The Buccaneers have hired University of Tennessee offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian as the team’s quarterbacks coach, replacing Marcus Arroyo, who was let go last week. The news was first reported by Sports Illustrated’s Thayer Evans. Bajakian was an offensive quality control coach with Lovie Smith in Chicago from 2004-06, so he has ties to Tampa Bay’s head coach.
Bajakian left the Bears in 2007 to become the offensive coordinator at Central Michigan where he coached quarterback Dan LeFevour and wide receiver Antonio Brown. The Chippewas offense set several school record. Bajakian became the offensive coordinator for Butch Jones and the Cincinnati Bearcats in 2010 and then moved on to become the offensive coordinator for Volunteers in 2013 when Jones became UT’s head coach.
Bajakian was in the running for some collegiate head coaching opportunities prior to joining Tampa Bay’s coaching staff.
Tampa Bay also hired Andrew Weidinger as the team’s offensive assistant coach. He spent the last seven years with Atlanta, including three with new Bucs offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter. The Bucs will be retaining Ben Steele, an offensive quality control coach last year. Like Weidinger, he will also be an offensive assistant coach.
Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds enjoys giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: email@example.com
Buc Fans! Meet your new QB coach. I like the guy from first appearance. Sounds energetic and determined. Too early to read much from this interview, but if I was forced to state an opinion now, I would score one for Mariota. Need to hear and see more in coming days.
Macabee: Why do you think this hire favors Mariota? I didn’t check your link.
Must see the interview to hear what how he described the type of offense he favors. Mind you, the type of offense he has run in his previous coaching jobs. I was careful to say that my assessment may be reaching having only seen this one interview.
I have stated that my preference is Winston pending the completion of the Bucs qualification process. Nothing has changed my preference.
Do not take my first impression as a matter of fact or that I believe the QB coach will influence the QB selection for the Bucs. It was purely listening to his words describing his offenses at Tennessee and Cinncinati. At best an uninformed opinion as I stated in my disclaimer. Need to see and hear more!
Thanks macabee. It sounded like it was Koetter being interviewed. Balanced offense…fit the scheme to the players strengths…uptempo. My initial reaction was the same as KINDERRT’s, but this guy is impressive. Now I want SPEED IN SPACE, or how about balnced speed in space. The only negitive is if he is forced to become the OC because Koetter gets a staff infection in his hip:)
Not impressed! With a rookie QB you would think we could due better then this. Lovie has no clue on offense. I hope that our OC can due both jobs.
Must be a real burden to know better than the people hired to make these decisions. Strikes me as reflexive negativity because you never heard of the guy before. Why not keep an open mind?
I have kept an open mind for 23+yrs as a season ticket holder. Tired at being at the bottom of the pack every year. With a rookie QB next year you would think they would go with someone that has extensive NFL exp.
But he only needs ot know how to teach the QB’s the porcess of being a good QB not gameplanning for NFL defenses… Name the QB coach in New England or Seattle without looking it up… Not much to worry about now huh?
Kinderrt, QB coaches work primarily on techniques and mechanics. If he is a good communicator and understands what a QB is supposed to do and if he can analyse and correct poor mechanics, he will be ok.
Sorry, I feel your pain KINDERRT because I was a season ticket holder in 1976. I think you need to relax on this one. See my reply to macabee above if you like.
I think that Tampa may surprise and draft an unknown qb in SW LABryan Bennett who was beat out by oregon QB!
Now that I followed the link macabee presented I heard the “we want to run an up-tempo, no huddle offense” comment from our new QB coach. Not sure if that necessarily reflects the Bucs leaning toward Mariota since all teams run a no huddle up-tempo from time to time. But maybe it gives us a hint as to the type of offense being planned. It was an impressive interview. I recommend it to the naysayers.
His resume is impressive enough. Kinderrt, who did you have in mind that’s better? I don’t think either Dirk’s hiring, or this guy is any indication what Q.B. we’re going to draft. We’ve been given general terms about the offense. Up tempo, want to able to run, and pass,Duh, Blah, blah, so who really knows at this point.
I agree surfer! My opening post was reflective of Bajakian’s past experience, not necessarily of what type of offense the Bucs will run. So far, I’ve heard “balanced”. At this point, I don’t know what that means. See my response to scubog’s question!
A QB coach doesn’t matter as much if the Bucs end up picking up a re-run FA QB instead of drafting Marijameis? It’s all “specujaculation” at this point!
This guy will have Winston’s ear all day long – hope he can mentor him to be a professional both on and off the football field…..
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