Bucs have to get back to searching

January, 23, 2012
1/23/12
9:37
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Oregon coach Chip Kelly reportedly backed out just as it appeared he was about to become the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Kelly reportedly had been in the final stages of negotiating a deal with Tampa Bay. But general manager Mark Dominik said Monday morning that Kelly informed the Bucs he’ll be staying at Oregon.

So where does that leave Tampa Bay’s coaching search?

Well, Kelly may have been the first choice, but the cupboard is far from empty. Of the candidates known to have interviewed, only Joe Philbin, now the head coach of the Miami Dolphins, is officially out of the picture.

Former NFL head coaches Mike Sherman, Marty Schottenheimer and Brad Childress already have interviewed. So have NFL assistants Tom Clements, Mike Zimmer, Jerry Gray and Rob Chudzinski.

The Bucs could turn to one of them. The Bucs also could seek to talk to other NFL assistants. Or they may have another surprise candidate like Kelly. It hadn’t been reported that Kelly was even on Tampa Bay’s radar until Sunday night, when he appeared close to a deal. It turned out the Bucs quietly had interviewed Kelly last week.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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