Josh Freeman

Posts Tagged ‘bob ligashesky’

Coaching Moves

January 31, 2013 at 12:10am by Scott   •  5 Comments »

The bad news is you're fired. The good news is you don't have to live in Jacksonville anymore.
The Bucs made a couple coaching moves yesterday, firing special teams coordinator Bob Ligashesky and hiring Tony Oden as their secondary coach.

The firing of Ligashesky is a surprise, if only because of the timing. I guess it wasn’t a big enough challenge to just fire him at the first of the month so Greg Schiano would have had the last few weeks to interview (including Senior Bowl practices where a lot of that stuff goes down). The Bucs have been miserable in the return game, ranking #30 in kick returns and tied for #19 in punt returns. Field goal accuracy was decent at 85%, which puts them exactly in the middle of the league, and net punt average was in the lower-half of the league (and I also checked punts downed inside the 20 which was ranked about the same). But I think those things have more to do with the individual player than the coach. It’s blocking schemes and return execution that make or break a special teams coach, and the Bucs weren’t good so Ligashesky is gone. And now that teams with new head coaches have assembled much of their staffs, it’s time for the Bucs to scrape the bottom for whoever is left.

Oden is going to be an improvement over the “allowed to seek other employment” Ron Cooper, but that’s saying absolutely nothing. I’m pretty sure a photograph of Mike Tomlin would have been a better coach than Cooper. So the bar is pretty low. Oden spent five years with the Saints, four as a defensive backs assistant and one as the defensive back coach. This year he went to the Jaguars in the same capacity, but was released along with everyone else from the general manager on down. I won’t hold the Jags’ performance against him, but in the one year Oden was the Saints’ secondary coach, they went from having the fourth-best passing defense in the league to the fourth-worst. There could be a lot of reasons for that: poor pass rush, playing to protect a lead, injuries, etc. But the Saints’ secondary in general never exactly has the reputation for being that great. What I’m hoping for with this hire is a coach in the mold of Raheem Morris, who was an excellent secondary coach and motivator and a coach on the rise. Except, you know, better.

Bucs Are Almost Fully Stocked With Coaches

February 24, 2012 at 10:51am by Scott   •  5 Comments »

Between Cooper and Cox, the defensive back seven are going have some real attitude next season.
The Bucs have hired some more assistant coaches, so it sounds like they should have an entire staff together before players start reporting, which is always nice. The latest hires are a defensive backs coach and a special teams coordinator.

The chances of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers taking LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne fifth overall in this year’s draft may have increased with the Bucs hiring of former LSU defensive backs coach Ron Cooper.

Cooper has left LSU to take the defensive backs job with the Buccaneers, LSU officials announced.

Roy Cummings kind of stole my thunder with that lead paragraph, but yes, it does make the drafting of Claiborne significantly more likely. And he was already the one the Bucs would most likely draft, so now the chances of the team taking him are at a little over 100%.

Here’s what you need to know about Cooper: He has produced the best cornerback in college football twice in the last two years. LSU consistently has a great secondary. This is an excellent pickup for the Bucs.

The Bucs also hired Bob Ligashesky as the special teams coordinator. Ligashesky was with the Steelers from 2007 until he was fired after the 2009 season when their kick and punt coverage units were among the worst in the league. From there he went to Denver to be the Broncos’ tight ends coach for a year and then went to Oakland as a special teams assistant. So of course he should coordinate the Bucs’ special teams. Why not? With a resume like that, I don’t know why he isn’t a head coach or even the king of a small island country.

Needless to say, I’m not real excited about this hire, but it’s almost fucking March so they had to hire someone. I’d like to see the lengths of contracts that these assistant coaches are signing. Hopefully the Bucs aren’t giving any of them more than a two-year deal since almost all of them are Greg Schiano‘s fourth and fifth choices. If the buyouts are low enough, we may see a pretty big rotation come the end of 2012.