TAMPA, Fla. — The 2023 NFL Season is still in the midst of playoff games, but the offseason has already begun for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers since their defeat against Dallas on Jan. 16.
Fans should expect plenty of announcements from February through August surrounding Tampa Bay's decision with players entering free agency, the uncertain future of Tom Brady and who to bring in for the new offensive coaching staff.
The latter is what the Bucs are addressing first, but more specifically, who should the team hire as its new offensive coordinator after Byron Leftwich was relieved of his duties on Jan. 19. He was with the franchise for the last four seasons.
First, we're going to break down the candidates that the Bucs have officially confirmed they've interviewed.
On Wednesday, Denver Broncos passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach Klint Kubiak was interviewed for Tampa Bay's new offensive coordinator.
He took over play-calling duties for Denver in late November and averaged 24.2 points per game from Week 14 and onward, which ranked 11th in the league during that span. If hired, it will be Kubiak's second time operating as an NFL offensive coordinator, a position that he once held with Minnesota in the 2021 season.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver coach Keenan McCardell was invited over to the Advent Health Training Center on Thursday for an offensive coordinator interview.
He's held his position for the Vikings the last two seasons and prior to that, he was with Jacksonville in the same role from 2017-20.
McCardell played with Tampa Bay from 2002-03 and won a Super Bowl with the team, catching two touchdown passes during their 48-21 victory over the Oakland Raiders.
Jim Bob Cooter
On the same day as McCardell, the Bucs also interviewed Jacksonville Jaguars passing game coordinator Jim Bob Cooter.
Cooter played a big role in helping the Jaguars win the AFC South title and with their victory against the Los Angeles Chargers in the wild-card round this season. Jacksonville recorded an average of 232.9 passing yards per game, ranking as the 10th-best passing attack in the league. He was hired to his current position by the team's head coach Doug Pederson to work alongside quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
It will be Cooter's second stint as offensive coordinator in the NFL should he be hired. Cooter also held the same position with Detroit for three and a half seasons.
On Friday, Tampa Bay interviewed Cincinnati Bengals quarterbacks coach Dan Pitcher.
He has spent the last seven seasons with Cincinnati and served the last three in his current role. Pitcher is known to have helped quarterback Joe Burrow develop rapidly into a star player and MVP candidate in the league.
According to multiple reports, the Bucs are set to talk to two other candidates in the coming days for the open offensive coordinator position.
ESPN's Jenna Laine reports that the University of Georgia offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Todd Monken will interview for the job soon. He served the same position with Tampa Bay from 2016-18. Monken helped UGA win the 2022 FBS National Championship earlier this month.
Another person the Bucs are looking to talk to is New York Giants quarterbacks coach Shea Tierney, according to NBC Sports. Tierney recently wrapped up his first season with New York.
After mutually agreeing to part ways with the Dallas Cowboys, Kellen Moore is expected to have significant interest from Tampa Bay as an offensive coordinator, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport says.