One of the sticking points Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans had with the Greg Schiano regime was that it was trying to pretend the amazing and glorious past had never happened. The Tony Dungy era players, the Jon Gruden Super Bowl and all the past Buccaneers glory didn’t exist to the former head coach.
It very much exists to the new head coach, as not only has Lovie Smith stated he plans on integrating the Buccaneers history into the new regime, he’s bringing back players as part of his staff.
Tampa Bay hired former linebacker Hardy Nickerson as an assistant linebacker coach on Tuesday.
Former #Bucs Pro Bowl LB Hardy Nickerson has agreed to join Lovie Smith’s coaching staff as an assistant coaching linebackers.
— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) January 7, 2014
Now, it’s highly unlikely that Warren Sapp leaves his gig at NFL Network to join the staff, but Nickerson is a big part of the Buccaneers past and even played for Lovie Smith while he was in Tampa Bay. The connection to the Buccaneers years gone by will continue to be present with Lovie Smith, as it’s hard to believe that Nickerson will be the only former Buccaneers player brought in to help the Lovie Smith regime.