Bucs To Name Co-Defensive Coordinators

With Todd Bowles succeeding Bruce Arians because the Bucs’ head coach, Tampa Bay will promote from inside at defensive coordinator. Inside linebackers coach Larry Foote and defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers are anticipated to be named co-defensive coordinators, in accordance with NFL Community’s Ian Rapoport.

Rodgers’ Second Stint As DC

Rodgers served as Bowles’ defensive coordinator in New York when he was the Jets from 2015-18. After Bowles was fired after 4 years in New York, he rejoined Bruce Arians’ workers in 2019 – this time in Tampa Bay. Bowles employed Rodgers to be the Bucs’ defensive position coach and he has served in that capability for the previous three seasons. In 2020, Rodgers helped the Bucs win Tremendous Bowl LV and was named the league’s Defensive Line Coach of the Yr.

Rodgers has labored with Bowles for 14 seasons. That working relationship started in Dallas on the Cowboys workers from 2005-07. Rodgers was the defensive position coach and Bowles was the secondary coach. The 2 have been on the identical workers once more in Miami from 2008. Bowles was the assistant head coach and secondary coach, whereas Rodgers continued to educate the D-line.

Bucs co-DC Kacy Rodgers – Picture by: USA At this time

Foote switched from exterior linebackers coach to inside linebackers coach this offseason, changing Mike Caldwell. He left to develop into the Jaguars defensive coordinator below Doug Pederson. That is the primary alternative for each Caldwell and Foote to develop into a defensive coordinator.

“I feel his subsequent step is being a coordinator,” Arians mentioned about Foote. “Having labored with the within ‘backers in Arizona and the skin ‘backers right here, he has simply continued to develop. I believed each of his guys ought to have been within the Professional Bowl – Shaq [Barrett] and JPP (Jason Pierre-Paul). Larry is a heck of a soccer [coach] – nice communicator, a really, very brilliant younger man. He can be a coordinator and hopefully sometime a head coach.”

Foote’s Alternative Has Arrived

The 40-year outdated Foote was a linebacker at Michigan with Bucs quarterback Tom Brady earlier than being chosen as a fourth spherical decide of the 2002 draft by Pittsburgh. Foote had an 11-year profession with the Steelers the place he obtained to know Arians, who was Pittsburgh’s receivers coach (2004-06) after which the group’s offensive coordinator beginning in 2007. The fiery Foote and Arians used to get into it in apply again in Pittsburgh.

“Oh yeah, he has an edge about him,” Arians mentioned. “No one used to speak extra [expletive] than me. And it was normally him on protection in Pittsburgh giving it [right back to me].”

Foote made such an impression on Arians that he recruited him to Arizona to play linebacker in 2014, which was his remaining yr as an NFL participant. When Foote determined to retire in 2015, Arians instantly provided him an assistant teaching place, and the previous linebacker coached the identical place group for the Cardinals via the 2018 season.

“He was an especially sensible participant,” Arians mentioned. “Larry might actually diagnose issues properly. He performed balls to the wall – he was all out on a regular basis. He was a little bit bit undersized, however you by no means knew it the way in which he hit. Larry had nice, nice confidence about himself. He’s the primary man I ever employed from being a participant straight to a full-time coach. Often I make them sit out a yr or intern or be an assistant to a coach. He ended up teaching the blokes he performed with the earlier yr. It was a simple transition for him.”

Foote Made His Mark Early In Tampa Bay

Foote beloved the concept of reuniting with Arians in Tampa Bay in 2019 and joined the workers because the group’s exterior linebackers coach, the place he helped Shaquil Barrett lead the league with 19.5 sacks, which set a franchise file.

Bucs co-DC Larry Foote - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Bucs co-DC Larry Foote – Picture by: Cliff Welch/PR

“It’s superior – me and B.A. hit it off approach again within the Pittsburgh days when he was only a huge receivers coach,” Foote mentioned. “He was all the time a fiery man and we all the time clicked off the sphere. When he grew to become a head coach, my final yr I got here on the market and performed for him in Arizona. That’s the place I obtained to satisfy Todd Bowles and we received a number of video games. B.A. all the time knew I used to be an ‘above the neck’ sort of man after I was taking part in. As a participant, I believed I used to be one of the best athlete on the market, however Coach instructed me I stayed on this league lengthy as a result of I might assume on the market on the sphere.

“When Bowles left, Mike Caldwell went with him and B.A. mentioned, ‘No, you’re teaching my linebackers. I’m not letting you retire and go dwelling.’ I simply slid proper in there. A few of my former teammates I performed with – Hines Ward, even Joey Porter – that’s not the norm. Former gamers simply sliding in and getting your individual room – that’s not the norm. It simply occurred to occur that approach for me, and I thank God for it. My subsequent step, I might like to be a coordinator on this league and to deliver all my expertise to the sport. I’ve been round a number of nice coaches, so I’m simply going to emulate what they taught me.”

Foote additionally coached Jason Pierre-Paul to a Professional Bowl in 2020, serving to the Bucs win Tremendous Bowl LV that season.

Arians Noticed Foote’s Potential

Arians thought a lot of Foote that when he employed Jen Welter to be the primary feminine assistant coach in NFL historical past, he paired her with him within the linebackers room.

“He was additionally the man that after I employed the primary feminine, I put her with him – with the within linebackers – as a result of I knew he might deal with it,” Arians mentioned. “He did an ideal, nice job with Jen Welter. Foote was teaching inside ‘backers, and naturally he performed inside ‘backer, and we moved him to exterior ‘backers right here. He’s a coordinator-in-waiting.”

Foote’s wait is over.


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