Tamp Bay Head coach Search: Who is Kris Richard?

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Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Having interviewed Eric Bieniemy, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will bring in Kris Richard to interview. Richard, the current Dallas Cowboys defensive backs coach, has a shot in Tampa with his impressive credentials.

USC and His First Encounter with Pete Carroll.

Kris Richard is a former USC Trojans corner back. Having played from 1998 to 2001. The Trojans would reach two bowl games in that span. The one and only Pete Carroll would be his coach in his senior year. You’ll see Carroll’s name here a few more times. Kris played well in two seasons totaling eight interceptions, three for touchdowns. The result, he was drafted in the third round by Seattle.

NFL Player

In the NFL Richard would play for four teams. He stayed with Seattle for the first three. Playing in only seven games in his first season Richard found himself on injured reserve. The Seahawks would make playoff runs in 2003 and 2004 with Richard providing some contributions. After the 2004 loss in the playoffs Kris was traded to Miami.  The 49ers and Raiders would go on to give Richard a chance as well. With a tally of zero interceptions Richard his playing days would cease .

Joining Carroll at USC and a Coaching Start.

Some individuals have some talent and get their shot at playing in the professional ranks. Some people discover a skill and true calling after a set back. As luck would have it for Kris Richard, this has been coaching.  After his playing time was up he would return to USC where he was a graduate assistant from 2008-2009. This again would be with Pete Carroll as a mentor. In 2010 Carroll would leave USC. Settling into a new job in Seattle, Richard would follow. Named the assistant defensive back coach in 2010 he quickly grasped the nuances of  coaching the defense. He moved up quickly in the staff. The 2010 season saw Richard as the corner backs coach. 2012-2014 he was in charge on the entire secondary. In 2015 he would start his two year stint as the defensive coordinator for the Seahawks.

Success and a Super Bowl.

The list of players Richard coached successfully in the Seattle is an impressive one. The Legion of Boom rocked the NFL for years. Players like Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, Earl Thomas, Byron Maxwell, Brandon Browner and that’s just some defensive backs. In the North West the teams he helped coach had six strait winning seasons, five of them playoff teams, two reached the Super Bowl and one team won it all. These players earned Pro Bowl and First Team All Pro slots multiple times. Imagine what he can do that with our roster.

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Let Go and Reemergence in Dallas.

At the end of 2017, Richard was let go and quickly grabbed up by the Dallas Cowboys. Circumstances of his departure were attributed to the fall off of the defense that season. Others who look closer give credit two other aspects of the team. First, there were a slew of injuries on defense. Second, the sputtering offense could not stay on the field. For some teams one mans cast off can become another’s leader. Dallas added him and he quickly got to work. He stabilized the secondary in the second half of the season allowing Dallas to go on two winning streaks and earning a playoff spot. The Cowboys secondary this year appears serviceable even without big name recognition and helped them reach the playoffs. This is the result of adding Richard to the staff.

What Could Kris Richard Bring to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?

Young and full of talent he is a great tactician and planner. Adjusting to each game he keeps his players informed on what to expect on the field. His understanding of the game shows as he has been Carroll’s student and Rod Marinelli understudy. He will hold players accountable and be a sturdy presence on the side line. All things the Buccaneers defense needs in their leader.

His knowledge and skill set is perfect to restore the Tampa Bay Buccaneers secondary to a formidable force. He would have a young talented group that he can mold and mentor to meet their potential. His attitude should bleed out and infect the entire defense. Could you imagine if he could return the Buccaneers to a defensive monster? It would be a thing of beauty. If you can turn a weakness into a strength your doing good things.

A Red Flag

The only thing that could cause pause would be the Dallas Cowboys secondary did not take as big a leap as everyone had hoped. Granted it’s only one year. Given time I believe Richard could make them a stout defensive unit.

Final Thought

The defense was the weakness over the past few years.The mentality was an issue. Richard can fix that. He can turn that side of the ball around and with an astute offensive coordinator could push this team to the playoffs. There is talent here and he could get them to play together and at their best.

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