Bucs Wave Goodbye To Ron CooperJanuary 11th, 2013
First there was Greg Schiano revealing his rage surrounding the historically dreadful Bucs secondary before the season-ending Falcons game. Then Schiano went wild on cornerback Anthony Gaitor during that Falcons game with what appeared to be overhead film shots, pointing things out to Gaitor on the sidelines (the position coach’s job) and apparently screaming, “Do Your Job!” to all the defensive backs.
For Joe, those were all very damning signs for the future of defensive backs coach Ron Cooper, who the Bucs officially waved goodbye to this morning. Justin “The Commish” Pawlowski of 98.7 FM broke the news that Cooper will be assistant head coach and defensive backs coach at the University of South Florida.
Cooper’s first shot in the NFL was with the Bucs, and it was a disaster. The Bucs secondary was dreadful, nearly missing the NFL mark for most yards allowed in one season. Schiano, a former defensive backs coach with the Bears, was not going to tolerate that level of disgrace.
For Joe, another red flag on Cooper was Joe never once hearing Ronde Barber mention Cooper. In the past, Barber had routinely and openly praised his position coaches, from Jimmy Lake to Mike Tomlin to Herm Edwards, but never Cooper.
Sure, Cooper didn’t have a load to work with, but he didn’t seem to get anyone to improve, including the Adderrall twins, Aqib Talib and Eric Wright. Undrafted Leonard Johnson might be the only feather in his cap. Cooper’s fellow defensive position coaches all had major successes in 2012.
Joe hates to use “unnamed sources,” and rarely does, but Joe has an excellent source telling him that Cooper was forced to run Schiano’s secondary drills and was unhappy about not being able to use his own drills and coach in his own way. But of course, there’s more to being an NFL position coach than just teaching.
Replacing Cooper represents a critical hire for the Bucs. This time around the Bucs have ample time to score an experienced, proven NFL secondary coach. Joe hopes Schiano and rockstar general manager Mark Dominik have a blank check to hire the best coach available.