When Jon Gruden came to town, it was one of the best moments in Bucs history. Tampa went to the Super Bowl, things were looking up and Gruden was the man. But after the Super Bowl, the Bucs made the playoffs twice after that and didn’t advance past the Wild Card round in either appearances.
But in the offseason following the Buccaneers winning the 2007 NFC South crown, the Bucs extended Gruden’s contract through the 2011 season, as they did with general manager Bruce Allen. There was talk of bringing Brett Favre aboard, but Tampa felt they could manage with Jeff Garcia in town.
It ended up paying off initially as the Bucs started the season 9-3 and were white hot entering the final stretch of the season. It’s because of this which is why it’s so hard to understand why the Bucs lost each of their last four games of the 2008 season. A lot of people point to our previous moment as the reason the team lost it’s luster, but the bottom line was the Bucs couldn’t have fizzled out more quickly and unfavorably than they did. The meltdown cost Gruden his job and the Buccaneers (aside from the fluke 2010 season) haven’t pieced together a respectable season since.