Its been a little over a week since our season came to a screeching halt. While trying to reflect and look towards the future it is time to check out the captain of the ship. There are some people out there who would give their left leg to see Jon Gruden fired. This post is NOT for them. You wont hear the age old argument that he won the Superbowl with Dungy’s team. Or that he should give Alstott the ball. Those have been debated to death and I don’t particularly agree. So, while those certain people are out limping in circles, I’ll try to show both sides of the argument.
Walk the Plank (some arguments against him returning):
He has missed the playoffs two out of the last three years and December is quickly becoming my least favorite month (the flu, Bucs failures, and the ever growing pressure of staying out of the doghouse on Christmas…who would have thought a Grill Pan and Cookbook weren’t “thoughtful” gifts). The offensive genius label has long been replaced with much less flattering monikers as his offensive stats have never backed that claim since he changed coasts. The list of disgruntled players continues to grow (Keyshawn Johnson, Keenan McCardell, Charles Lee, Simeon Rice, Mike Alstott, Jeff Garcia, Chris Simms, etc).… there was even a qb that chose playing handball over collaborating with Gruden (Jake Plummer). Missed draft picks and poor free agent signings (Stuessie, Deese, Garner, Marquise brothers (Cooper & Walker), Dexter freaking Jackson, etc).
That was the past….unfortunately, the immediate future doesn’t look all that better with our current collection of offensive talent. Talent that he, along with Bruce Allen, assembled. In comparison, Mike Shannahan the GM seems to ultimately be the one responsible for getting Mike Shannahan the coach fired. At the end of the day, there were way too many swing and misses on free agents and round 1-4 draft picks. Gruden is nearing that same kind of fate. Absent more than a couple splash, big time free agents at key offensive and defensive positions (ie QB, RB, DL), not many will look at this team as a legitimate contender in 2009. Solid? Maybe. Contender? Doubtful. If a new coach/GM was brought in, they could immediately begin putting their fingerprints on new plans and ideas without much of a dropoff in expectations.
Any more gripes or thoughts? Leave them in the comment section