NFC South: Chan Gailey

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

TAMPA, Fla. -- Add Tennessee's Craig Johnson to the list of candidates for offensive coordinator with Tampa Bay.

Johnson may not be the biggest name out there, but he's had some success with the Titans. He joined them in 2002 and has worked with the likes of Kerry Collins, Vince Young, Steve McNair and Billy Volek.

The Bucs passed on Scott Linehan, who ended up with the Lions. They remain interested in Cincinnati quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese and Kansas City offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, if he becomes available.

Bucs hire offensive line coach

January, 25, 2009
1/25/09
3:41
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Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

The Buccaneers don't have an offensive coordinator yet, but they do have a new offensive line coach.

Pewter Report is reporting the Bucs have hired former New England offensive line coach Pete Mangurian to supervise their offensive line. That's a unit that probably is the strongest area of Tampa Bay's offense with solid young players such as Davin Joseph, Aaron Sears and Jeremy Trueblood still on the rise.

New coach Raheem Morris is expected to make a decision on a coordinator in the next few days. The Bucs will interview Cincinnati quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese and are believed to have an interest in Kansas City's Chan Gailey.

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

All indications are it's a very quiet day on the NFC South coaching front.

Look for the Panthers to move very methodically (in other words, slowly) to fill pretty much their entire defensive staff. They've got a list of possible coordinators, which could include Jim Haslett, Herman Edwards and others, and they want to work through it.

Tampa Bay might act a little more quickly in filling its offensive coordinator job. They've already done some interviews and indications are Chan Gailey could be a strong candidate. Wouldn't be surprised if the Bucs make their move early next week when the national media is in town. The Bucs are pretty sharp when it comes to publicity and they could make a nice splash during Super Bowl.

All remains quiet in Atlanta and New Orleans, where the staffs are in place and working to evaluate their own players and potential free agents.

NFC South coaching roundup

January, 23, 2009
1/23/09
5:37
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Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

Some very interesting things going on in the world of assistant coaches and head coaches that could have a pretty big impact on the NFC South.

First, the Kansas City Chiefs have fired head coach Herm Edwards. Look for his name to pop up in connection with Carolina's vacancy at defensive coordinator. Edwards is a good coach, plus he's got one other thing no other candidate has -- he played in the same secondary with Carolina coach John Fox at San Diego State many years ago.

A high-profile hire like Edwards might make the recent exodus of most of Carolina's defensive staff look a lot better.

Elsewhere, Scott Linehan is going to be Detroit's offensive coordinator. Depending on what side you believe, the Bucs weren't sold on Linehan or he wasn't sold on them. That leaves Tampa Bay searching for an offensive coordinator.

The Bucs are talking to New England tight ends coach Pete Mangurian and Chan Gailey and Rob Chudzinski also are believed to be on the short list. It's clear new coach Raheem Morris wants an experienced coach to run his offense.

In that vein, let's throw out one other name. There has been no indication the Bucs have approached Dan Reeves, but maybe they should. Reeves has expressed an interest in returning to coaching and is talking to the 49ers about their offensive coordinator spot. Hiring someone like Reeves to run the Tampa Bay offense would be a little like what Fox did when he first came to Carolina with a defensive background in 2002. He went out and hired Dan Henning, who had been a head coach and had tons of offensive experience. That formula worked out very nicely, at least for a few years.

One other update, Mike Trgovac, who left Carolina to "explore other possibilities'', apparently has found one. Trgovac's set to join the Packers as defensive line coach. That's not exactly a step up.

Add Zampese to Bucs' list

January, 22, 2009
1/22/09
6:41
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

Add another name to the list of candidates for Tampa Bay's offensive coordinator job. PewterReport.com is reporting that Ken Zampese will interview for the spot.

Zampese has been working as Cincinnati's quarterbacks coach and that's why he's not exactly a hot commodity right now. But Zampese was viewed as a rising star when the Bengals were playing well a few years ago.

The Bucs also are interested in Scott Linehan and Chan Gailey.

Young Bucs coach adding experience

January, 22, 2009
1/22/09
4:09
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

Posted a story over on our news section earlier saying that Jim Bates will be the new defensive coordinator in Tampa Bay.

  Bates

Nice hire by new head coach Raheem Morris. Keep in mind, Morris is only 32 years old. Bates is 62 and has been in the coaching business for 37 years. He's been a coordinator in Miami and Green Bay and was interim head coach for the Dolphins. Most recently, he was assistant head coach in Denver.

In essence, Morris is hiring a guy similar to Monte Kiffin, who left to join his son, Lane, at the University of Tennessee. Morris also is following the lead of his mentor, Pittsburgh's Mike Tomlin, who has relied heavily on veteran defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau.

This is a crucial move because it gives Morris tons of experience and leadership on one side of the ball. Morris is still working on getting an offensive coordinator. Look for him to hire someone who is similarly experienced, such as Scott Linehan or Chan Gailey.

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

So much for Jeremy Bates as Tampa Bay's new offensive coordinator. The former Denver quarterbacks coach is headed to the University of Southern California.

Bates' name had been tossed around because he and new Tampa Bay coach Raheem Morris started out together as quality control assistants for the Bucs in 2002 and have remained close friends.

This is another pretty strong sign that Morris, who has a defensive background, is seeking a veteran offensive coordinator to take care of that side of the ball. Scott Linehan and Chan Gailey are two names that are being thrown about. Look for the Bucs to act quickly and make a hire while they're at the Senior Bowl this week.

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

For a very long time, I've firmly believed Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin is the best assistant coach in the NFL.

Not today, though.

Kiffin's defense has been nothing short of horrible in the first half against Kansas City. Kiffin's defenses always have been known for being smart and well prepared. But the Chiefs are exploiting a defense that's not supposed to have weaknesses.

Give credit to Kansas City offensive coordinator Chan Gailey. He's successfully used the Wildcat formation at times, been able to run the ball consistently and has quarterback Tyler Thigpen looking like Len Dawson.

But there's one other factor at work here -- Kansas City coach Herm Edwards. He's got a defensive background, but there's little doubt he's having a huge impact on the offense today. Nobody knows Tampa Bay's defense better than Edwards, who used to be the defensive backs coach under Kiffin.

Edwards knows Tampa Bay's schemes and personnel and he's told Gailey where every weak spot is. That's worked so far and there's reason to believe it might continue. Edwards knows that Tampa Bay's aging defense can be worn down.

In the first half, Tampa Bay's defense spent way too much time on the field. Unless Kiffin can come up with some miracles at halftime, Tampa Bay's defense could be facing a very long second half.

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