We are early on in the process of NFL teams with openings at head coach trying to fill them. And the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are one of those franchises, who are in the midst of their interview process.
As we wrote earlier on Wednesday, the Bucs are apparently interviewing Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy for their vacancy created when they fired coach Dirk Koetter after three seasons on Monday.
However, a juicy rumor has emerged out of Chicago that Tampa Bay may also be looking shortly at Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly.
The “Mully and Haugh Show” on Chicago Sports Radio “670 The Score” reported and discussed Wednesday morning that Kelly is apparently on the Bucs short list of interviews being referred by the search firm that GM Jason Licht and the Glazer family are utilizing.
— Mully And Haugh (@mullyhaugh) January 2, 2019
The hosts went on to discuss the possibilty, including with several guests on their morning program, but provided no specifics on when the Buccaneers planned to meet with Kelly.
Kelly just concluded his ninth season at Notre Dame going 12 – 0 in the regular season. However, they were blown out in the Cotton Bowl by Clemson in the college football playoff semifinals 30 – 3.
Well Kelly has clearly brought the Fighting Irish back into national prominence from their previous struggles under coaches like Charlie Weis, Tyrone Willingham, and Bob Davie, Notre Dame has still not won a national championship in 30 years.
Further, Tampa Bay already had a disastrous experiment with Rutgers college coach Greg Schiano in 2012-13. And, Kelly is out of the same authoritarian and volatile mold as Schiano. And most importantly, while Kelly has had vast success at three other college head coaching stops, he has no NFL coaching experience of any kind.
And, as we wrote previously, the Glazers may be insisting that any serious candidate for their opening have had previous NFL success. And coaches like, Bruce Arians, Jack Del Rio, and Mike McCarthy all fit that bill and are available (for now), too.
Back to Kelly, he has had previous discussions over the years with NFL teams like the Vikings and the Eagles, etc., when they had openings, but has remained in South Bend, IN. And, he has clearly built Notre Dame into a contender, they pick their own schedule and he is heavily compensated.
So, he might only have slight interest in the NFL, anyway.
UPDATE Wednesday afternoon:
Tampa Bay Times Bucs beat writer Rick Stroud reported that according to his sources within the organization, Kelly won’t be interviewed for the job:
When confronted with this report, those close to the process of finding a new Bucs head coach indicated that Brian Kelly is not a candidate. #Bucs #Buccaneers #Irish @Buccaneers @TB_Times @NFLSTROUD @DavidHaugh @670TheScore @NDFootball https://t.co/gjQVtfUvUo
— TampaBayTimesSports (@TBTimes_Sports) January 2, 2019
So, depending on who you want to believe, Kelly either is or isn’t in the Buccaneers immediately plans for a conversation about their coaching vacancy.
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