Source: Bucs to talk with Jerry Gray
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have contacted former Green Bay Packers and Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman and current Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Jerry Gray regarding their vacant head coaching job, according to multiple sources.
According a source, Gray will interview with the team Thursday in Houston, while a source said earlier Tuesday that the team was in the process of scheduling an interview with Sherman.
The Bucs fired Raheem Morris on Monday after three seasons. Morris went 17-31, including a 10-6 mark in 2010, when the Bucs narrowly missed the playoffs. His entire staff of assistants was dismissed, too.
Sherman was 57-39 in six seasons with the Packers and won three NFL North titles. He was 25-25 in four seasons at Texas A&M and took two teams to bowl games.
Gray, who played for the Buccaneers in 1993, has become a rapidly rising coaching prospect over the past three seasons. He spent nine seasons as an assistant with Buffalo and Washington before interviewing for the Redskins' opening in 2009.
As the Seahawks' secondary coach in 2010, Gray helped develop two of the best young safeties in football -- Pro Bowl free safety Earl Thomas and strong safety Kam Chancellor. Gray was originally slated to be the defensive coordinator at the University of Texas last season, but instead joined Mike Munchak's staff in Tennessee.
It's possible the Bucs would lean toward a former NFL head coach with offensive experience to help quarterback Josh Freeman, who is considered one of the top young quarterbacks in the league.
Freeman was inconsistent in 2011, however, as he threw for 16 touchdowns vs. 22 interceptions after tossing 25 TD passes and being intercepted just six times in 2010. The Bucs turned the ball over a league-leading 40 times compared to 19 last season.
Senior writer John Clayton covers the NFL for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.