The Wait is over.... and you didn't have to wait long.
How about three hours after the Bucs season finale, long before we rung in the New Year.
Many of you Bucs fans have had a New Years' Resolution of replacing Dirk Koetter.
Now you get your wish--- where there are plenty of intriguing candidates on your next wish list.
The problem with this franchise--they've had WAY too many wish lists. Think about it, since Sean Payton took over the Saints in 2006, the Bucs have had not one, not two but FIVE coaching searches since letting go of Jon Gruden.
The good franchises don't operate this way. While the coaches and front offices are to blame--so should the owners, as it's clear they've whiffed on several coaching searches.
But you can't fire the owners so......it's time to finally get this right.
No more whiffing!
I'm surprised the Glazers didn't unload General Manager Jason Licht as well. I would imagine former GM Mark Dominik is scratching his head as after being fired after five years with an 28-52 record---how about this Licht with more money put into this team in his tenure than Dominik the past five years is "one" game "worse" after five seasons.
So how will this search for Licht be different than his last?
"This time around – just like last time, when I say ‘cast a wide net’ – we considered many, many options. This year we’re going to look outside,"Licht said a day after Koetter was fired.
" We’re going to include Korn Ferry, Jed Hughes – [it] is something that I talked about with ownership last night that I felt would help with this, just assist as a tool with the background. They have a lot of background on all these candidates that they’ve been compiling for many, many years. They’ve helped a lot of successful franchises, assist them with their hirings and I felt like this, in terms of logistics and just [having] been through these interviews and knowing a lot of these candidates, I thought it would be a great assist. But they won’t be choosing the head coach.”
The Korn Ferry, Jed Hughes firm helped the Chiefs with Andy Reid and the Seahawks with Pete Carroll but also aided the Falcons with Dan Quinn and the Jags with Doug Marrone.
Coaching searches are crapshoots---time for the Bucs to finally make a hit.
They are due---overdue.
So here goes without the benefit of interviewing these guys one one one my top list to fill Koetter's shoes.
*BRUCE ALMIGHTY: "If he's healthy and still hungry" give me Bruce Arians.
Arians would be the perfect "quarterback whisperer" to Jameis Winston who is gonna get his fifth year option and seemingly his final chance to save his career.
Arians has mentored the likes of Peyton Manning,Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck and Carson Palmer---if he can't save Winston, maybe no one can?
He's a great combo of being like Koetter a great playcaller but also a player's coach and seemingly a fantastic personality relating to the media and the fans.
I thought Arians would have been a much better fit than Jason Witten to replace Gruden on Monday Night Football---now maybe he could become the first Bucs Head Coach to truly replace Gruden on the sidelines.
An added bonus, the Bucs would have a new Buccaneer Bruce, replacing this one....
*I LIKE MIKE: Mike McCarthy is more than an intriguing candidate. He was hired in Green Bay the same year Sean Payton was hired in New Orleans, in fact at the time the Packers picked him over Payton and remarkably despite being fired this season leaves Titletown with more wins than the highly successful Payton, a better playoff record and the same amount of Super Bowl titles (one).
McCarthy deserves a second chance and wouldn't have a problem if the Bucs gave him one.
*YOUR WILDCARD: Recently I watched one of the latest edition's of the NFL Network's fantastic "Football Life" series. This one featured Bill Cowher who didn't rule out a return to the sidelines? Interesting. Cowher would help turn things around that Bucs Defense quickly. A successful Tampa Bay tenure would be the missing piece for his Hall of Fame Resume.
*THE HARBAUGHS---Given the choice I would take John over Jim--funny because I wouldn't have said that maybe a year ago. I wonder if John is ready to bolt Baltimore even though they make the playoffs while brother Jim's star seems to be fading in Ann Arbor but he has a proven track record of turning the Niners around in the NFL.
*HOT COORDINATORS: You have the likes of New England's Josh McDaniels who was a disaster in Denver and then flaked out on the Colts? Sorry not interested.
Maybe the once upon a time Eagles QB coach John DeFilippo who mentored Carson Wentz and Nick Foles only to get fired in Minnesota this year? Nope.
There are also names like 34 year old Jim Bob Cooter in Detroit and Saints energetic and master motivating Tight End's coach Dan Campbell in New Orleans.
These coordinator calls are always hit or miss. Rarely do you find a Sean McVay in the rough. Campbell is intriguing because he's been an interim head coach in Miami and has now spent more time learning under Payton---I like him based on what I've seen above the others.
*RETREADS: I don't consider McCarthy a retread as much as the likes of Jack Del Rio, Jim Caldwell and Jim Schwartz---all have led teams to the playoffs but don't have McCarthy's resume. The Bucs need a leader with a proven record----these coaches are credible but this franchise should aim higher off the bat.
*COLLEGE HOT SHOTS: Lincoln Riley's name is out there and for good reason as he has mentored back to back Heisman Trophy winners but at this point for the Bucs they need someone with experience at the NFL level. I don't buy into names like Riley, Bob Stoops or the ultimate wildcard Urban Meyer.
We'll keep you posted, in the meantime, Happy New Year everyone--you Bucs fans certainly deserve it.