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Gruden’s Future - The Continuing Saga

Posted Nov 27, 2006 by Scott Kramer

Updated Nov 27, 2006 at 01:28 AM

I’ll get to my review of the Thanksgiving game (for which I willnot give thanks) on Monday.  But first I wanted to address some of the responses to the Where Would He Rather Be entry.

There seems to be a big Fire Gruden contingent here.  Which is fine, I suppose.  Whenever a team is losing, the head coach has to expect that he’ll be put on the hot seat.  But let’s look at why you want him gone.  Some of you want him axed because of his playcalling.  But for the last several games, the plays have been there.  In fact, I think Gruden has done some of his best playcalling over the last month.  He hasn’t been afraid to take shots down the field, he hasn’t abandoned the run and he has called the right plays for the defense that was presented.  Several plays have been available and he has gotten some excellent looks.  It’s the execution that has fallen short, not the calls.  Poor passes and poor pass protection, more times than not, have been the reasons for the lack of offensive yards.  The Bucs have simply been outplayed, not outcoached.

I also hear a lot of “the head coach is responsible for the performance of the team”.  I guess that’s valid, but if that’s your argument, you should also be calling for Monte Kiffin‘s head.  It’s well known that Kiffin has total autonomy over the defense, and the defense looks considerably worse than the offense these days.  So, you fire Gruden and Kiffin at the end of the year, you’ve got a second year quarterback that hasn’t won too many games, a young offense overall and an aged defense that has only really worked under the Cover 2 scheme.  Scrap the defensive players, too?  Fine.  Now everyone is brand new.  Does that really sound like a recipe for winning?  Of course not.  And if you’re willing to give new coaches some time to win with their players, why aren’t you equally as willing to give Gruden/Kiffin time to get new players (remember, lots of cap cash next year) and start winning with them?  This season is really the first that Gruden and Bruce Allen won’t be stuck with Rich McKay‘s cap ineptitude and will also have a full compliment of picks.  Why would you change leadership without having given him every opportunity to succeed?

Trust me, I understand the frustration.  Watching games like the one against the Cowboys is tantamount to Chinese water torture with Nickelback playing in the background.  At this point, though, wins and losses are meaningless.  If the team doesn’t win again this year, it won’t affect my opinion of Gruden.  The best thing he can do is to use the games to gain valuable information about the players he currently has and where his needs are in 2007.  Then he’ll have everything he needs to rebuild, and I still think he’s the best man for that particular job.

Reader Comments

Por (john j. eagan) on November 27, 2006 (Suggest removal)

i for one believe in gruden. that team our bucs crushed in the super bowl was his team as the same with the bucs being dungy’s team. my beef with allen/gruden is over the past three years they have been tring there best to built this explosive offense and ignored our defense. this franchise has never had an offense. whenever we’ve won, it was with defense. anybody thinking of firing monte K and scrapping the cover 2 is a fool. the most important factor of the cover 2 is the pass rush. REMEMBER THAT AROUND DRAFT TIME AND FREE AGENCY! we didn’t go 11-5 last season because of a high powered “O”, we did it with the #1 “D”. so please allen/gruden, rebuild our TAMPA 2 DEFENSE IMMEDIATEDLY!

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Por (Stephen Blackehart) on November 27, 2006 (Suggest removal)

Thank You Scott.
No-one is more disappointed in this season than me, but (although it took me awhile to turn the corner) I definitely feel the same way.
Likewise, it continually irked me over the last few seasons to see what a nice sabotage job McKay did on this franchise. The man had over a year in Tampa after Blank first offered him the job(during which he knew he was jumping to Atlanta) to write Bucs contracts he knew would hobble his soon-to-be division rival for several years, so he and Mr. Blank could get a financially competitive jump on their mutual foe, Jon Gruden. Ever wonder how hard McKay actually tried to keep Warrick Dunn from jumping to the Falcons?

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Por (Mort Rainey) on November 27, 2006 (Suggest removal)

Nice try. What makes you an expert on play calling? You some sort of unofficial Norv Turner or something? Are we to believe that you’ve actually broken down the game films? The proof is in the puddin’ pal. There is nothing innovative or immaginative about Gruden’s play calling and poor execution is directly related to poor coaching. You cannot separate the two. Claiming that you can reveals how little you know of football. To remind you, Tony Dungy was fired after coaching the Bucs to a 9-7 record, which was preceded by a 10-6 record, which followed an 11-5 record. It stands to reason that Gruden’s job is safe so long as he doesn’t put back to back to back winning records together.

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Por (Timothy Smith) on November 27, 2006 (Suggest removal)

You say let Gruden coach. Here is some things I do not like about him. The Bucs pick up players like Tim Rattay amd Luke McCown and Gruden is willing to give up a draft pick for Luke. But yet nether Rattay or McCown are Better the Gradkowski? Rattay is a 7 year pro and McCown is a 3 year pro. If they are not as good as a 1st year QB why are they on the team. Then there is the players Gruden let lose. Not only Vets like Sapp and them but young players to. Like t. jones from the Bears to name 1. This is only some of the things I think is wrong with Gruden. As for Monte how many draft picks went for defense. And how many coaches left to defense side in the last year or 2

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Por (r.a.beierman) on November 27, 2006 (Suggest removal)

its painful to watch my team go down the tubes like this. i’ll stand behind them NO MATTER WHAT. GO BUCS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Por (James Demler) on November 27, 2006 (Suggest removal)

I agree with you 101%!!!  People just like to bitc# and point fingers when their team is this bad.  Besides, who would replace Gruden, Larry Coker?  Wake up people!  He got you one, he’ll get you another one!

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Por (Oliver Lewis) on November 27, 2006 (Suggest removal)

If Gruden wants to leave, all I have to say is good riddance to him.

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Por (patrick dotson) on November 27, 2006 (Suggest removal)

I COULDNT AGREE WITH YOU MORE SCOTT….GRUDEN AND ALLEN HAVE DONE A WONDERFUL JOB CLEANING UP OUR CAP ISSUES.I ALSO AGREE THAT GRUDEN IS DOING SOMETHING THAT HAS NEVER BEEN DONE IN BUC HISTORY….BUILD A OFFENSE,HE HAS THE RIGHT PIECES I BELIEVE TO FINISH THE PUZZLE AND MAKE IT LOOK RIGHT…I THINK NEXT YEAR IS GOING TO BE THE YEAR GRUDEN CAN LIVE UP TO THAT SAYING “TAMPA YOU HAVENT SEEN NOTHING YET”....GO BUCS

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Por (Sam Koubaissi) on November 27, 2006 (Suggest removal)

Very well put!!! I still believe in Gruden and Kiffen. It has been a tough season and we werent able to upgrade and sign free agents especially on the defensive side. But I look at this way, at least we didnt spend money in free agency like Atlanta, Washington, Carolina and some others and they still are non play off teams or strrugling to play football! I look forward to next season with some smart draft picks and good free agency pick ups mainly defense!!! Cant wait!

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Por (Shawn Golan) on November 27, 2006 (Suggest removal)

Gruden is NOT the only one to blame…the players must shoulder their share too.  The real issue is this…Gruden has been in Tampa almost 5 full seasons.  Super Bowl in year one, then 2 BAD campaigns.  11-5 last year (the ENTIRE NFC was weak last year, so lets not give too much credit, we flourished in a conference filled with mediocratiy), now we’re on the way to a #2 or 3 overall pick in the draft.  I think Gruden earned a lot of inurance with the Super Bowl win, but that credit is wearing off fast.  We’re not calling for his head b/c of one bad season…I’m calling for a new coach/GM for 3 BAD seasons out of the last 4.  Since the super bowl the Bucs are batting below .500, not bad in baseball, but that won’t due in the NFL.

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Por (Oliver Lewis) on November 27, 2006 (Suggest removal)

If Gruden wants to leave good riddance.

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Por (Scott Kramer) on November 27, 2006 (Suggest removal)

Mort,

Ouch.  That Norv Turner crack was uncalled for.

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Por (Shawn Golan) on November 27, 2006 (Suggest removal)

I’ll concede that the current regime has cleaned up the cap.  We’re now in a position to really work the free-agent market and bring in some talent.  This team has a few vets on defense that deserve another run, but I’m skeptical as to whether under Gruden/Allen the veterans that the team needs are going to arrive.  Our young offensive players are NOT that good.  Clayton - still can’t catch.  The o-line needs 5 years or so to really come into it’s own. Gradkowski will NEVER be the guy that this team needs.  There is a reason he went to Toledo and was drafted in the 6th round…he was never that good.  I would like to see a change simply b/c I have no faith that Gruden/Allen will make the moves that need to be made to create a winner.

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Por (Frank Reichart) on November 27, 2006 (Suggest removal)

I for one have no problem if Mr. Gruden decided there was a better place for him.  I am sure he would take mr. Allen with him as well.  I prefer to NOT have 30 million and quality draft picks left in the hands of these two men who have already shown us a tremendous lack of knowing and understanding undeveloped talent.

Put it all in the hands of a new group and lets move forward…not backwards as we have more so than not these days!

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Por (Tim Gilpin) on November 27, 2006 (Suggest removal)

Posted by Oliver Lewis, Tampa, Florida on 11/27 at 12:05 PM

If Gruden wants to leave good riddance.
hey we get it you dont like gruden 1 post is enough. but you obvoisly dont know jack about football, i feel at times gruden has been stubborn and made bad calls, however, the D is playing horrible, and our wideout have the 3rd most dropped passes. i say give him 2 more years we got 7 1st and 2nd yr. players on offense and im hoping this year in the draft we rebuild the D.

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Por (GEORGE LESLIE HICKS) on November 27, 2006 (Suggest removal)

Hello Die-Hearted Buc Fans: I have lived in Tampa as a child, And I followed the Bucs from day one. Just because Tampa is 3 and 7, doesn’t mean to panic. The Experts wasn’t picking the Bucs to do anything in 2007. Why looked at the games from a coaches viewpoint. Next year Tampa bay is going to have 5 of the Top 150 players with their first 4 rounds.I would go after 5 top players from 5 Top colleges
when the draft comes around.1. A DB from OHIO ST,USC,TEXAS,MICH or FLA.Rd 2-go after another Defensive player,In Rd-3 Go after a big all purpose back to play FB or RB.With Ind pick another
Top quality Offensive Linemen.In Rd-4 Go after best player available from those 5 schools I mention.GLH Dallas,Tx.

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Por (Brenda Nelsen) on November 28, 2006 (Suggest removal)

Wake up Buc’s fans and support your team.  Jon Gruden has more talent then most of the coaches in the league and he is not 100% to blame for the breakdown.  The players need to pull it
together and act like a team.  I could
only hope that Gruden would come to Denver - the only way I would support the Bronco’s.  Too bad for the “Good Time” fans - SUPPORT YOUR TEAM !

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Por (Ernie Froehlich) on November 28, 2006 (Suggest removal)

It is quite obvious that unless the bucs do some serious changes to their pass coverage in the off season and I am sorry to say but Darrel Brooks was almost always two steps too slow this year. And something chucky needs to learn is sometimes when you got a really good player and that player is maybe a loud mouth and a jerk sometimes, just shut up and deal with it (aka sapp ,keyshawn) and whoose brain child was it to let Lynch and dwight smith to go to other teams. That person needs to be fired for a true lack of common sense. The secondary has never been the same since.

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Por (B Johns) on December 03, 2006 (Suggest removal)

Inside the Pittsburgh 5 and we pass; jump ball in the corner. Interception. What happened to “Pound the Rock? Terrible play calling. Poor coaching. The Bucs look awful and I’ve been a fan since Day 1. It’s time to make sweeping changes.

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Por (John Pitt) on December 17, 2006 (Suggest removal)

Wake up and smell the coffee.  Let’s review the Gruden Era.  Sure, he came in and “gave Tampa a Super Bowl” in his first season.  It was a fun experience, but we need to admit that he was given a perfect scenario.  He was handed a team that still had the Dungy style of discipline.  The team did not make many mistakes because of what Tony taught them and they disciplined themselves.  And then, What more perfect of a scenario than for Mr. Gruden to coach against his own offense in the big game.  The Raiders hadn’t even changed the terminology.

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Por (John Pitt) on December 17, 2006 (Suggest removal)

Now.  Let’s look at what he’s done since.  3 of 4 losing seasons and a loss in the playoffs to a team that backed into the playoffs last year.  He and his cronies have dismantles a World champion caliber defense to create a less than mediocre offense.  Deficiencies in the offensive line have never been addressed, and he alone decided to go with a 7th round rookie QB as a backup.

The fact of the matter is that Gruden is the most OVERRATED head coach in the league.  He continues to provide us with undisciplined teams with a severe lack of depth.  It is time for a change.  Dungy may have not given Tampa a Super Bowl, but he gave us a winning team with consistency and a winning attitude.  That does not exist any longer.

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