New Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive line coach Keith Millard was off limits to talk to the local pen and mic club during the lockout, but since training camp opened he’s been quoted in the local papers and featured on sports talk radio shows discussing the players he’s inherited and his new pupils that were drafted. An eight year veteran of the trenches he still holds the record for sacks by a defensive tackle with 18, in 1989. He’s an astute teacher of the minute intricacies of defensive line play and as a coach he has previously worked for the Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders and at both stops helped turn around dismal pass rushing teams.
The relentless player turned fiery coach who has worked with some of the games better pass rushers promises to get things turned around in Tampa.
“If we can stay healthy, get all of our guys back and they keep working like they’re working right now,” Millard told the Tampa Tribune, “this is going to be a hell of a group… When I went to Oakland, they were like 32nd in sacks. Our number here in Tampa will not stay where it is. We will get this thing turned around, I promise you.”
The conviction and demeanor of Millard and his reputation as a high octane, high effort player has defensive lineman simply gravitating towards him after just about every drill in training camp thus far. The idea that there’s a coach who’s been through the battles in the trenches enables players to feel comfortable, when he explains different techniques or talks to them about what needs to be done to be successful at this level.