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Friday, February 8
Levy campaigns for one-year sub plan

By Len Pasquarelli

He is the ageless sideline boss, a guy who at 76 still retains the coaching itch, and Hall of Fame member Marv Levy wouldn't mind scratching it in Tampa for the 2002 season.

ESPN.com has learned that Levy spent much of Friday attempting to reach several Buccaneers officials to offer his services as head coach. His rationale: He would serve as coach only for the 2002 campaign, then step aside following the season, permitting the Bucs to hire current Oakland coach Jon Gruden, who will become a free agent after next season.

League sources confirmed Levy's plan, which came in the wake of the decision by Bucs owners to break off negotiations with Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis. It is not known if Levy reached any high-ranking Tampa Bay officials.

There were rumblings in recent weeks that Levy wanted to be a candidate for some of the head coach vacancies in the league. He still talks regularly with San Diego general manager John Butler, with whom he worked in Buffalo, and Levy even suggested at one point the Chargers might consider him after firing Mike Riley.

A Tampa Bay source, told of Levy's plan, said it was "unlikely" to be among the options the team now considers as it goes into a fourth week without a head coach.

Levy was inducted into the Hall of Fame last summer. He is the 10th-winningest coach in NFL history and compiled a record of 154-120 in 17 seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs (1978-82) and the Buffalo Bills (1986-1997).

He is most famous, of course, for leading the Bills to a record four consecutive Super Bowl performances. The Bills lost all four championship matchups, but Levy is still regarded as one of the top coaches of the past 20 years.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.

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