AFC Championship Preview: Ravens vs. Steelers
Buccaneers Fire Coach After Late Season Collapse
Jon Gruden is out as coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the coach they refer to as “Chucky,” for his demeanor and facial expressions was axed Friday morning. Accompanying him will also be general manager Bruce Allen. Jon Gruden was the head coach of the Buccaneers for the last seven seasons and helped the team win its first ever Super Bowl in 2003, Allen has been with the team for the last five seasons.
Buccaneers co-chairman Joel Glazer came out with all the cliches that come with a firing of a head coach or manager, he had this to say,
“We will be forever grateful to Jon for bringing us the Super Bowl title, and we thank Bruce for his contributions to our franchise.” and “However after careful consideration, we feel that this decision is in the best interest of our organization moving forward.”
We feel that the decision was made alot sooner, to open a season at 9-3 and finish 9-7 is just not acceptable. In fairness to Gruden it was not completely his fault as the Buccaneers defense took the month of December off. The defense allowed 756 rushing yards over the last 4 games of the season, an average of 189 rushing yards per game, numbers that resemble defenses at the college level. The under-sized defense wore out later in games and towards the end of the season as they were outscored 62-19 in losses to Carolina, Atlanta, San Diego and Oakland.
The organization used up alot of potential talent when they gave up 2 first round draft picks, 2 second round picks and $8 million to get Gruden to come to Tampa. By the way the players the Raiders ended up drafting were, Langston Walker, Tyler Brayton, Jake Grove and they traded a first round pick also. We will never know what Tampa’s front office would have made with these picks, but to trade that in exchange for a coach that spent 7 seasons and won 1 Super Bowl with the team we think it worked out for the Buccaneers.
Be assured that Jon Gruden will not be unemployed for too long, his success with struggling franchises speaks for themselves. His questionable December record will be the hot issue as chairman’s, owners, and managers discuss his name as a candidate for a coaching opening.