TAMPA, Fla. — Now that Raheem Morris is out as coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, let’s start taking a look at some of the possible replacements.
Jeff Fisher: Will likely be the first person the Bucs call because he’s the best coach available that has made it clear he wants to get back into coaching. Even if it’s just for show, the Bucs need to make the call to show fans they care. Fisher’s a long shot, though. He likely will have his pick of jobs and coming to a team that hasn’t been willing to spend in free agency doesn’t work as a selling point for the Bucs.
Bill Cowher: He’s made it sound like he plans to stay in television. Even if that changes, there’s almost no shot of Cowher coming to Tampa Bay. If he coaches, it likely will be in a major market and not with a team that needs major rebuilding.
Tony Dungy: He’s said he doesn’t want to coach again and he’s told that to several teams that have inquired. The Bucs might even be one of those teams. It might be fruitless, but I say the Bucs make a run at Dungy (even if they already have) and beg him to return to the franchise he once made respectable. He could do it again, better and quicker than anyone else. Throw all the money and power you have at Dungy and if getting him means co-chairman Ed Glazer has to wash Dungy’s car three times a week, get out the bucket and the sponges. But this almost certainly won’t happen.
Mike Sherman: When you fire a coach, you usually go hire the opposite. Sherman’s very different than Morris. He’s mature, he believes in discipline and he comes from an offensive background. He also won during much of his stint in Green Bay. Sherman’s name keeps popping up with this job, so don’t rule him out. There’s a good reason for that. Sherman has the same agent as general manager Mark Dominik, who is likely to have a big say in this story.
Mike Mularkey: The Atlanta offensive coordinator is going to interview for the Jacksonville job, but he could fit the profile for the Bucs. He’s done a nice job developing Matt Ryan and he has previous experience as a head coach in Buffalo. Mularkey’s got the resume to make people believe he can straighten out Josh Freeman. Plus, Mularkey started his coaching career with the Bucs under Sam Wyche.
Brian Billick: He once had a reputation as an offensive guru, but he won his Super Bowl in Baltimore with great defense. Billick’s also been out of the game for a bit. But he is a name and this franchise needs to sell tickets.
Rob Chudzinski: The Carolina offensive coordinator is a hot name after Cam Newton’s stunning rookie year. He’ll get some interviews, but may need one year as a coordinator before he gets a job as a head coach.
Todd Bowles: He finished the season as Miami’s interim head coach and will interview for the permanent job. But, if Bowles is available, I’ve been told he could get a look. He doesn’t have the offensive background. But he’s viewed as a rising star who is older and more mature than Morris.
Mike McCoy: Like Chudzinski, McCoy could be a year or two away from a job as a head coach. But he’s done a great job as Denver’s offensive coordinator. He also has the charisma to win over players and fans. Oh, he also shares the same agent as Dominik and Sherman.