Sources: Bucs interview Mike Zimmer
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers continue to methodically move through their search for a head coach. Cincinnati defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer is interviewing with the Bucs on Monday and Carolina offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski will interview Tuesday, according to two league sources.
Zimmer also reportedly is a candidate for the head coaching job in Miami.
Once Zimmer and Chudzinski have finished meeting with Tampa Bay officials, the Bucs will have interviewed at least six candidates. Former NFL head coaches Mike Sherman, Marty Schottenheimer and Brad Childress reportedly already have met with the Bucs. Tennessee defensive coordinator Jerry Gray also has interviewed with Tampa Bay and a source told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen that the Buccaneers have asked for permission to speak to Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin.
Philbin recently interviewed with the Dolphins for their coaching vacancy, before the shocking death of his son last week.
Along with Philbin, Tampa Bay received permission to interview Packes quarterbacks coach Tom Clements, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. The interview is expected to take place later this week.
Sources said the Bucs could narrow their list of candidates and bring some back for second interviews later this week.
After firing Raheem Morris the day after the regular season ended, Bucs co-chairman Joel Glazer said the team would go through an exhaustive search. Most of the candidates have been older and that's apparently because the Bucs wanted to go in the opposite direction of Morris, who was the league's youngest head coach.
Although Gray and Zimmer have not been NFL head coaches, they have lots of experience as coordinators. Chudzinski is a bit of an exception to the pattern the Bucs have followed. He's 43 and joined Carolina as offensive coordinator in 2011. He also had a two-year stint as a coordinator in Cleveland, but has spent the rest of his career has a tight ends coach.
But Chudzinski attracted a lot of attention in Carolina. Without an offseason program, he installed an entirely new offense and got quick results out of rookie quarterback Cam Newton.
That could be a selling point with the Bucs, who are looking to get quarterback Josh Freeman back on track after a disappointing 2011 season.
Pat Yasinskas covers the NFC South for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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