Bucs Coaching Staff Has Heavy Dolphins Flavor

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will go into Super Bowl LV with four former Miami Dolphins coaches
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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers just might have the most diversified coaching staff in the NFL, with 11 minority assistants (including four coordinators) and two women.

It also might be the coaching staff with the biggest collection of former Miami Dolphins assistants.

No less than four members of the Buccaneers coaching staff have spent time with the Dolphins, including former interim head coach Todd Bowles.

The others are former Dolphins special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong, former Dolphins offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen and former Dolphins defensive line coach Kacy Rodgers.

Bowles was assistant head coach and secondary coach from 2008-11 until he replaced head coach Tony Sparano for the final three games of that 2011 season. Bowles, of course, went on to become head coach of the New York Jets before making his way to Tampa Bay.

Bowles was in his third season with the Dolphins when new Lions head coach Dan Campbell began his coaching career as an intern with Miami. Campbell then was promoted to tight ends coach in 2011, and he would serve in that role until taking over as interim head coach himself for the final 12 games of the 2015 season.

“He’s a great coach and he’s a great person," Bowles said of Campbell. "Strong leader. Very smart. Very intelligent. Very diligent. He’s going to hold everybody accountable. Happy for him.”

Another member of the Buccaneers who spoke highly of Campbell on Monday was defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who was around him during the 2014 and 2015 seasons.

“I had an amazing time with him being our interim head coach at the Dolphins," Suh said. "He’s without question a player’s coach. I’ve been able to stay in touch with him when he was at New Orleans, obviously playing them twice these last two years. You can see that fire in him, as you saw in his press conference. I’m excited for Detroit to have a guy like that and I think he’s going to be able to have an opportunity to bring some success and guys just gotta hone in and understand what they need to accomplish. He just got a great quarterback in Jared Goff, who I was in the Super Bowl with two years ago, so I’m excited to see what they’re going to be able to do up there in Detroit.”

Bowles is himself looking for another shot at being a head coach and a couple of weeks ago he interviewed for that position with the Philadelphia Eagles, who eventually hired former Colts assistant Nick Sirianni.

Bowles won a Super Bowl in the 1987 season as a safety for Washington.

Christensen is the one coach with the most recent stint with the Dolphins. He served as offensive coordinator in 2016-17 before being reassigned to the position of senior consultant in 2018.

"The Miami experience I wouldn’t trade for anything," Christensen said Monday. "Each stop just kind of brings new people and new experiences. I wouldn’t trade my Miami time for anything in the world and some different roles and getting a bird’s-eye perspective, kind of as a senior consultant type of thing. I think all of it is important and all of it is worthwhile and all of it for me has been a blast."

Christensen will be going for a second Super Bowl ring after being wide receivers coach for the champion Colts in 2006. He had become the offensive coordinator for the Colts when they lost the Super Bowl in the 2009 season against New Orleans.

After coaching Peyton Manning for several years, Christensen is wrapping up his first season coaching the other defining quarterback of this generation, Tom Brady.

Rodgers was Dolphins defensive line coach from 2008-14, while Armstrong was special teams coordinator from 2001-07. Both will be looking for their first Super Bowl ring.

For the record, Kansas City does not have a former Dolphins assistant coach on its staff. But the Chiefs' secondary/cornerbacks coach is former Dolphins Pro Bowl cornerback Sam Madison.