Talk about waiting until the last minute.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have announced that Todd Monken, the head coach at Southern Mississippi has been hired to become the team’s new offensive coordinator. Monken takes over for Dirk Koetter, who has been named the team’s head coach.
This is a reunion of sorts for the two former members of the Jacksonville Jaguars coaching staff.
The two worked in Jacksonville, where Koetter was the Jaguars offensive coordinator and Monken coached wide receivers for four seasons for 2007-2010.
“I am very excited to add a coach with the type of experience and tenacity that Todd brings,” Koetter said in a statement released by the team on Sunday. “I have always been impressed with his approach to the game as well as his ability to teach concepts and get the best out of his players.”
The move is a solid one for the Buccaneers, but it leaves the Conference USA program with a hole to fill, especially since recruiting is ramped up and national signing day is fast approaching.
It was also announced that Koetter hired former Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith as his defensive coordinator and has said he will continue to call plays for quarterback Jameis Winston.
BLACK TAKES SHOT AT ALABAMA
When Chris Black announced he was leaving Alabama, he made it perfectly clear why he was leaving the SEC powerhouse.
He wanted to go to a school, “that knows how to utilize a slot guy.”
Black shared this information with John Acree, a contributor for gridironnow.com.
The story goes on to say Black was supposed to be part of a mix of players fighting to become the team’s go-to player, but that never materialized.
While Alabama did rely more on the passing game toward the end of the season and in the CFP semi-final game against Michigan State, the Crimson Tide was a run-first team all season.
FOURNETTE BEST PLAYER COMING BACK
ESPN.com released its list of top returning players to the college football scene next season. It is no surprise Leonard Fournette topped the list.
The early Heisman Trophy contender faded at the end of last season, which allowed Alabama’s Derrick Henry to capture the award.
The story also appeared on Saturday Down South.
Fournette will be a junior for LSU next season in what will undoubtedly be his final season in Baton Rouge.
”Fournette will enter the 2016 season with the added pressure of bring the nation’s Heisman front-runner. The NCAA’s leading rusher in 2015 (162.8 YPG), Fournette (1,953 yards, 22 TDs) ranks above Deshaun Watson and Christian McCaffrey on Haney’s list, despite the fact that the Clemson quarterback and Stanford tailback, respectively, were invited to the 2015 Heisman dais, while the LSU star sat home.”
The SEC placed eight players in the top 25 listed by ESPN.
CAM NEWTON IMPACTS URBAN MEYER
This is one of the greatest pieces I have ever written about Cam Newton and the Florida Gators.
My friend Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel wrote a column heading into the NFC Championship game, basically questioning what would happen if Newton stayed at Florida and succeeded Tim Tebow.
Newton left the program in a shroud of controversy. It is a mere distant memory now, but Newton’s decision to leave the program and wind up at Auburn is one of the greatest moves in college football history.
Think about it: If Newton had stayed at Florida, Urban Meyer would probably still be coaching at UF, the Gators might still be the kings of the SEC and Nick Saban might not own the title of the greatest college coach of the modern era.
Bianchi also has another theory as to what would happen if Newton had stayed in Gainesville. You will have to read the story to check out his thoughts.