Report: Bucs still hoping to pry McNulty from Cardinals

It’s not uncommon when NFL teams deny permission for assistant coaches on staff to interview with other clubs.

That’s what happened when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sought a chance to interview John McNulty, the wide receivers coach for the Arizona Cardinals. The Bucs want to hire McNulty as the offensive coordinator on Greg Schiano’s new staff.

It’s a position McNulty held previously under Schiano at Rutgers, and obviously the position is critical for the staff with a young quarterback in Josh Freeman and a young offense in general. While it’s a promotion from receivers coach to coordinator, the Cardinals have every right to block McNulty.

According to Rick Stroud of the St. Petersburg Times, the Bucs may appeal to the Cardinals to reconsider their decision, one that was likely made by head coach Ken Whisenhunt.

“Because it's such an important hire, the Bucs still are working behind the scenes to acquire McNulty,” Stroud wrote. “The effort may include an appeal directly to Cardinals owner Bill Bidwell. But it's hard to imagine the Cardinals reversing course at this point.”

You can’t blame Whisenhunt and the Cardinals for saying no, not at this point. It’s late in the game for coaches to be filling out their staffs. If the Cardinals were to lose their receivers coach, they would be forced to pick through a much smaller group of top candidates for the job. That is why some head coaches will grant their assistants a chance to move, but only in the first week or two after the season ends when there is more movement and more experienced options are on the market.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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