Blog Entry

Gruden gone

Posted on: January 16, 2009 6:53 pm
Edited on: January 16, 2009 11:14 pm

Jon Gruden never understood that it's the quarterbacks that drive NFL teams

And it cost him his job.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers fired Gruden Friday in what some might see as a shocking move. It really isn't. Gruden's team flubbed a playoff chance down the stretch and he would have been entering a win-or-else season in 2009.

And he was planning on playing again next season with one of his quarterback re-treads. Would it have been Jeff Garcia? Brian Griese? Who?

Gruden was arrogant enough as a coach to think his schemes could overcome the lack of a quality quarterback. In 2003, the Bucs won a Super Bowl with Brad Johnson at quarterback.

That led to Gruden believing he could win with anybody there. The reality is that it took an amazing defense to win that season.

It wasn't Johnson.

It couldn't be. He was nothing more than a caretaker.

Those caretaker-win-Super Bowl stories come along once in a while. For every Johnson or Trent Dilfer, I can give you a long list of Hall of Fame passers who have won Super Bowls.

The timing of the Gruden firing leads me to believe the Bucs are up to something big. I doubt they would fire a coach at this stage of the game without having a plan. With general manager Bruce Allen also getting fired, it leads me to believe they are targeting a big-name coach they will pay a ton of money to have personnel control.

Maybe Mike Shanahan? Maybe Urban Meyer? Maybe Bob Stoops? Maybe Pete Carroll?

If I were Meyer and the Bucs came to me an offered me $8-million a season and total control, how could I turn that down? What's left to challenge me on the college level? Of course, I'd have to change my offensive system.

I'm telling you. There's something at work in Tampa. Something big.

No matter the hire, that person better take a lesson from Gruden's tenure there. You can't win consistently with scrap-heap quarterbacks.


Category: NFL
Tags: Jon Gruden

Since: Apr 20, 2007
Posted on: January 16, 2009 10:38 pm

Gruden gone

What about the man no one seems to be mentioning.................Marty Shotenhiemer, that could be a good fit..........he built a very good offense in San Diego.........

Since: Nov 9, 2006
Posted on: January 16, 2009 10:38 pm

Gruden gone

NO DOUBT! Same with Stoops! I love you Pete, but you missed the boat on this one. I agree with you 100% that the Bucs have something in the works already. That's the only explanation for the ridiculous timing on this move. But it's not Urban Meyer and it's not Bob Stoops. It's either Bill Cowher or Mike Shanahan, or a young African-American coach that's ready to step into the spotlight. Perhaps their own (newly-appointed) D-coordinator, Raheem Morris?

Since: Dec 20, 2007
Posted on: January 16, 2009 10:36 pm

Gruden gone

Prisco, just another idiot in a long line of idiots taking shots at Jeff Garcia.  Since when is Garcia a "scap-heap quaterback"?  The guy is a 4 time Pro Bowler (2000-2002,07) and has won everywhere he has played.  Garcia's career QB rating is 87.5, Brett Favre's is 85.4, Donovan McNabb's is 85.9, Jim Kelly (in the HOF) was 84.4, This is some nice company to be in.

I'm not saying that Garcia is a great QB, but he IS good, and desevers better then to be labled a "caretaker" and "scrap-heap quarterback"!

Since: Nov 28, 2007
Posted on: January 16, 2009 10:24 pm

Gruden gone

Just out of curiosity - has anybody considered the possibility that Monte Kiffin knew something was up, and that's why he bailed out when he did? 

I mean, yes, our defense totally collapsed the last four games - and yes, it cost us, not only the #2 seed, but a shot at a playoff appearance at all.  But think of this, as someone said above, what if Cowher (or somebody else for that matter - I have no idea who) made an overture to the Glazer family during the season about wanting to come to Tampa.  What if that rumor was floating around Buccaneer HQ during the season, and that helped prompt Kiffin to leave, the defense to quit playing, and led (directly or indirectly) to Gruden being axed?

Okay, so maybe it sound a little like a bad movie plot, or just a little too paranoid.  Nevertheless, we all know that a lot goes on in the NFL offices that we piddly little fans never get to hear about until after the fact.

At any rate, Jon is gone now - so where do the Bucs go from here? 

Anybody want Dungy back? 

Would Cowher acutally come to Tampa?

Do we go after Mariucci, or Holmgren, or Shanahan?

Or are we gonna' get some brand new HC who's never done it before?

I personally don't want an inexperienced man in charge.  Give me somebody with a winning record, who's proven that they have what it takes, and wants to turn a good team into a great team.

Unfortunately, all we fans can do is wait, hope and pray.

Our offseason begins anew, now.

That being said - GO BUCS IN '09!

Since: Sep 2, 2007
Posted on: January 16, 2009 10:14 pm

Gruden gone

Would he be a bigger ass than Nick "I'm not interested in college football, I like Miami: oh look, now I'm coaching for Alabama" Saban? He would be leaving at a pretty poor time with the returning seniors but not quite a walk out like Saban's.

Since: May 3, 2008
Posted on: January 16, 2009 9:44 pm

Gruden gone

New flash! Prisco reduces everything to the quarterback position. What a shocker.

Too bad that analysis doesn't apply in this situation. The Bucs' collapse had everything to do with defense and nothing to do with quarterbacks. He might not be a long term answer, but Jeff Garcia played well this season. The rest of the offense was decent too, even if they had injury problems at RB. That offense, however, was not designed to be an offense that was going to put up 30-40 points every game. If you look at the scores of those last four games, you would see that they would have needed to do that in order to win. Prior to the last four games, the Bucs had not given up more than 30 points in any game this season. Of those four games, they allowed more than 30 three times. Prior to the last four games, the Bucs allowed one 100 yards runner. In the last four games, three backs went over 150 yards against the Bucs. It should be pretty obvious why the Bucs lost those games: they couldn't stop anybody. Now, you could possibly blame Jon Gruden for that - he is the head coach after all - but that was Monte Kiffen's defense and as soon as he announced he was leaving, the defense fell apart.

Since: Nov 30, 2008
Posted on: January 16, 2009 9:08 pm

Gruden gone

I do.  I love the fact that BC warned Jagoff, stuck by their word, and fired his arse when he interviewed.  If you don't stick up for your school, who will ?

Since: Oct 18, 2008
Posted on: January 16, 2009 8:43 pm

Gruden gone

I will put my cents in. This stinks of Bill Cowher. This is a semi established team that needs a little bit of work before it can be a proven winner. And he can have total control of the orginization.

Since: Dec 16, 2006
Posted on: January 16, 2009 7:56 pm

Gruden gone

If the Bucs are targeting a big-name college coach, I hope his current employer doesn't take the "BC route" and fire him the minute his name surfaces in the coaching carousel rumor cycle!

Since: Oct 10, 2006
Posted on: January 16, 2009 7:35 pm

Gruden gone

I agree with Prisco and Judge, something big has to be underway for this absolutely shocking purge.  It has to be either Shanahan or Cowher - otherwise this just does not make sense.  I do not think Bob Stoops or Urban Meyer will leave the college ranks this year.  Pete Carroll may listen to offers now that he is faced with a rebuilding project at USC.  So that is a definite possibility.  But of the college coaches I do not see them becoming big time NFL coaches for the following reasons:

Bob Stoops - just can not get his team to win the big game, whether it is for the championship or just another bowl consistently disappoints.

Urban Meyer- a fantastic leader of young men, a great motivator - but the spread offense will not work in the NFL leading to mediocre production ala Steve Spurrier.

Pete Carroll - already has a mediocre NFL track record, some coaches (like the above mentioned) are just better suited to the college game, Pete is definitely one of these coaches. 

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