Bucs hire Franklin to coach defensive line

Updated: February 5, 2006, 9:53 AM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have begun the process of replenishing their depleted coaching staff, hiring Southern California assistant Jethro Franklin as defensive line coach.

Franklin, 39, served on USC coach Pete Carroll's staff only one season before returning to the NFL for a second stint. Franklin coached the Green Bay Packers' defensive linemen for five seasons, 2000-2004, on former coach Mike Sherman's staff.

Tampa Bay officials said last week they have spoken to 30 candidates for vacancies on their staff and acknowledged they hoped to begin filling the holes. The Bucs still need to replace secondary coach Mike Tomlin and assistant secondary coach Raheem Morris.

Tomlin left the Bucs to become defensive coordinator for first-year Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress, while Morris was named defensive coordinator at Kansas State. The Bucs blocked a request by Detroit officials to hire linebackers coach Joe Barry, the son-in-law of new Lions coach Rod Marinelli.

Franklin replaces the popular Marinelli and inherits a veteran group of linemen, led by standouts such as ends Simeon Rice and Greg Spires and tackle Anthony McFarland.

Before joining the Green Bay staff in 2000, Franklin coached at UCLA (1999) and at Fresno State (1991-98), his alma mater. Franklin was a two-time All-American while at Fresno State, was drafted by the Houston Oilers in 1988, and played one NFL season with the Seattle Seahawks in 1989, as a reserve defensive lineman.

During his one season at Southern California, he worked with Trojans assistant coach Lane Kiffin, the son of Bucs' defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.