NFL braces for Chucky’s return… and why Buccaneers’ fans should be okay with it

For all you Buccaneers fans upset your team kept Dirk Koetter and lost out on the Jon Gruden sweepstakes, I’m here to talk you off the ledge and tell you why you’re better off without him.

Go grab yourself a cup of coffee, take off your Chucky-colored visor and listen to some well-thought out logic.  I hope you’re ready because this might hurt a few feelings.

Plain and simple, Gruden was, and is, a gamble… and an expensive gamble at that if you’re the Oakland Raiders.  This is a man who hasn’t coached an NFL game since 2008.  He may still wake up at four in the morning to break down game film but it takes a lot more than an alarm clock and a kind word to lead a football franchise to a championship.  Buccaneers fans would do well to remember there was absolutely no guarantee that would happen again in Tampa.

On the flipside, current head coach Dirk Koetter has been with this team for some time now.  Next season will be his fourth with the team and his third as head coach.  This isn’t an organization that has been characterized by stability at the top lately.

Koetter is the fourth head coach the Bucs have had since Gruden.  Raheem Morris lasted three seasons, Greg Schiano and Lovie Smith after him only two.  This will also be Koetter’s fourth season with Jameis Winston who seemed baffled by a lot of new offensive pieces this year.  After a down season, the Bucs are most certainly due to bounce back.  A little consistency might just go a long way in making that happen.  Both Koetter’s and Winston’s jobs depend on it.  Gruden would have been a very expensive Band-Aid, not to mention their fifth head coach in ten years.

With Gruden, it would have been back to the drawing board.  If you honestly believe Gruden would have stepped into One Buc and magically transformed Tampa Bay into a Super Bowl contender as he did fifteen years ago, you’ve been watching way too much ESPN.

And what if he didn’t?  Imagine if Gruden had come back to Tampa as head coach, implemented things his way and the Bucs ended up losing three out of their first four or six of their first eight?  How long until the boo birds questioned whether all that money was worth it?  Heck, Gruden’s Oakland contract is over half what it cost to build Raymond James Stadium in the first place.  The Bucs are not an organization that spends money unwisely.  They were not about to drop $100 million on a guy who hasn’t worn a headset in nearly a decade, even if he is a hometown hero. Trust me when I tell you they’re right for doing so.

Gruden isn’t stepping into a ready-made Super Bowl team either.  He will have his hands full with the Oakland-soon-to-be-Las-Vegas Raiders; there will be bumps and bruises.  After a successful 2016 campaign, Derek Carr regressed into a quarterback that looked like he didn’t know what he was doing.  I happen to believe that this Buccaneers team, at least on paper, is better than the Raiders and far readier to compete.  Want a sure thing?  Take the Raiders win total (which will be inflated because of Gruden) under next season and the Bucs win total over.  Mark my words.  You can thank me when you cash your ticket.

For those of you convinced that Gruden is the greatest gift to coaching, consider this.  His Bucs won a Super Bowl in a blowout against a team he had pretty good insider trading on considering he had coached them the season before.  If I sat at a poker table and knew everybody’s hand, I’d probably run the table as well.

Take away that initial Super Bowl season and Gruden’s record in Tampa was 45-51, not exactly Ring of Honor material.  Gruden glass half-fullers always tend to forget that his 2008 Bucs finished the season with four straight losses, missing the playoffs after a 9-3 start.  Shortly thereafter, he was run out of town.  They also forget that Gruden’s sole playoff wins in Tampa came that Super Bowl season.  His six seasons afterwards, he made the playoffs only twice and was bounced in the first round both times.

Personally, I have nothing against Jon Gruden.  I just can’t help but think going back to Gruden would be like going back to that girlfriend you had some hot fun with for a while until you rekindle the romance and eventually remember why things went sour in the first place.

You have to hand it to those who have created this image of Jon Gruden as one of the greatest football minds of our generation.  Compared to how many other shitty coaches there are in the NFL, maybe he is.  Either way, Gruden’s marketing team gets an A-plus because there’s not a person around who isn’t punch drunk off Chucky Kool-Aid.

Gruden played it smart.  He bided his time at ESPN and waited to see what the market would bear for his services.  As one faithful reader quipped, he hit the PowerBall.  10 years, $100 million.  More power to him.  I hope he does well.  Odds are he will.

I’m just perfectly okay with it not being in my town.  You should be too.

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16 Replies to “NFL braces for Chucky’s return… and why Buccaneers’ fans should be okay with it”

  1. Well argued there SportsChump! If I was a Tampa fan, i would, after digesting your remarks, feel perfectly at ease and be looking forward to a better year next season. As for the Gruden train, and being a Raiders fan, I’m not sold on him, (and certainly not fro $100mil), just because he’s been overly visible in the media, (reminds me of how 45 got elected). I’m still not happy about the move to Vegas. While there is some history there, I’m not convinced he will make the difference we are all hoping for given the talent pool we have. Odds are that Oakland will not have the turnaround the Rams had with their coaching change, but we can always keep hope alive!

  2. You have to admire the reckless stupidity of this franchise led by Mark Davis (owner) and GM Reggie McKenzie. Jon Gruden basically told them (Davis & McKenzie) take a knee su#k my di#k and I will be here for ten-years and $100 million.

  3. You are correct sir! When he joined the Bucs they were loaded on defense and finally possessed a capable game managing quarterback in Brad Johnson. Tampa Bay needs to rebuild their defense and as we in Tampa well know, Gruden is not the rebuilding type. I met Chucky when he was a kitchen manager at Hooters and I wish him the best. I’m just glad that he won’t have the Bucs fans to push around anymore.

  4. That 100 mill figure isn’t exactly fresh greenbacks sitting in an armored car. There is a hefty insurance policy that’s in that total. Marc Davis is a pauper compared to most of the other 30 some owners. The salary is based on the “come out line”. Mainly PSLs.

  5. Mony…

    Like I said in the post, there are gonna be some bumps and bruises along the way.

    First things first. Is Carr your quarterback? He better be considering the contract they just signed him to. Clearly, Gruden knew Carr was their guy, otherwise he wouldn’t have signed that deal.

    If the Las Vegas community welcomes the Raiders as they did the Golden Knights, they’ll have a solid fan base.

    But people in L.A. proper still root for the black and gold… which amazes me, sort of, considering they have two pretty good teams in the Rams and Chargers.

    It’s all pretty much a cluster, which I imagine suits L.A. just fine.

    Either way, I’m still taking the Bucs to have more wins than the Raiders next season.

    We’ll see how it plays out.

  6. Deac…

    There are still a ton of Bucs fans that wanted him. I wonder if there was even an offer on the table.

    The Raiders, last season aside (before Carr got hurt) haven’t been the same since that Bowl.

    Again, it’ll be interesting to see how things play out and how they draw in Las Vegas.

    And more importantly, will there be video poker and/or a sportsbook at the bars in their new stadium? Inquiring minds want to know.

  7. Here’s the deal: getting a guy who has been out of coaching for a while and having him succeed worked exactly once…Dick Vermeil with the St. Louis Rams. And that only worked because pulled a Belichick and accidentally tripped over a Hall of Fame quarterback.

    Speaking of quarterbacks…you up for a Point-Counterpoint episode? The topic: Jameis Winston – Franchise Quarterback or Not?

  8. Gruden won the Super Bowl with Dunge’s team. Take away that season and he’s a .590 coach. Period. I don’t like the guy and think Oakland made the blunder of the decade. Although we won’t see the true stupidity of their move for another three or four years. You did make some very valid points; I just wanted to accentuate the fact Tampa should be VERY happy he didn’t come here.

  9. If Gruden doesn’t have winning team within two years he won’t be with the franchise more than four years if that.

    Off-topic as such , if the Rooney Rule is meant to be used by all teams when they’re in search of a head coach or general manager . How is it that the Raiders were allowed to circumvent the rule ? They hire Jon Gruden , but then state they (GM Reggie McKenzie) interviewed both Tee Martin and Bobby Johnson after Gruden had agreed in principal to become Oakland’s head coach. Still believe the NFL conducts itself with any degree of honor or integrity ?

  10. I’ll miss Gruden’s commentary on the NFL shows, but good for Jon for ass raping the Davis family of $100 mil. They deserve it as they raped my city when they bailed back to Oakland. Disowned them after that. then they pulled the same crap on Oakland and will soon be the Las Vegas Raiders…As if the casinos need any help raiding anything. They been creating billions from sand for decades now.

    Anyhoo, as an avowed Raider Hater I hope he fails miserably. Not because of him personally, just Fuck the Raiders in general.

  11. Rick A.K.A. Scrabble God…

    Again, I just can’t help but wonder whether the Glazers would have retired his number had they known he was gonna take that Raiders gig.

  12. Al…

    Aren’t we to the point where we don’t need the Rooney Rule anymore?

    I mean, Gruden was on their radar the entire time. And by the way, I think he’s there longer than four years. Heck, they paid him a shit ton of money.

    But if Gruden were the most coveted coach of the off-season, which he was, and just happened to be black, which he’s not, then what’s the damn difference?

    I’m really beginning to question if the Rooney Rule doesn’t do more harm than good.

  13. Bleed…

    I meant what I said about the Bucs being better on paper.

    They are.

    I’m just hoping the coach they kept can prove it against the coach they fired.

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