M. Lewis may have to play waiting game with Bucs

Tampa VPs reportedly prefer Raiders' Gruden

Pro Football

February 04, 2002|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,SUN STAFF

NEW ORLEANS - Ravens defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis might become the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' head coach, but it appears he may have to wait for that announcement.

According to the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, Lewis will be named Buccaneers coach as early as this week if general manager Rich McKay is given the authority to make his selection.

But Tampa Bay vice presidents Joel and Bryan Glazer disagree with McKay's choice to hire Lewis because they fear the team will take a step backward, and they want the club to continue to pursue Oakland Raiders coach Jon Gruden.

The Buccaneers made at least six calls last week to Raiders owner Al Davis to inquire about Gruden, who has one year remaining on his contract and said he would not coach in Oakland beyond next season. While none of those calls was returned, it is believed that it could take several weeks to persuade the Glazers to hire Lewis.

The Glazers fired Tony Dungy after the season and prefer to not hire another defensive-minded coach. McKay also has interviewed Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey and former San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Norv Turner, the former head coach of the Washington Redskins.

Lewis' agent, Ray Anderson, said he could not confirm a report that the Buccaneers will hire his client this week. Lewis indicated Saturday that he did not have the job.

"I hope it's true, but I have not heard anything from the Bucs," Anderson said. "We're still waiting."

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