That may sound like hyperbole for a team that made the playoffs, but looking at its record and how much of a disaster the playoff game was, “letdown” is not that big of a stretch.
Still, the Bucs need a new signal caller on the offensive side of the ball, and here are five options that could work out pretty well.
Frank Reich (former Indianapolis Colts head coach)
This is a big swing, as Reich is coming off a stint as head coach of the Colts and will likely draw a lot of attention from teams in both the offensive coordinator role and potentially the head coaching role. He also would probably want assurances of Brady’s return or other roster moves so that he’s not coming to a total dud of an offense that puts a stain on his resume. But assuming he agrees to come on board, the Bucs would be getting a nice offensive mind who has shown an ability to put together some creative gameplans from his time in Philadelphia with its 2017 Super Bowl team.
Kliff Kingsbury (former Arizona Cardinals head coach)
Another big swing at a former head coach, Kingsbury led the Cardinals to an excellent offensive year last season and dealt with a crap ton of injuries in his latest campaign. While my feelings about him as a head coach are, shall we say, a bit mixed, his capabilities as an offensive coordinator are perfectly evident. However, some are saying that after his tumultuous tenure in Arizona, Kingsbury might be looking to take some time off of coaching, and even if he was looking for a coaching gig, an offensive coordinator position at a team that could be rebuilding might not be what he’s looking for anyways.
Joe Brady (Buffalo Bills quarterbacks coach)
Yeah, his quick rise to the offensive coordinator role with the Panthers came to a crashing end this past year after some really unsuccessful work in Carolina, but maybe he could use a fresh start. The Bucs would likely go this route if The GOAT is retiring or going elsewhere, as Brady would probably be more willing to take on the challenge of coaching a less talented roster than some of the other candidates listed.
Nathaniel Hackett (former Denver Broncos head coach)
Before you go vomiting and claiming I’m a dumbass in the comment section, realize that Hackett was a very successful offensive coordinator in Green Bay with Aaron Rodgers. Given, Denver had an offense that was even worse than the Bucs this past year (imagine that), so I completely understand anyone’s trepidations about bringing on someone who was so recently the leader of a colossal failure, but hey, the Bucs aren’t exactly doing too hot themselves. Assuming Brady leaves, this job isn’t going to be super coveted and desired by the top choices. Beggars can’t be choosers.
Stump Mitchell (Cleveland Browns running game coordinator)
Hey, the Bucs had the worst running game in the NFL, so who better to bring in than the guy partially responsible for the development of one of the best running backs in the NFL (Nick Chubb)? Known as the “running back whisperer,” Mitchell would be a great guy to bring in to revamp this offense, especially since the team might be going through a large amount of changes anyways. Plus, a run-first OC is right in Bucs head coach Todd Bowles’ wheelhouse.