The Todd McNair Hiring

February 19th, 2019

Too loyal?

Yes, Bucco Bruce Arians primarily rounded up his trusted friends when he made his Buccaneers coaching staff.

The new head coach wasn’t scouring the country for the best possible candidates.

It’s obvious Arians sought coaches he knew and trusted, guys he knew could hit the ground flying in his system to repair a Bucs team he believes has loads of talent and is in quick-fix mode.

Joe adores the Arians hire but some of his assistant hires are worthy of major scrutiny. Offensive line coach Joe Gilbert? He doesn’t have a lot of fans in Indianapolis, where he led a unit that nearly ended the football life of Andrew Luck. Gilbert was even demoted with the Colts from O-line coach to assistant O-line coach, something you rarely see.

Today, Joe is focused on new Bucs running backs coach Todd McNair.

McNair, 53, has been mired in a long and ongoing legal battle against the NCAA surrounding accusations against him during the Reggie Bush recruiting scandal at the University of Southern California. He’s been out of the major coaching ranks (outside of high school and private training) since the 2010 season.

Eventually McNair’s defamation suit against the NCAA failed but he recently was granted a new trial. The Los Angeles Times reported the first trial took its toll on McNair, who used to earn in the $250,000-per-year range at USC.

During the trial, McNair testified about having to ask friends and family for loans after losing his job at USC, cashing in his retirement account, his wife taking a job as a parking lot attendant and using food stamps to help make ends meet.

“It took me a minute to shake off the results, so I’m just getting back in the swing of things right now,” McNair told The Times in August [2018] about the first trial. “That situation threw me out of whack for a while.”

McNair played for Arians at Temple University in the 1980’s and with the Kansas City Chiefs when Arians was their running backs coach.

In recent years, he was a high school football assistant coach and now he’ll be coaching in the NFL for the first time since 2003 with the Browns. In Cleveland, McNair was running backs coach under offensive coordinator Arians for three seasons; and the Browns had three seasons of a subpar rushing attack.

Joe’s not blaming McNair for the Browns’ running game. But it’s at least very fair to ask now whether Arians did everything he could to find the very best running backs coach for the 2019 Buccaneers, a team with major questions at the position.

24 Responses to “The Todd McNair Hiring”

  1. James Says:

    These names worry me:
    Clyde Christiansen
    Joe Gilbert
    Todd McNair

    Here’s to hoping that coaches, coach better in different systems.

  2. BringBucsBack Says:

    Fair questions Joe. Didn’t know the OL coach was demoted at Indy; that’s uncommon, indeed. It makes one wonder if the coaching is an upgrade in some areas. Well, it’s not like we need a ton of help at O-line or RB!? Hopefully, loyalty doesn’t effect (or cost) a coach’s job, again.

  3. Not there yet Says:

    No way they are worst than the assistants we just fired so I’m not going to go and create worry before a single ota practice. They will be fine until they prove there is cause for concern. With a new staff though you have to then look at the players and wonder if they just suck more than the coaches

  4. BucsFIRE Says:

    Not there yet says
    “I’m not going to go and create worry before a single ota practice.
    They will be fine until they prove there is cause for concern”


    Well said, man, and agreed.

  5. 813bucboi Says:

    thought harold goodwin was our oline coach….


  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The bottom line is that you simply have to trust Arians at this point……he is extremely loyal to the coaches he knows and vice versa……I can only hope that chemistry with the coaches bleeds over to the players…..
    Also important is the players that we bring in……I suspect they will be well known to Arians & his coaches.

  7. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Our last coach lost his job because he fired his friend too late.

  8. AlteredEgo Says:

    Reset again….in 90% of the cases it is the player a coach has to work with…NOT the coach the player has to work with…

  9. Lord Cornelius Says:


    Same here. I know pewterreport was excited about the change in OL coaches. Warhop didn’t really develop anyone

  10. Robert Says:

    “I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.”

    he’s bringing in guys with their heads on straight with the right attitudes. no worries here. this aint rocket science.

    If they’re gonna change the culture it starts with the attitude.

  11. First Down Tampa Bay Says:

    Well, they can’t be any worse than what we had. Even if they aren’t any better than our previous assistants, our players could use a new coaching style and new voice. Our OLine obviously wasn’t improving under Warhop, and Jameis obviously wasn’t under Bajakan.

    New Voices = New Results.

  12. StoutGospel Says:

    Yeah….now see THIS… is journalism, boys and girls. This is a fair, pointed take on the important near-term future of the Bucs as we loyal fans want to investigate. Good research, background, and level-headed summation.

    Well done @Joe. This article was an PFT-level exercise, and gives all of us much we did not know (which is frankly the point of the site–should be), here bringing a lot of insight into BA’s minions’ hires.

    Keep it up! Go Bucs!

  13. Destinjohnny Says:

    None of this matters unless Jason starts drafting better

  14. 813bucboi Says:


    HG’s bio says he’s the asst. HC, oline coach and run game coord.

    joe gilbert is just listed as an oline coach….

    imo, he’s more of an asst to goodwin vs being the actual oline coach….

    but i do find it interesting that BA has 2 oline coaches….i know he said players wont be standing around in practice….maybe when the team splits up, goodwin will work with the starters and gilbert will help with the depth….


  15. AlteredEgo Says:

    Wait until the QB mania begins after the combine,LOL, started out as it usually does…not a good QB class….then my late April teams are convinced (insert names) are just who they need…..maybe after BA sees JW first hand beginning 1 April in OTA’s he’ll want one of the top QB’s as insurance this year and next having a QB with a year under his NFL belt if Jameis hits the raod in 2020…anywho…the Bucs could be it great trade down and maybe again…. position come draft day.

  16. DBS Says:

    Well now remember this. They change players and coaches constantly. They remain the same Bucs. I expect nothing.

  17. T REX Says:

    What? No way another Buccaneer retirement plan for Bruce and his friends. Where have I heard that one before?


  18. Defense Rules Says:

    Excellent research Joe, and I agree that hires like that could be cause for concern. Especially Todd McNair as our RB coach, that one’s kinda bizarre. He played 8 years in the NFL (1989-1996) and got a TOTAL of 147 carries for 803 yards. Looks like he was used more as a receiving back (254 receptions for 2,435 yards total) during those years. Didn’t exactly set the world on fire IOW. The bigger concern though should be that he hasn’t coached in the NFL or college since 2010. That’s kind of a red flag IMO.

  19. Owlykat Says:

    Warhop was such a bust even an average OL Coach will be a major positive change. The proof is in the pudding. If the new OL Coach develops Cappa into our future starting RT but is unable to make Benenoch into even a capable backup that is just fine for me. Cut Benenoch and try to develop a new Offensive Lineman. If BA brings in Iupati as our LG, he has the experience to also help the other linemen develop. What needs to be stopped is Warhop’s practice of trying to make all players backups to three positions, instead of developing each player for one primary position. Once they are developed and they want to let them get a little experience during preseason to be able to play one other position if someone is injured fine. But Warhop couln’t Train anyone and moving Marpet all over the place instead of letting him stay at LG and develop into a Pro Bowler stunted his growth and hurt Cappa’s development too.development too.

  20. Pittsshore Says:

    Well duh….Tampa is well known in the league as a money grab for players and coaches alike. Free money for 3 years, I would take it too!!!!!

  21. Doctor Stroud Says:

    Clyde Christiansen, Joe Gilbert, Todd McNair. Could this be three cases of #PaidFloridaVacation?

  22. Gerald McRuud Says:

    McNair also agreed to become Cardinals RB coach in January 2013, but backed out of the job 12 days later with no real reason given, in the light research I did.

    Hopefully he’s committed….this time.

  23. Yusef Says:

    Personally I’m keeping a open mind, Everyone is freaking out..whether were talking about Clyde C, Joe Gilbert or Todd McNair. Joe Gilbert hasn’t had alot of NFL experience, but he has done a very good job down here in @ArizonaState, yes he coached in Indy, hard to judge. in AZ his offensive line only allowed 20 Sacks this past year 4th fewest in the their conference. so pump the breaks and give this dude a chance, its completely STUPID to overreact , our assistants deserve a chance to succeed, and if they fail or don’t produce, then you can talk. Till then people need to stop and just relax

  24. unbelievable Says:

    This is what has concerned me most so far with BA…

    I’m all for familiarity, but you should also be looking for the strongest candidate at any position. Some of these guys just don’t seem like it.

    We’ve seen enough past regimes rehire all their friends (and family).