The Buccaneers are retaining two more members of the 2020 squad by elevating Thaddeus Lewis to assistant wide receivers coach and A.Q. Shipley to offensive assistant for the 2021 season.
Lewis originally joined the Bucs for the 2020 season as a Bill Walsh Coaching Fellow and spent last year working as an assistant to the offense. You'd catch him playing receiver for Tom Brady and the other Bucs' quarterbacks in individual drills before seeing him help coach up some of the receivers on their routes and what the quarterback could be looking for at any given practice.
A former quarterback himself, Lewis is from Opa-Locka, Florida and was a four-year starter at Duke University, setting school records for passing yards with 10,065 and passing touchdowns with 67 from 2006-2009. He had an eight-year NFL career, spending time with eight teams in that span.
Lewis' coaching career began under Chip Kelly at UCLA from 2018-2019 before he eventually joined the Bucs in 2020. He takes over the assistant wide receiver role from Antwaan Randle-El, who departed this offseason to join Dan Campbell's staff in Detroit as their wide receivers coach.
Shipley will officially begin his coaching career with Tampa Bay after going through a sort-of trial run following his abrupt retirement. Shipley joined the Bucs as a reserve in 2020 following a five-year stint as the starting center for the Arizona Cardinals, part of which he played under current Bucs Head Coach Bruce Arians. In fact, Tampa Bay marked the fourth time Shipley had played under Arians in some capacity. He was a seventh-round pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2009, when Arians was still offensive coordinator. Shipley then proceeded to play for Arians in Indianapolis in 2012 and during the aforementioned time in Arizona before ultimately landing in Tampa this last season.
That's why it was a natural progression for Shipley to begin assisting the offensive line following a neck injury suffered against the Los Angeles Rams that ended his season after Week 11 last year. It was then that Arians gave Shipley the opportunity to act as a player-coach throughout the duration of the season, as Arians has done with multiple members of his current staff, and it stuck. Shipley will be joining the Buccaneers coaching staff in an official capacity as the offensive assistant, replacing the role that Lewis vacated.
"I'm super grateful and looking forward to a great opportunity to learn from the best staff in the NFL," said Shipley. "I always felt like I was an extension of the staff on the field when I played and now I get to be a part of a Super Bowl winning staff and coach these guys from this side."