Three days after an ESPN report suggested Mike Sullivan had expressed interest in coaching at Boston College, the offensive coordinator of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers said the story was inaccurate.
On Sunday, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Sullivan, who joined Greg Schiano's staff in February after eight years with the New York Giants, had reached out to Boston College. Sullivan was unavailable for comment after Tampa Bay's 31-23 loss at Denver, but addressed the issue Wednesday at his weekly news conference.
"All of my attention, all of my focus, all of my energy has been and will continue to be on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense, getting us to be our best on Sunday,'' said Sullivan, who presides over an attack that has scored at least 22 points in nine consecutive games. "This is the time of year when there's going to be rumor or innuendo.
"To set the record straight, before I would ever initiate contact or pursue or inquire about a job, the first thing I would do would be to talk to coach Schaino. The second thing would be to talk to (general manager) Mark Dominik, and then ownership. None of those conversations occurred.''
Boston College filled the position Tuesday, hiring Temple's Steve Addazio as Frank Spaziani's replacement. Addazio also served two seasons as offensive assistant at the University of Florida.
"I'm totally focused on the task at hand,'' said Sullivan.
Keep on keeping on
Tampa Bay's two-game losing streak pales in comparison to the travails of Sunday's opponent at Raymond James Stadium. The Eagles have lost eight consecutive games, adding another layer of misery to coach Andy Reid's traumatic 14th season in Philadelphia.
The NFL's longest tenured coach is still dealing with the death of his oldest son, 29-year-old Garrett Reid, whose body was found at Eagles training camp in August. An autopsy revealed Garrett Reid died of an accidental heroin overdose.
"I definitely learned that losing eight straight games isn't fun – it's a miserable thing,'' Andy Reid said Wednesday. "Through that, I still love every minute of the game and I've still got a great passion for football.''
In his 11 years coaching at Rutgers, 65 miles north of Philadelphia, Schiano developed a deep respect for the man who has led the Eagles to five NFC title games.
"Andy's a great football coach,'' Schiano said, "and an even better man.''
Help on the way
Second-year CB Anthony Gaitor is eager to face the Eagles after missing Tampa Bay's first 12 games with a hamstring injury suffered in the preseason.
An embattled secondary took another hit at Denver as CB LeQuan Lewis went down with a knee injury that left him on crutches after the game. Lewis worked the stationary bike during Wednesday's practice.
"It's not as bad as maybe it appeared,'' Schiano said of Lewis' injury. "I don't know that it'll be this week, but I don't think it'll be long term.''
Gaitor can't wait to contribute to a pass defense ranked last in the league.
"I'm very excited,'' he said. "I've been waiting for this moment since the preseason.''
Former University of South Florida football coach Skip Holtz and ex-Bucs coach Tony Dungy were at One Buc Place Wednesday. …With RB LeSean McCoy sidelined by a concussion, Eagles rookie Bryce Brown has amassed 347 rushing yards in his first two pro starts. …The Eagles are the only NFL team that hasn't allowed a 100-yard rusher this season. …Philadelphia's minus-18 turnover ratio is the worst in the NFC.