Anytime a team in the NFL has success, offers for coordinators to move to better jobs arise. For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this trend is already starting. It was announced today that after firing Lovie Smith, the Chicago Bears will interview Mike Sullivan.
While the Buccaneers failed to make the playoffs and finished under .500, it wasn’t in part to the offense. Sullivan guided the Bucs to their best season offensively in team history. His scheme and coaching gave the franchise their first 4,000 yard passer ever this year in Josh Freeman.
Freeman tailed off a bit towards the end of the season, but had his best year passing and also set a franchise record for touchdown passes with 27 on the season, and also broke the record for passing touchdowns in team history.
Sullivan’s coaching has been a big part in not only Freeman’s improvements, but was a big factor in developing Eli Manning into a better player. Sullivan was the quarterback’s coach for the previous two years which were the best of Manning’s career.
He has the makings to be a great head coach. He is a born leader that spent time in the Army before finding his way into coaching.
It will only be a matter of time before he does get a shot at being a head coach, but for the Buccaneers they will cross their fingers that it isn’t this year. Under his command for another year this offense could become one of the best in the league.
Freeman could also use Sullivan to stick around. He’s only been in the league for four years and has already had three different offensive coordinators. It might be wise for the Buccaneers to give Sullivan a pay raise to get him to stick around for at least another year.
With receivers coach P.J. Fleck already on his way to take on to Western Michigan take on the head coaching job it leaves once assistant down. This shows that the Buccaneers are back headed in the right direction after a terrible 2011 season.