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Todd Bowles Has High Praise For New OC Liam Coen

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By: Bailey Adams

There’s been quite a lot of coaching turnover in Tampa Bay this offseason. Bucs head coach Todd Bowles lost his offensive coordinator, run game coordinator, offensive line coach, wide receivers coach and special teams coordinator all within the span of a week in late January.

With the departures and subsequent additions to the coaching staff, this marked the second consecutive offseason in which Tampa Bay has had massive turnover with its coaching staff. Last year, it was the firing of offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, wide receivers coach Kevin Garver and running backs coach Todd McNair, among others, plus there was the retirement of quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen, senior offensive assistant Rick Christophel and outside linebackers coach Bob Sanders.

Bucs HC Todd Bowles and OC Dave Canales – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

This year, the turnover was less about firings and more about coaches leaving for new jobs elsewhere. Offensive coordinator Dave Canales left to become the Panthers’ new head coach after one year with the Bucs, and he took wide receivers coach Brad Idzik, run game coordinator Harold Goodwin and offensive line coach Joe Gilbert with him. Special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong also retired, leaving another vacancy on the staff.

After a bit of a lengthy search process (namely with the offensive coordinator role), Todd Bowles is very happy with the way his new-look coaching staff has filled out prior to the start of the 2024 league year.

During his media availability at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis on Tuesday, Bowles spoke glowingly about the newest additions to his coaching staff, particularly his new offensive coordinator, wide receivers coach and special teams coordinator.

Todd Bowles On Liam Coen: “Liam’s A Very Bright Guy”

After an extensive offensive coordinator search, Todd Bowles and the Bucs ultimately landed on Kentucky offensive coordinator and former Rams offensive coordinator Liam Coen. The 38-year-old obviously has both college and NFL experience, plus he comes from the Sean McVay coaching tree. Because his style of offense is similar to that of Dave Canales, Tampa Bay has a great shot at maintaining continuity in 2024.

Bucs OC Liam Coen

Bucs OC Liam Coen – Photo by: USA Today

But while there are some similarities between Coen and Canales, Todd Bowles said Tuesday that he doesn’t expect Coen to be Canales. Asked whether his new offensive coordinator is cut from the same cloth as his former play-caller in terms of positivity and energy, Bowles made it clear that everybody has to have their own ways. And he had plenty of praise for his newly hired coordinator.

“Yeah, the positivity with Dave got us through some tough times, but Liam is a hell of a football coach, a hell of a football coach,” Bowles said. “I’ve seen him coach over the past three years. I’m very confident in what he can do. [I] don’t expect him to be like Dave. I don’t think anybody can come in and be alike. You have to have your own niche. We always say there’s more ways to skin a cat – to win ball games.

“And he’s got a system that I really like. He’s got intelligence that I really like. He has an understanding that I really like. Although some of the concepts will be the same, it will be a different offense to a degree. But the terminology for some of the guys, half of it will at least be the same. But I like the new ideas that he has. I like the energy of the young staff he’s bringing in here. And I’m excited to see him.”

Bucs Head Coach Details The OC Search Process

Later asked what ultimately led to the Bucs landing on Coen as their new play-caller, Bowles explained the process behind the search.

Bucs OC Liam Coen

Bucs OC Liam Coen – Photo by: Matt Matera/PR

“You do a thorough coaching search just so you can see what everyone is. I can’t go by the names of people. You have to find what’s right for you and your team,” Bowles said. “Everybody’s going to have a scheme coming in. It’s not the scheme that attracts you to him. It’s understanding your scheme and if someone stops it, then what do you do? Can you think after that? And can you fit in as well with the players and coaches and the culture that we have on or team?

“And that takes a while to do. And unless you go through a lot of guys, you’re not gonna really know. You can guess, but once you go through all of that and once I went through that Liam, I knew he was the right fit. So it was very easy to hire him.”

But what made Coen the right fit? What made him an easy hire in Todd Bowles’ eyes?

“I’ve seen him coach the past couple of years,” Bowles said. “I was fortunate enough to have a bye week when Georgia played Kentucky this past year. I was fortunate enough two or three years ago when Georgia played Kentucky down there to have a bye week. And then I saw him go with the Rams. There’s a lot of things that he’s done. And the fact that he was with Baker before was a part of it – not a big part of it, but it was a part of it. I think Baker can play with any coordinator, but it helped keep some of the coordination together and the continuity together from that standpoint.

“Liam’s a very bright guy. Kentucky had a heck of a rushing game, he was with Sean McVay who had a hell of a passing game. He knows both, he understands that and as he gets more comfortable and sees how he fits the players in, I’m very confident he’ll do a good job.”

The Bucs are certainly hoping their offense can pick up right where it left off toward the end of the 2023 season, and they seem to feel confident that such will be the case if they can re-sign their top free agents. If and when they do that, Coen can really get to work on taking the Tampa Bay offense to the next level.

The post Todd Bowles Has High Praise For New OC Liam Coen appeared first on Pewter Report.

Originally posted on Pewter Report