Liam Coen Enters The Battle For Bucs Offensive Coordinator

January 31st, 2024

Kentucky OC Liam Coen.

Joe is really digging that the Bucs seem intent on hiring a Sean McVay tree limb.

By way of Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk, Joe has learned that Kentucky offensive coordinator Liam Coen will interview for the Bucs offensive coordinator void left by new Carolina head coach Dave Canales.

If Coen’s name is unfamiliar, between bouncing from Los Angeles working for McVay to Kentucky where he actually developed Will Levis into a NFL starting quarterback, Coen has worked with McVay for four seasons since 2018.

Back in 2022, Coen was the Rams’ offensive coordinator. Who was one of his starting quarterbacks? Some guy named Baker Mayfield.

Working with McVay, Coen has served as a wide receivers coach, a quarterbacks coach and an offensive coordinator. In 2021 and 2023, Coen was the offensive coordinator at Kentucky.

So not only does Coen come from the McVay tree, he has experience as a playcaller. And he helped rehabilitate Mayfield’s career.

Hire this man.

(Hat tip: @MattSinn.)

34 Responses to “Liam Coen Enters The Battle For Bucs Offensive Coordinator”

  1. Captain Dan Lawrence Says:

    He,.. or AVP!

  2. Usfbucs Says:

    It definitely appears the Bucs are going to hire somebody who has already worked with BM. The sooner they get it done the better.

  3. Doolnutts Says:

    I like the sound of this guy. He left rams and they brought him back he said he left because he wanted to be a play calling OC and McVay calls the rams plays so he left. This could be a sneaky good hire.

  4. Murph Says:

    Great how Coach Bowles is doing his due diligence to find the best candidate. To panic and just pick a coach to get the search over is not the way to go. Coach Bowles is showing he is open to different styles and not locked into a single template. Also it is evident that many attractive candidates are interested in the position. Many trends in this search that go counter to the pessimistic perspectives of way too many posters on this site. Confident we end up with a terrific choice.

  5. Tye Says:

    ‘Enters The Battle For Bucs Offensive Coordinator’

    BATTLE seems quite a bit of a stretch at this point….
    Joins the list of ‘potential candidate’ IF he is willing!

    Fixed it!

  6. GhostofBrady Says:

    This is EXCITING!

    I have been saying it all week the coaches on the Ram’s offensive staff are top candidates. The “Mcvay Limb” is right. The OC, QB coach, passing game coordinators, offensive assistants that know that offense are going to keep the Bucs’ offense on schedule to improve to the next level in year 2 of the McVay offense. And you will not find a better candidate then Liam Coen.

    Coen is a special case since he was the Ram’s OC in 2022 (not QB coach or passing game coordinator). He left for a college HC job. He was on my radar but I never considered him. He’s got a cushy college HC job. Why would he want to return? I can only imagine the college gig is no longer that appealing due to NIL. It is hard to compete at Kentucky for players when the Bamas, LSU Tigers, Aggies, Sooners, Gators, et all have more cash and TV time entice players in SE. And it’s all legal now. Even Mississippi State, Missouri and Tennessee are making splashes. Kentucky will have a hard time keeping relevant in the SE.

    Spending 2 years as Bucs OC and then replacing Bowles or finding an NFL HC job on another team is a probable path with being Baker’s OC. Half a dozen ex-Ram OCs and QB coaches/passing coordinators have already found HC jobs in the past two years. To be honest, I like Canales. But I think he was not the best OC out there for the McVay offense. The run game was not good. And there were way too many third and longs. I think Baker, Godwin, Evans, White and Otton with many hard 3rd down conversions this year bailed Canale’s less then efficient 1st and 2nd play calling.

    To me this guarantees Baker is coming back. And I have all my fingers crossed he will do what we expect from a great team player. He will take a big pay day but leave lots of room for the rest of the star and supporting cast. He is all about the winning. If for any other reason, to stick it in the eyes of the teams that bailed on him (looking at you Cleveland and Carolina) by having team success.

  7. Dr Says:

    Hearing of the Bucs’ consideration of Coen is the best news yet because he has proven to be a self-starter who can teach and build a competent and well-balanced offense. He has familiarity with current college talent, including Ray Davis who single-handedly trampled the Gators this year :-(. Would love to see Coen running the offense and Davis running for the Bucs!

  8. Shane Callahan Says:

    I like this potential candidate!

  9. Sue Says:

    HE looks great. Hire him! Exciting!
    AVP: hmmmm…not sure.

  10. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Should have an OC by week 3 of preseason

  11. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Let’s not ignore the fact the Rams 2022 offense was dreadful ….even worse than the Bucs that year

  12. BucVoyager Says:

    Can’t stand McVay but his coaching tree is undeniable. Better coaching tree than old grumpy pants guy from New England.

  13. ModHairKen Says:

    Bowles gets to remake the staff. Good riddance to all who left.

    Special Teams will improve. So will Offense.

    Licht can start work on the roster. Center. Guard. CB1 and CB2. Safety. Edge. LB.

  14. Tbbucs3 Says:

    But if I had to choose between Coen or Van Pelt from the Browns, id go with this guy.

    I dont want any of that Browns stench surrounding the Bucs or Mayfield again.

  15. FlBoy84 Says:

    After some research, Coen’s my preferred candidate at this point & the closest Todd will probably get to replicating Canales’ energy & connection to players on both sides of the ball. McVay’s coaching tree is solid, Coen seems like next in line to get a HC shot in the near future too.

  16. GhostofBrady Says:

    My bad. I kept saying Coen was a HC at Kentucky. He was the play caller at Kentucky as an OC not HC. Twice. How can I forgot Bobby Stoops’ younger brother Mark is the coach there. Having him call the plays for the Bucs next year would be as good as it can get.

    In any case, OCs under McVay find other OCs and HCs jobs because they want opportunities to call the offense. Can’t do that as the Ram’s OC. Because no one is better at calling McVay’s offense thsn McVay. I think Coen has what it takes to be another Zac Taylor. The guy who never called a play for the Rams as an QB Coach but pushed the Bengals to a SB and another deep playoff run. Not saying Baker is Burrows. But who knows. Would love to see what Baker can do in a full year 2 including offseason in this offense.

  17. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe … ‘In 2021 and 2023, Coen was the offensive coordinator at Kentucky.’

    Yes Coen did come back to McVay’s staff as OC in 2022, but that only lasted 1 year … when the Rams went 5-12. In all fairness though, McVay does pretty much call the offensive shots & the Rams did lose a number of key players after their 2021 Super Bowl victory over the Bengals. Certainly worth exploring.

  18. FortMyersDave Says:

    Ghost of Brady, good intel in your posts seems like some coaches at the collegiate level who are HCs at less than stellar programs are looking for a change of scenery. For instance, the head coaches at Group of 5 schools Buffalo and South Alabama left to be the OC and DC at Bama and the HC at Boston College is now the defensive coordinator of the Packers. The article I read specifically mentioned the fact that being a head coach at the collegiate level now is more about fund raising and NIL coin rather than actually being a coach and that if you are not associated with a top caliber program, well, your program is at a severe disadvantage as far as getting talent on board. Anyhow, Coen seems to be an interesting new name to ponder as the Bucs sort through the 7 or so candidates who actually interviewed. I hope they get someone on board soon, seems like most of the other teams have filled their positions besides the Saints (who have interviewed about a dozen dudes, Allen must be scaring candidates away), Bucs, Seattle (who just poached the Ravens’ DC for HC) and Washington.

  19. BillyBucco Says:

    This is my favorite so far easily.
    Please hire this guy.
    Also has a relationship with Ray Davis who is the BEST SEC RB.
    This guy torched the Gators.
    Pure runner with a low center of gravity and hard to bring down.
    Being the 6th best RB, means possibly the 3rd round even.
    I think he is better than what Kiper has him at.
    If you wanna run the ball, get Coen AND Davis.

  20. GhostofBrady Says:

    @FortMyersDave and @BillyBucco –
    My early Christmas gift would be Coen as Tampa’s new OC play caller. And AVP and Jake Petz as the QB coach and passing game coordinators. All these OCs and QB coaches from the McVay tree don’t stay long after they generate success. That’s just the way of the league is now. With Tampa success also means Bowles gets more stability. I am hoping Coen or whoever the coordinator is will stay for at least two years. Expect that person to leave for HC job somewhere else with Tampa success or take over if Bowles retires. Then promote Petz and AVP from within. Have our own little McVay West Coast Wide Zone academy in Florida. Train up other position and assistant coaches to learn, help and get promoted within as we have more success with this offense. Heck, even Jay Gruden was on that Ram staff. Atlanta and the Panthers are already in on this offense with Zac Robinson and Canales. With the Saints OC going to the Bears, I expect the Saints to get a Shanahan or McVay like offense too. Probably musical OC chairs with previous and current Green Bay or Chicago’s OC. McVay tree limbs via Lafleur. I think we have the best QB and a head start in the NFC South with this offense.

  21. Fansince76 Says:

    Agreed! Hire this man!

  22. Smashsquatch Says:

    Bringing back Baker and signing a McVay tree leaf is clearly Licht’s strategy. I’d do the same.

  23. Marky Mark Says:

    But but nobody wants to work with Baker….or Bowles just takes his time like he always does with a poker face.

  24. Zoocomics Says:

    @Tbbucs3… context, again, important. They mortgaged their future to land Stafford going for the Super Bowl and it paid off. I think they were down the first 3 picks of the draft to kick off 2022. Needless to say they were not nearly as fortunate as us the year after we won our Super Bowl. By seasons end, they lost almost everyone on offense that was worth mentioning. Oline was decimated, No Kupp, they brought in Baker because Stafford was out as well.

    Kentucky is not a bad football program, doesn’t have top of the nation recruiting classes and they did well with him calling the plays … read up a little on this guy prior to heading over to Kentucky on what he thought he could bring of McVay’s offense over to Kentucky’s, and he found success early. This a very interesting option. Again, Bowles looking for creative offenses, I like it.

  25. Todd Says:

    Mr. Licht…you’re a smart guy. Can you please build into the contract of the next OC that they MUST remain with the Bucs for a minimum of two years?

    Think about the collateral damage Canales has done…with NO compensatory picks in return! He’s blunted our momentum, raided our talent and stolen our buzz…all because his contract didn’t safeguard us to AT LEAST recoup two compensatory picks.

    You’re a smart guy.

    Do better this time.


  26. ScottyMack Says:

    Tbbucs3 points out how “dreadful” the 2023 Rams offense was but fails to point out how they lost 3 out of 4 of their top receivers to injury that year.

  27. Bucfan Says:

    Bottom line Bowles will still have the last say on the play calling. That is the REAL issue.

  28. Jeff Says:

    This is the way. Get it done, Bucs!

  29. JimBobBuc Says:

    Coen looks like a great candidate and I think we have a good chance of hiring him. Bowels needs to back-off his obsession with time-of-possession and thinking his defense will get tired. Bowels needs to focus on scoring points and not TOP.

    The offensive assistants typically follow the OC because the new incoming OC will bring in his own staff. Bowels didn’t run off our offensive assistants.

    I hope we can find a good special teams coach. I lived in Houston 15 years ago and they went through 3 coaches in 3 years, so it’s not easy. Our special teams this year were ultra-conservative with fair catches and no fakes. Don’t forget that Camarda ran a 4.56 at the combine, he’s an athlete going to waste. Of course, Bowels pushed his conservative philosophy on special teams, but maybe he didn’t see much success in practice?

  30. Popcorn Mike Says:

    Only question I have is, how long will he stay? He bounced from LA to Kentucky over the pass 4 years. Other than that his resume looks pretty good. The pass game coordinator from the Lions who interviewed also has a great resume.

  31. SlyPirate Says:

    Ray Davis was a badass boiling ball style RB for Kentucky. He’d be a great compliment to White.

  32. MelvinJunior Says:

    I’ve been a Kentucky season ticket holder since birth, football and basketball… His big ‘UK-offense’ was dead last (in the NATION) in number of plays ran. Dead. LAST. Sooooo Conservative… ZERO “Tempo.” Extremely BORING and very hard to watch. I blame some of it STOOPS, but he and Bowels are direct ‘clones’ of one another. I said it ALL last year!!!! Maybe, he’s more suited for the NFL tho… MAYBE, we’ll see!?

  33. MelvinJunior Says:

    By “clones” basically, identical twins… I meant comparing STOOPS to Bowels. It kind of read as if I was comparing maybe, Cohen to Bowels. But, YES… Stoops and Bowels are the exact same… Amazingly, really. Both are longtime, old-school ‘Defensive’ Coaches, who STILL even today, after all of these YEARS, have not yet ‘figured-out’ fully, HOW to use their timeouts and manage the ending of games… ESPECIALLY, the critical “Middle-8” (last 4mins of 1st-half & first 4mins of 2nd-half). Tho, everyone did start to ‘sour’ towards Cohen (at UK) after last season’s debacle… Maybe, he is much better suited for The NFL. STOOPS (as well as Bowels, it appears) has not even the very FIRST Clue, as to ANYTHING to do with “Offense.” ZERO. I mean, NOTHING. Everyone in Kentucky felt that probably, STOOPS was holding him back… So much so, that EVEN Stoops came-out just the other day, & publicly stated that Cohen had “FULL Autonomy” of the Offense!!!! One thing, that started driving me a little crazy with Cohen too, was that every time the camera would turn and zoom-in on him in the booth (I’m sure they all have a live feed of the tv coverage and are fully aware), HE always 💯of the time, would make eye-contact and then start playing to the camera by rolling his eyes and shaking his head and putting his arms out like, Don’t Blame/Look At ME, It’s Not MY Fault… It was VERY awkward AND weird. There were LOTS of these instances with UK’s Offense from last season, too!!!!

  34. BucsBeast Says:

    This is your guy. He’s the new OC