by everyone at the start, either. 

The Bucs will find someone. 

For now, let’s hope it’s the right someone.

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