The Tampa Bay Buccaneers could reunite with one of their former coaches.
As the Buccaneers search for a new offensive coordinator following the departure of Dave Canales, they’re planning to interview several candidates. One of those top names that Tampa Bay is due to interview is none other than Detroit Lions wide receivers coach Antwaan Randle El, according to Rick Stroud of The Tampa Bay Times.
“The Bucs plan to interview Texans quarterbacks coach Jerrod Johnson, Lions receivers coach Antwaan Randle El and Rams passing game specialist Jake Peetz,” wrote Stroud on Sunday, January 28.
Antwaan Randle El Won Super Bowl as Steelers All-Pro
Randle El previously coached the Buccaneers as a member of Bruce Arians’ staff, working as an offensive assistant with Tampa Bay during the 2019 and 2020 seasons. He won a Super Bowl during the 2020 season and then left to coach the Lions.
Until Randle El’s lead, the Lions’ receiving core is one of the best in the league. Amon-Ra St. Brown posted 119 receptions for 1,515 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns this past season, ranking second in receptions, third in receiving yards and fourth in touchdowns.
Outside of his recent years spent coaching, the 44-year-old is best known for his playing career, which saw him spend nine seasons in the NFL. Randle El is best known for his tenure with the Steelers (2002-2005 and 2010), winning the Super Bowl at the conclusion of the 2005 season when he was named a First Team All-Pro selection as a punt returner. Randle El returned 44 punts for 448 yards (10.2 yards per punt return) and two touchdowns, leading the league in touchdowns and ranking sixth in yards per punt return during the 2005 season.
During his playing career, he also served as a starting wide receiver for a great portion of his career. Randle El started 71 of his 143 games and caught 370 passes for 4,467 passing yards and 15 touchdowns. He also contributed 79 carries for 438 rushing yards along with six career returns for a touchdown.
Outside of Randle El and the aforementioned coaching candidates — Jerrod Johnson and Jake Peetz — Tampa Bay also showed interest in former Los Angeles Chargers offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, former Los Angeles Rams passing game coordinator Zac Robinson and ex-Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey. However, all of those names have since landed with new teams.
The sudden (and late) departure of Canales — who landed a head coaching job with the Carolina Panthers — is affecting the Buccaneers in a negative way as they scramble to find a new offensive coordinator.
Todd Bowles Reacts to Dave Canales Landing Panthers Job
Although Canales is joining a division rival, Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles is happy for his former offensive coordinator.
Shortly following the announcement that Canales would be joining the Panthers, Bowles reacted to the news by congratulating the 42-year-old coach on his first head coaching gig.
Via Ira Kaufman of JoeBucsFan:
“I’m extremely proud of him and I’m happy for him,” Bowles said of Canles. “Dave is a great guy and a great coach. He’s a great presence all the way around and he did a lot of great things for this franchise. I don’t even think he was here for a year and now he’s with a divisional rival. It couldn’t happen to a better person. I know we’re going to have to face ourselves as rivals, but I’m very proud of him.”
Just a year prior, Canales landed his first offensive coordinator job when Bowles and the Buccaneers lured him from the Seattle Seahawks. Canales had served as a passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach in Seattle. In the span of a little over a year, Canales has made the leap from an offensive assistant to a head coach.
With the coaching of Canales, Baker Mayfield established himself as one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL in 2023, ranking as one of the top 10 quarterbacks in touchdowns, yards and completions.
The Panthers will hope that Canales can have that same effect on Bryce Young, who struggled during his rookie season. Young ranked at the bottom of the league among all starting quarterbacks with a 73.7 passer rating.
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