Skyler Fulton and Anthony Perkins work out of offices in One Buccaneer Place. That's the result of both Fulton and Perkins first putting in work on the practice field through the very productive Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship program.
This summer, six aspiring NFL coaches will get a chance to work with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' coaching staff and players as part of that program. Brian Anderson (offense), Derrius Bell (defense) and Marvin Clecidor (special teams) will assist the team during this week's three-day mini-camp; Kerry Joseph (offense), Garrett Robinson (defense/special teams) and Darnell Stapleton (offensive line) will do the same during training camp.
The purpose of the Fellowship program is to give on-the-field exposure to potential coaching talent, with the ultimate goal of helping the participants gain positions in the NFL. The program worked for Fulton and Perkins, who were hired by the Buccaneers earlier this season as an offensive assistant and the assistant to the head coach, respectively.
Dozens of current and former NFL coaches got their feet in the door through the Walsh program, which is entering its 30th season. Among the program's alumni are former Tampa Bay Head Coach Lovie Smith, former Buccaneers assistant and current Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin and longtime Cincinnati Head Coach Marvin Lewis.
The Bucs' six Walsh Fellows for 2017 come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Anderson, for instance, has spent the past six seasons coaching running backs at the University of Minnesota, while Bell has been tutoring cornerbacks at UTEP for the last three years and Clecidor spent last season as the defensive backs coach at Princeton.
Two of the Bucs' three training camp Fellows, Joseph and Stapleton are former NFL players. Joseph's football career has taken him all over, beginning with a four-year NFL stint as a safety for the Seattle Seahawks. A college quarterback, Joseph later played that position for 12 years in the Canadian Football League, winning a Grey Cup and a CFL Most Outstanding Player Award, and for London and Rhein in NFL Europe. He is currently the co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach at his alma mater, McNeese State.
Stapleton owns a Super Bowl ring as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers, for whom he started 12 games at right guard in 2008. Coincidentally, the Steelers won Super Bowl XLIII at Raymond James Stadium at the conclusion of that '08 campaign. He is currently the offensive line coach and run game coordinator at Bucknell. Robinson has spent the past four years on the coaching staff at the University of San Diego, working with the defensive backs and linebackers.