Keenan McCardell among candidates to interview for Bucs offensive coordinator position

Keenan McCardell had 2 touchdown passes for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl 37. Now he can call the game and help his former team get into the end zone.

Minnesota Vikings receiving coach McArdle is one of at least three candidates who plan to interview for the Buccaneers offensive coordinator job.

Broncos passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach Clint Kubiak and Jaguars passing game coordinator Jim Bob Coote are expected to meet with Tampa Bay as early as this week. Cooter will be interviewed Thursday; the Bucs have asked permission to speak with Kubiak.

Tampa Bay asked to interview Texans offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, but he declined. Hamilton has two years remaining on his contract, and his son is a highly rated quarterback at Houston High School.

McArdle, 53, played 17 seasons in the NFL, including two seasons (2002-2003) with the Buccaneers. He began his coaching career in Washington in 2010 and has coached receivers at the University of Maryland as well as with the Jaguars and Vikings. As a player, he was also a member of Washington’s Super Bowl XXVI winning team.

Coote, 38, leads the Jaguars with the 10th-ranked passing offense in the league and helped develop quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who is thriving in his second professional season. Lawrence passed for 4,113 yards, 25 touchdowns and eight interceptions while coming back from a 20-point halftime deficit in a 31-30 win over the Los Angeles Chargers in the AFC wild-card game.

Before his arrival in Jacksonville, the former University of Tennessee quarterback spent five seasons with Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions, the last three seasons (2016-2018) as offensive coordinator.

Kubiak, 35, spent three seasons with the Vikings as their quarterbacks coach (2019-20) and offensive coordinator (2021) before joining Denver head coach Nathaniel Hackett’s first-year coaching staff. Kubiak’s father, Gary, is a former Texans and Broncos head coach.

Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson had one of his worst seasons as a pro in his first year in Denver, passing for 3,524 yards, 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. The Broncos led 5-12 and Hackett was sacked.

The Buccaneers lost to one of the league’s top candidates when Bill O’Brien returned to New England on Tuesday as offensive coordinator. If Byron Leftwich becomes the head coach of the Jaguars last season, the Buccaneers’ plan is to hire O’Brien to take his place in Tampa Bay.

After firing Leftwich last week, O’Brien should have been the top choice on Todd Bowles’ staff, especially if he hopes to convince quarterback Tom Brady to play another season here.

From 2009-2011, O’Brien served as Brady’s quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots.

Brady is an unrestricted free agent, and unless he decides to retire or re-sign with the team, he will take about $35 million off the Buccaneers salary cap in 2023.he said monday night he hasn’t decided yet on whether to continue his career.

The Buccaneers don’t necessarily have to wait until Brady before hiring an offensive coordinator. But it would help if he decides he doesn’t have to learn a new offense when he returns.

Six teams are looking for an offensive coordinator. The other five still have head coaching vacancies, and those employees also need interim commanders.

The Buccaneers need to take some urgent action, but the interview process could ramp up next week at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama.

The Buccaneers averaged close to 30 points per game through Leftwich’s first three seasons, but slipped to 18.4 in 2022.