Few assistant coaches have ever been thrust into a more difficult situation than rookie Buccaneers quarterbacks coach Marcus Arroyo was during the 2014 season.
When then Bucs offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford took an unexpected medical leave of absence just before the start of the season that year, it was Arroyo who had never been in the NFL before, that was given the job of calling plays on game days.
The move proved disastrous.
With Arroyo calling the shots and then coach Lovie Smith leaning on Josh McCown at quarterback the Bucs offense finished the year ranked 29th in the NFL in points scored and 30th in yards gained finishing a dismal 2-14.
Not surprisingly, Arroyo was let go at the end of the season. He eventually caught on as a running backs coach at Oklahoma State but now it looks like he may get a chance to call plays again.
As first reported by Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman Thursday, Arroyo will replace David Reaves as the co-offensive coordinator at the University of Oregon, where coach Willie Taggart will also make Arroyo his quarterbacks coach.
The odd thing about the hire is that it marks at least the third time in the last four years that Arroyo has been hired by someone who either has had or eventually would have Tampa ties.
In 2013, Arroyo was hired by current Bucs receivers coach and offensive coordinator Todd Monken as the offensive coordinator and outside receivers coach at Southern Mississippi University.
He jumped to the Bucs a year later, as Tedford’s hire to be QB coach and after coaching running backs at OSU for two years he’s now joining Taggart, the former USF coach who’s had a rough go of it Oregon.
As we wrote in January, Taggart wasn’t even a month into the job when the school suspended his strength coach, Irele Oderinde, after three players were hospitalized following one of Oderinde’s workouts.
Reaves, who had also been an assistant with Taggart with the Bulls, was arrested on a DUI charge a week later and resigned last week. And, the Ducks receivers coach Jimmie Dougherty, who was in the car with Reaves at the time of Reaves arrest, left last week for UCLA.
Given all the losses, there’s already talk that Arroyo may take on some added responsibilities, perhaps as a receivers coach, but that seems hard to believe.
Arroyo will have plenty on his plate as it is and when you consider the tough spot he was put in here in Tampa, but, he was a stand up guy with the media in a bad situation. And, you can’t help but root for him as he continues to try to rebuild his career.