SI Vault
William F. Reed
December 25, 1995
Holiday memo to NFC Central fans: Santa Claus is coming to town, and he's not a happy camper. He is weary of all those faxes from owners asking for new stadiums or leases. He is tired of everybody whining about ineffective defenses. He is sad that the erstwhile Black-and-Blue division has become a high-tech video game that you can't win without scoring a zillion points.
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December 25, 1995

The Nfc Central

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WISH LIST: Second-year quarterback Trent Dilfer needs to be more mature and poised in 1996. "As he grows as a quarterback, we'll grow as a team," says McKay. That's provided, of course, that the Bucs can continue building their talent base on both sides of the ball. "We need to get better in the offensive line," McKay says. "We haven't been productive there on a consistent basis, and that hurts both Trent and Errict. On defense we're relatively happy, although we don't have that superstar on the line who can put pressure on the quarterback."

DECK THE HALLS: The Bucs could be heading for Orlando or Cleveland or somewhere else if owner Malcolm Glazer and the city can't reach an agreement on the stadium issue. The city offered to renovate Tampa Stadium, but Glazer says he wants to raze it and build a new one. However, when Buc fans were asked to pony up money for seat licenses in a new stadium, the response was, to be kind, tepid. Negotiations are at an impasse.

THE ORNAMENT AT THE TOP: Sports columnists from both The Tampa Tribune and the St. Petersburg Times have called for the firing of Sam Wyche, who has never had a winning record in his four years with the team. "We've got to sit down after the season and see where we've been and what we've got in store," McKay says. Translation: Look for the Bucs, wherever they are, to have a new coach next season.

NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION: Strengthen the offensive line and build on the first nonstrike season since 1981 in which the franchise lost fewer than 10 games.

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