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Sticking around

Bucs sign GM McKay to new six-year contract

Posted: Thursday February 21, 2002 5:06 PM
Updated: Thursday February 21, 2002 11:24 PM

 
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GM Rich McKay believes the Bucs have a bright future. Start
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  • SI's Don Banks
    With the glue still wet from the quickie patch-up job that Rich McKay and Bucs vice presidents Joel and Bryan Glazer did this week on their fractured relationship, there finally seems to be the opportunity for the Tampa Bay organization to get back to something approaching normalcy.

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    TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Embattled Tampa Bay general manager Rich McKay decided to remain with the team Thursday, mending his fractured relationship with Buccaneers ownership and accepting a six-year contract.

    McKay, the Bucs' GM for the past seven seasons, had been contemplating leaving the club since the sons of owner Malcolm Glazer vetoed his plan to hire former Baltimore assistant Marvin Lewis as the team's new coach two weeks ago.

    Although the GM led the team's initial effort to lure Jon Gruden away from the Oakland Raiders, the Glazers finished the deal and hired Gruden this week without input from McKay.

    McKay, who had a year left on his contract, interviewed for the Atlanta Falcons' vacant GM job last week.

    "We are extremely excited about the unlimited possibilities that exist for the future of this franchise with Rich McKay as our general manager and Jon Gruden as our head coach," Bucs executive vice president Bryan Glazer said in a statement.

    "Certainly when you speak of the brightest young coaches, you think of Jon Gruden. You think of Rich McKay when discussing the brightest and best football executive in the National Football League."

    McKay has worked for the Bucs since 1992, but his ties to the franchise date back to his childhood days. His father, John, was the first coach of the expansion Buccaneers.

    "A lot of things transpired. A lot of things were written about, and I was portrayed in many different ways. But I'm here today and I couldn't be happier," McKay said.

    "This is a franchise I've invested a majority of my life in. I saw us go from orange uniforms to pewter uniforms. I saw where we came from as a football team. We have a little ways to go, and I'd like to be a part of that."

    During McKay's tenure as GM, the Bucs have compiled a 61-51 regular season record. The team made the playoffs four of the past five seasons under coach Tony Dungy, who was fired last month.

    Gruden retains Bucs' entire defensive staff

    TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will retain a familiar look on defense under new head coach Jon Gruden.

    The Bucs said Thursday night that the entire defensive staff of former coach Tony Dungy will remain with the team next season, including coordinator Monte Kiffin and defensive line coach Rod Marinelli, who also added the title of assistant head coach.

    Linebackers coach Joe Barry and defensive backs Mike Tomlin also will return.

    "Monte and Rod's leadership and coaching expertise are key strengths of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers," Gruden said. "Joe and Mike are rising stars in this profession and I look forward to working with all of them."

    Tampa Bay is the only team in the league to rank among the top 10 in total defense each of the past five seasons. The Bucs made the playoffs in four of those five seasons.

    The defensive staff had been in limbo since Jan. 14, when Dungy was fired.

    If any of the assistants had been released there was a good chance they might have wound up in Indianapolis, where Dungy has taken over as coach and was hoping to make Marinelli his defensive coordinator.


     
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