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bucs1

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« : June 15, 2007, 08:21:47 PM »

Click here to watch the video: http://www.buccaneers.com/av/flvideo.aspx?id=1643

From Buccaneers.com http://www.buccaneers.com/news/newsdetail.aspx?newsid=5830

Buc Fans Get Connected

GM Bruce Allen treated a gathering of fans to an information-rich presentation at team headquarters Thursday night during his Get Connected event, presented by Verizon Wireless


General Manager Bruce Allen didn't shy away from the hard topics or the tough questions Thursday night

Jun 15, 2007 -

A rabid Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan dressed in team gear walked out of One Buccaneer Place on Thursday evening, looked back over her shoulder at the giant steel-and-glass football that adorns the building’s entrance and mouthed a quiet, “Wow,” under her breath.

Unknowingly, this fan had supplied the perfect summary of the evening on her way out. It was not the first time that word was uttered at Buccaneer headquarters on Thursday night.

When average, unconnected fans have direct access to Buccaneers General Manager Bruce Allen; when they are supplied with the sort of intricate, inside information that makes an NFL team tick; when they are privy to and able to benefit from the state-of-the-art technology and management systems that are the lifeblood of One Buc Place…well, let’s just say the “Wow!” factor goes through the roof.

On Thursday night, about 100 Buccaneer fans found themselves plugged into the team’s information highway, thanks to Allen and the Get Connected event presented by Verizon Wireless. When they finally walked out of One Buc at 8:15 p.m., they had been at team headquarters for roughly two-and-a-half hours, enjoying a meal in the team dining room, an extensive tour of the less-than-a-year-old One Buc grounds and, best of all, over an hour of give and take in the expansive team auditorium.

The concept of Get Connected is straightforward, if rarely executed. Bring in a group of people from the Bay area community who truly care about the Buccaneers – fans, that is – and give them the information they’ve long wanted to know, direct and unfiltered. Thanks to a thorough, 45-minute presentation by Allen, this lucky group found out many things they didn’t even know they didn’t know.

Thursday’s event marked the second year in a row that Allen has met with the fans through Verizon Wireless’ Get Connected event, and the event promises to be an annual affair. This year, the majority of the attendees won the right to attend through a contest run at Verizon Wireless locations throughout the Bay area.

After dinner and a round of tours, the guests assembled in the auditorium at 7:00 p.m. for the featured event. Supported by a wide range of materials projected on the massive, 25-foot screen behind him, Allen delivered an informal but information-dense presentation that ranged in topics from the demands on coaches to the intricacies of the salary cap.

Allen began his presentation by stating the organization’s belief that success or failure in any professional sport is determined by a team’s structure, talent and desire. From there, he touched on the many specific, practical ways a team can fulfill the demands of those concepts.

First and most obvious among his examples was the new team headquarters that most of the guests were seeing from the inside for the first time.

“This place is designed to help every player and every coach win a football game and win a season,” said Allen. “A player in the NFL is a business. Some people say that is an insult to players; we understand it’s a fact. A player needs to maximize what he can do as a professional football player on the field. That’s in terms of intelligence, preparation, coaching, weight-training and medical concerns. If we can keep them healthy, they can prolong their careers. The average NFL career is 3.6 years. They’ve been playing since Pop Warner with the dream of playing in the NFL, and the average career is 3.6 years. If we can help them maximize that and get to 4.6 years, they want to be Tampa Bay Buccaneers.”

Allen went on to share specific and relevant information on the Bucs’ coaching staff, scouting department, video retrieval system, draft-day methods and tools and salary cap situation. He also included a section he had entitled “Facing Facts,” which he admitted wasn’t his favorite part of the conversation. In it, Allen touched on the shortcomings that led to the team’s 4-12 mark in 2006 and the challenges it would face in turning that record around.

The “Wow” slide in his Facing Facts presentation contained passer rating numbers for the Bucs and their opposition over the last decade. The numbers, presented in offensive and defensive columns from 1997-2006, were startling. In only two of those seasons did the Buccaneers fail to have a better passer rating numbers than their opponents – 1998 (the only non-playoff season between 1997-2002) and 2006. When the Buccaneers won the Super Bowl in 2002, the variance between their passer rating and their opponents’ was +37.9. Last year, it was -24.8.

While admitting that he often found statistics misleading, Allen used those numbers to share with the invited guests the core of the team’s offseason strategy in 2007. Basically, the Bucs decided that they had to do whatever was necessary to improve upon their own 66.2 passer rating and to dramatically lower their opponents’ mark of 91.0. Exhibits A and B in that regard: Jeff Garcia and Gaines Adams.

“You have to face the facts, whether you like it or not,” said Allen of his team’s offseason evaluations. “Whether a player’s getting it done or whether he’s not; whether the talent’s good enough; did we make mistakes in coaching or did we not?

“This tells the story – passer rating. Passer rating involves more than just an individual passer. It talks about pass protection, it talks about dropped passes, it talks about system. Defensively, your opponents’ rating tells you about the pass rush, it tells you about your coverage, it tells you about game decisions.”

Here and in other portions of his presentation, Allen made use of game film to support his points. That he could do so readily was also one of the more interesting packets of information, if one were judging by audience reaction. The guests were amazed at the volume and the organization of the game tape that coaches and players make use of on a daily basis through the team’s XOS Technologies system. With simple prompts, for instance, Allen easily showed the audience a breakdown of every play the Seattle Seahawks have run in “Ace” personnel (two tight ends and one back) in the last three seasons.

Other intriguing notes Allen shared with Thursday’s guests:

Coaching in the NFL is a “dangerous job.” Since 2000, there have been 47 new head coaches, 72 new offensive coordinators and 93 new defensive coordinators in the NFL. Only two teams have kept the same three people in those positions since 2002: the Buccaneers and the Colts. Said Allen: “We believe we’ve supplied them this year with the talent that will allow them to continue.”

Pro scouts use the XOS system to scout hundreds of potential free agents at the beginning of every offseason. In setting free agency strategy, the team considers that tape breakdown to be by far the most crucial scouting element. Allen referred to game tape as a player’s “DNA.” “How he performs on tape in the NFL,” said Allen, “is who he is.”

The Buccaneers will spend $1 billion on player salaries over the next seven years. The salary cap has grown immensely since its introduction in 1993, when it was set at approximately $34 million. The new CBA directs 62% of league revenues to player salaries.

The NFC South has been the NFL’s toughest division since the NFL realigned into eight divisions in 2002. The Bucs’ division is the only one to have a team in a conference championship game every season since then, and it is the only division to have had all of its teams make a championship game in that span.

After his presentation, Allen conducted a lengthy question-and-answer session in which he encouraged the guests to hit him with the tough topics. They took the bait, lobbing such grenades as the Jake Plummer trade, the Chris Colmer draft pick, the possibility of throw-back uniforms, the length of the preseason and the league’s new approach to player misbehavior.

Twenty minutes of dialogue later, Allen capped the evening with one more show on the auditorium’s giant screen. Giving the fans a taste of how thrilled Defensive Coordinator Monte Kiffin was to get Gaines Adams in the draft, Allen shared an internal highlight video that Kiffin had assembled in the days after draft weekend. As Adams toasted one left tackle after another and hunted down a string of college quarterbacks, there were a few more “Wows” to be heard in the crowd.

Clearly, it was a thrilling experience to Get Connected at One Buc Place on Thursday night.

Uncle Stan

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« #1 : June 16, 2007, 11:47:26 AM »

Thanks for the report.





Learn to disagree without being disagreeable-Ronald Reagan circa 1981

replica

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« #2 : June 16, 2007, 10:23:34 PM »

Man would I have loved to have been there..

Ladyfan

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« #3 : June 16, 2007, 11:14:29 PM »

man!  i am so jealous.


replica

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« #4 : June 17, 2007, 09:16:55 AM »

Maybe we can lobby SR/JF for tix next year..Private tour for PR subscribers?
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