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Monday, January 23, 2012
Kelly has background to help Freeman

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

In their search for a new head coach, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have sent strong signals they want to fix their offense.

As they attempt to put the finishing touches on a deal that would put Oregon coach Chip Kelly in that role, the Bucs might be coming out ahead of where they would be if they hired Mike Sherman, Tom Clements, Rob Chudzinski or Brad Childress. While all of those might come from strong offensive backgrounds, Kelly could have the best offensive background.

Kelly runs the spread offense at Oregon with lots of success. As offensive coordinator in 2007 and ’08 and head coach since 2009, Kelly has run one of the nation’s most prolific offenses.

The Bucs have made it obvious that they plan to build their offense around quarterback Josh Freeman, who had a disappointing 2011 season. Freeman showed great promise in 2010 when he threw for 25 touchdowns and just six interceptions.

Kelly also had great success as offensive coordinator at the University of New Hampshire. His offensive background could make him a better offensive fit than any of the other offensive candidates the Bucs looked at. There is no doubt the Bucs also need to improve on defense. But Kelly's background means he could put the offense ahead of any other candidate and that's of particular importance to the Bucs.