Steady the Ship (some arguments for keeping the coach in place):
My preseason prediction for the 2008 Bucs was 9-7. Sure, a 9-3 start had everyone excited…but really, 9-7 was all I expected. Without the addition of any high impact free agents over the years he has turned around some trash heap finds (Antonio Bryant this year…Chris Hovan, Greg White, Jovan Haye, Thomas Jones, Jerramy Stevens in the last couple) without breaking the bank. I like the idea of NOT overpaying for the Nate Clements and Adalius Thomas’s that have been eligible in the last couple of years. Draft picks like Aqib Talib, Clifton Smith, Barrett Ruud, Davin Joseph, Tarard Jackson have met or exceeded their draft day status and give us a young nucleus to build around.
The fact of the matter is we know Jon Gruden can be and is a good coach. He has won 3 division titles in his time with the Bucs and if not for a terrible “tuck rule” call back in his time with the Raiders, may be a 2 time Super Bowl Champion (Of course, if not for the Bert Emanuel Rule…WE may have multiple titles as well…sigh). Not overreacting is typically a very good option. There are ALWAYS open receivers on just about each and every pass play regardless of if it’s the “light on his toes” Jeff Garcia, the “stuck in the ground” Brian Griese, the “I cant believe someone in the NFL is more inaccurate AND has a weaker arm than Garcia” Bruce Gradkowski, or the “at no point in someones life is it ok to tattoo another mans initials into your leg” Chris Simms, etc etc etc. Missed targets, dropped passes, poor tackling…does this fall back on the coach or not? Stability is generally a good thing for continued competitiveness of an NFL franchise. Hot coordinators are being drooled over right now because of the success of Mike Smith and Tony Sparano but keep in mind Eric Mangini was “Mangenius” for one season and Sean Payton was coach of the year. Lets see what happens in year 2 and 3. Its hard to win in this league, sometimes a calm hand at the top is the best thing.
Any Gruden lovers out there? Your thoughts?? Leave them in the comments