Bill Walsh, who led the San Francisco 49ers to three Super Bowl championships, confirmed in a published report he discussed the Tampa Bay coaching vacancy with Buccaneers owner Hugh Culverhouse, but he did not expect to leave his position as an NBC football television analyst.
"I visited with Mr. Culverhouse," Walsh said in Wednesday's edition of USA Today. "I won't say where we met, but we talked about a lot of matters and the Buccaneers coaching job did come up."I do fully expect to remain at NBC. Mr. Culverhouse and I left it with both of us thinking about it, and we're going to talk again soon, probably by phone. We didn't get into anything specific about the job, but I am helping in that matter."
A report in Wednesday's editions of The National sports daily quoted an unidentified source as saying Culverhouse offered Walsh the dual posts of Tampa Bay coach and general manager on Monday night in Phoenix.
Bucs spokesman Rick Odisio said the team would not comment on the report, and The National said it could not reach Walsh.
Meanwhile, The New York Times reported that Bill Belichick, architect of the Super Bowl champion New York Giants' defense, will be interviewed by the Bucs.
"I've said repeatedly I'd be interested in talking to anyone interested in talking to me," the 38-year-old defensive coordinator was quoted as saying. "But I'd want the announcement to come from the teams."
The Times said it received verification from unidentified sources with the Giants and Bucs that Belichick would be interviewed. Giants head coach Bill Parcells, under whom Belichick masterminded game plans that beat Buffalo on Sunday and Denver in the 1987 Super Bowl, has said he would not stand in the way of an assistant who chose to leave for a head-coaching position.
The National said Walsh, whose reported request for a precentage of the team was unacceptable to Culverhouse, would be paid $2 million a year for accepting the offer.
Walsh has not denied an interest in joining the Bucs.
"If I pick a team to sign with, Tampa Bay would be at the top of my list," he told the St. Petersburg Times last month. "But there's a lot that would have to occur before we finalized something."
Walsh left the 49ers after the 1988 season. He has seven games left on his two-year contract with NBC.
"I have great respect for Hugh Culverhouse and great respect for the whole organization," Walsh told the newspaper. "I also think Tampa Bay can become competitive and real contenders in that division (NFC Central) right away.
"It's just a matter of me looking into whether I want to leave the San Francisco area at this stage of my life. That would be the prime consideration."