Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tim Ruskell

Bucs seem intent on first-time GM

January, 10, 2014
Jan 10
TAMPA, Fla. -- The common theme emerging from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' search for a general manager is that they’re looking for someone who hasn’t held that title before.

The reported candidates include Lake Dawson, Lionel Vital, Marc Ross, Tom Gamble and Morocco Brown. All five are widely respected in league personnel circles and are viewed as up-and-comers. Those are not bad qualities to have in a general manager.

But the direction in which this search apparently is headed leaves me wondering why the Bucs aren’t even looking at some people who have been general managers before. There are experienced guys out there like Jerry Angelo, Mike Tannenbaum and Tim Ruskell.

None of their names have surfaced in connection with the Tampa Bay opening. That is a little surprising since the Bucs made it a point to get a coach with head-coaching experience in the NFL in Lovie Smith.

That the Bucs hired Smith might be the very reason they are attempting to land a first-time general manager. One of the conditions for Smith accepting the job was that he would get final say on personnel matters. That little detail could make experienced general managers lose interest in the Tampa Bay position.

Maybe that is why the Bucs are looking for a first-time general manager.

A possible reunion in Tampa Bay?

December, 30, 2013
TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers could reach back into their past to hire a new coach and general manager.

Chris Mortensen reported that the Bucs could pursue Lovie Smith as head coach and Rich McKay as general manager. Both make sense because both have a history with the Bucs.

Smith was an assistant in Tampa Bay in the 1990s and went on to become head coach of the Chicago Bears. Smith reportedly already has interviewed for the vacancy in Houston and could be a candidate for several other jobs.

McKay was Tampa Bay's general manager from 1993 until 2003. He also is the son of the first coach in Tampa Bay history, John McKay. But luring McKay might be challenging. He currently is employed as the team president of the Atlanta Falcons.

McKay's latest task has been to lead the effort to get the Falcons a new stadium. But some league sources who know McKay well said he might be tempted to get out of the business side and back into football.

McKay's top two assistants -- Jerry Angelo and Tim Ruskell -- from his Tampa Bay days also could be candidates. Angelo was general manager of the Bears when Smith was the coach.

If the Bucs look beyond their past, they could consider Baltimore assistant general manager Eric DeCosta as general manager and Penn State coach Bill O'Brien and Denver offensive coordinator Adam Gase for head coach.