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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Childress: Bucs' roster has some 'good pieces'

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Published:   |   Updated: March 19, 2013 at 10:51 AM
TAMPA -

Former Minnesota Vikings head coach Brad Childress has found temporary work in the Tampa Bay area. Whether he finds permanent work here remains to be seen.

 "I feel a little like a migrant worker - I'm going where the work is,'' said Childress, a candidate for the Buccaneers' head coaching job who will coach in the East-West Shrine college all-star game Jan. 21 at St. Petersburg's Tropicana Field.

 "All I know right now is that I'll be working there (in the Bay area) next week,'' Childress added. We'll have to wait and see about the week after that and the week after that.''

 Childress became the third candidate known to have interviewed for the Bucs' position Monday, but he refused to elaborate on the meeting when reached for comment Tuesday by The Tampa Tribune.

 "I prefer to keep that a private matter between me and the team and general manager Mark Dominik - aside from the fact that we talked,'' said Childress, who did express some feelings about the team he could wind up coaching.

 A former quarterbacks coach (1999-2002) and offensive coordinator (2003-05) with the Philadelphia Eagles, Childress said he believes the Bucs have some "good pieces,'' including quarterback Josh Freeman, the Bucs' first-round draft pick – 17th overall – in 2009.

 "I like Josh Freeman,'' Childress said. "You know, we (Vikings) ended up taking (Florida wide receiver) Percy Harvin (22nd overall) in the draft, but if Josh had come to us, it would have been hard to pass up a quarterback like that.''

 Childress expressed positive impressions of the Bucs' young defensive line and veteran offensive line, which consists of two Pro Bowlers, right guard Davin Joseph and left tackle Donald Penn (in 2010-11).

 "That group of five guys is fairly solid,'' Childress said of the offensive line. "The thing they have to do there is play better as one, but they have a good element of toughness.''

 Childress spent four-plus seasons coaching the Vikings, compiling a 39-35 regular- season record, two NFC North titles and a 1-2 postseason record before being fired in 2010 after a 3-7 start.

 He said all-star games such as the East-West Shrine game and Senior Bowl, which will be held a week later in Mobile, Ala., are critical tools for teams' draft preparations.

 "You're basically installing a system that they (players) have never seen or heard of, and so it's painfully simple,'' he said. "But it's good (for evaluation purposes) because you have a bunch of guys coming together competing against guys they weren't on the same team with and probably haven't played against before, and you want to watch their skills, you want to watch them in pads. It's another tool, and you use all those things in your preparation.''

 Childress said he still does not know which team he will be coaching in St. Petersburg so he wasn't prepared to elaborate on some of the players that will compete in the game. He is looking forward to returning to the sidelines, however.

 "I'm just looking to have fun and get back to my roots a little bit,'' he said. Former Michigan coach "Gary Moeller is coming down to be the defensive coordinator for the game, and it's just real nice to be able to give back to the Shriners and help them with what they do with the Shriners hospital. It's really gratifying.


 rcummings@tampatrib.com  (813) 731-8027

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