Friday, January 16, 2009

Bucs Fire Gruden - For Not Winning Enough!

I saw early today that Joe Barry was hired back as LB coach by the Bucs. Of course, I was shocked this evening to read that Bruce Allen and Jon Gruden were fired by the Tampa Bay Bucaneers! I guess Tampa and Tampa North are not having good luck!! Just think how many coaches we could have hired from there if Millen were still in charge?

Honestly, did he do so bad? They "collapsed" late, ending at 9-7 and one game out of the playoffs in a tough division. He's won a Superbowl, and led them to 2 more Division Titles. I know about expectations, but still.... their defense is aging, and it shows. So it is time for a rebuild on personnel, but the coach?

Make that a good thing the Lions hired Schwartz when they did as it gives him a chance to review the assistants coming out of Tampa and other places. It also means yet another HC opening this Ifseason. Talk about a massacre in the coaching ranks!!

Think about it:

Seattle transitions from Mike Holmgren to Jim Mora
Indianapolis from Tony Dungy to Jim Caldwell
Denver from Mike Shanahan to Josh McDaniels
Jets from Eric Mangini to TBA
Browns from Romeo Crennel to Eric Mangini
Raiders from Who Cares to Somebody Else
Rams from Scott Linehan/Jim Haslett to TBA [note - Linehan as OC and Haslett as DC?]
SF49ers from Mike Nolan to Mike Singletary
Tampa Bay from Jon Gruden to TBA
Kansas City Chiefs - GM change from Peterson to Pioli, coaching change next?

That is roughly one third of the league changing coaches -- throw in the Coordinators who were promoted and the ones who were fired -- and now you have one heck of a movement of chaotic team jumping at all levels this ifseason.

What is also different is that you aren't just looking at "bottom feeder" teams --- Denver, Tampa Bay, Indy, and Seattle have been in the thick of the playoff races the last few years. So some of this is turnover among even established teams.

Speaking of turnover, I find it interesting that Schwartz didn't exactly fire all the current coordinators -- but told them they were free to look for other employment. From what I've read he had a good presser today, and seems to keep coming across as a guy who is going to do right what fans have been clamoring about being done wrong for so many years. We'll have to see if "talk" finally equals "action" from the Lions. [I'll definitely have more on Schwartz, including thoughts form around the league, my thoughts, and his philosophies and coaching choices in the coming days]

The Lions front office is "on the same page" with Schwartz -- which is good, considering they hired him! They better be! Mayhew is supposed to be at the East-West and Senior Bowl with Schwartz, scouting talent first-hand. I'm still interested in who they bring on to help with personnel. There are some juicy rumors floating around out there, but as has become the norm from Mayhew/Lewand nothing is out there they don't want to be leaked. Which means, no one knows but the Wizard.

It was pointed out that in this article on DanO is listed among the young talent at the core to build around in Detroit. Something tells me the Lions get a deal done with DanO before FA. Just a gut feeling, and I could be totally wrong -- it wouldn't be the first time. If they do, I don't see a QB before the later rounds -- if at all. Remember, with McCoy et al staying in school this year, there will be a very strong QB class coming out next year. Also keep in mind that the Lions will almost certainly be picking in the top 15 again next season, even if they show significant improvement by winning 5 or 6 games -- even 7. This means one of those QB's will be there next season from a stronger class when the Lions are on the clock. It will give them one more year to evaluate what they have in DanO (assuming they re-sign him) and in Stanton. If neither one is the long-term answer, I look for a QB in 2010.

Personally, I just don't see QB this season for the Lions in the draft, and unless something significant happens to change my mind, I'm going to be factoring a new QB OUT of my equations. Of course, more on coaching hires, still have to look at their 4-3 options, and much more. The Ifseason is young -- the time for mock drafts will come. As for me, it's too early for that -- there is so much more that needs to be settled first!

Go Lions!!


Isphet said...

I mostly agree with your QB draft assessment, with one caveat: If Stafford or Sanchez drops to 20th like Aaron Rodgers did; I wouldn't be surprised to see them picked at 20th, nor would I be disappointed.

I think Dan O. re-signing is a possibility; but only at the right price. They'll offer him a fair contract that he will have to consider; but it won't be sure-fire starting QB money by a long shot. Whether or not he thinks he can earn better on the open market is the million dollar question.

The coaching carousel you posted is crazy this year; especially the Bucs and Broncos ones. They will almost certainly regret their decisions. Good coaches are hard to come by; both of those GMs need to take a long hard look at their personnel decisions and take a little more responsibility. Both Gruden and Shannahan have what it takes to coach a winning team; they've done it before. The missing part of the equation is talent.

DetFan1979 said...

Shanahan was the GM as well -- it was his GMing, not his coaching, that got him fired. He wouldn't work under someone else in Denver is the opinion -- right or wrong -- that is out there. I think Allen's personnel decisions hurt Gruden over time.

Nubs - I'd like to see shanny or gruden at OC, but I don't think either would/could check their egos either -- and I don't want another Marinelli/Martz situation.

DetFan1979 said...

Isphet -

I'm not too thrilled with either Stafford or Sanchez (especially not Sanchez)

If both are there at 20, I would still take a defensive player. QB's of that caliber are not "must take". There are at least 3 or 4 -- or more -- QB's of that caliber that come out every year. They are ranked higher or lower depending on how thin the QB crop is that year. This year, it is darn thin that they are rated as 1 adn 2 right now. Remember, no one knew who Joe Flacco was at this time last year.

More of the small school prospects will start to get more attention, and it will be easier to look at the actual players to be drafted later.

I'm focusing on coaching and current players first, followed by FA (and some positional draft tie ins) -- then positional needs and THEN I will look at possible players.

It is the positions and type of player needed that is first and foremost, and that won't be known until after the rest of the coaching staff is hired, and FA gets rolling.

Lots of Ifseason to go!

Anonymous said...

If te Lions should get a 3rd round supplemental pick, then they could take a flier on a QB. Otherwise, I think this draft should only be used for defense or Olinemen.
I hope that Mayhew won't listen to all the Mel Kipers of the world like Millen used to. IMO. if Millen were still here, He would draft Stafford just because of the hype.

Anonymous said...

Here is a NY Times article pertaining to Coach Scwartz that I found interesting.
(It is on the PFT site under the Saturday one-liners)

It seems Jets fans are like Lions fans and maybe the Lions did make a good choice.