| No way! |
Grin and bear it, Bucs fans: Jon Gruden will save the day.
By Ryan Hunt, CNNSI.com
The wait was long and the price was high, but for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it was all worth it.
After 35 days, Tampa Bay found the right person to fill its head coaching vacancy. The Bucs were in dire need of an offense-minded leader, not to mention a little fire (or, in layman's terms, a kick in the ass). Jon Gruden -- not Tony Dungy, not Bill Parcells, not Marvin Lewis, not Steve Mariucci -- is the one guy who fits both descriptions perfectly.
By giving up four picks, including two No. 1s, the Bucs will have to be more creative. They'll have to build more through free agency. And they have the right architect, considering Gruden has earned a reputation as a coach guys love to play for.
But leadership is more important to this franchise right now than draft picks. At 38, Gruden may be around longer than some of the picks, who could just as easily turn into a Reidel Anthony as they could a Derrick Brooks. The cost does not outweigh the possible benefits.
In the end, Gruden will lead Tampa Bay to the playoffs, as his predecessor did four times in six years. Only this time, you can expect the Bucs to score a touchdown. With Gruden, the sky's the limit.
| Suckers! |
You've gotta be kidding me: Jon Gruden -- for all that?
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
By B. Duane Cross, CNNSI.com
Bring in the clowns, Bucs fans. Just when you thought the Glazers had gotten a grasp of the coaching search, they mortgage the future of the franchise for the wunderkind of NFL coaching.
Tampa Bay yields four draft picks -- two No. 1s and two No. 2s -- and $8 million cash for Jon Gruden. What am I missing here? The Bucs aren't exactly spring chickens; that's not the window of opportunity you hear closing, it's arthritis setting in. Those four picks will be rued in 2005, by which time the current roster will be a distant memory. It comes down to players. Not even Lombardi ever scored or made a tackle.
It wasn't because of -- or in spite of -- Tony Dungy that the Bucs couldn't put it together. Too much attention is given to coaches; it's the player personnel folks who shape a roster. The Glazers should have started there and worked down. Those four draft picks -- with proper scouting -- could have given the Bucs something they're missing now: play-makers.
Landing Gruden will not erase the memory of this fiasco. The Bucs will not save face in this one because the ramificiations will be there for years to come, reminding everyone of what a circus the 2002 offseason was in Tampa.