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DBuc

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: November 07, 2006, 10:55:43 AM

First of all...I would hardly ever want us to model ourselves after the Saints...Yes they are doing well but they have been known to be streaky at times and they are hardly the model franchise...If you want to compare us to them now (like numerous threads have done the past couple of days)...especially when it came to their success in last year's draft...please understand one thing...They did not turn their whole franchise around based on one or two single drafts!  This season alone the Saints have 28 new players on their team (I do not think they were all from this past draft alone)...The key player on their team is their quarterback who was a free agent...I do not think they would be the same team at all without him...

This should be a lesson to all of you out there...You do not simply build through the draft anymore...You also cannot just build through free agency...and you can not simply win with having a terrific coach...You need all three to be working in your favor...as well as smart salary cap management (for long-term success)...and last but not least...a good or even great quarterback.  Those are the keys to success...For example:

1) When did the Patriots dynasty begin?  They had some pretty decent drafts for a while but what they did do was get their cap under control the season before they won...and then what happened?  They signed 20+ free agents, got lucky with a great quarterback and they were on their way.  Smart cap management, good drafts, good coach and great quarterback have kept that team on top for years...

2) Look at Dungy...He is a very good coach, he came into Tampa with Brooks, Nickerson, Sapp and Lynch already in place...Unfortunately Dungy got stuck with a general manager who made some good picks but mostly bad ones during his stay, made some very poor free agent acquisitions, and had poor cap management...Oh yeah...he did not have a decent quarterback until Brad Johnson...Dungy gets fired...but ends up in Indianopolis which has (surprise!) very good drafts, a Hall of Fame quarterback, good cap management and mixed with Dungy (a good coach) and so they do exceptionally well...

3) Gruden comes here and we are still living off the draft picks of the mid-90's (Dunn is gone)...We add over 20+ free agents and due to a little luck, very good coaching, great performances by great players (Sapp, Barber, Brooks and Rice)...we win the Super Bowl...but the problem is that from then on, THE FORMULA FOR SUCCESS WAS NOT THERE...and here is why...recent drafts up to that point (and the draft after the Super Bowl)were incredibly poor...horrible cap management that restricted us from getting new players( and keeping old, over the hill ones) and creating dead cap space...lack of picks (due to Gruden trade)...and no quarterback (Johnson was done...he was always at best a good game manager but his skills were slipping  fast)...Hence...two losing seasons and a third on it's way...won

4) Pittsburgh for years drafted well, were coached well acquired good free agents, had good cap management and then a QB eventually put them over the top.  Denver fits the same criteria except for QB (which probably explains why they have not won a Super Bowl since Elway) but at least put themselves back in the hunt by drafting Cutler. Jacksonville, San Diego, Philadelphia and even the NY Giants are teams that have set themselves up with this formula the last couple of years...

5) The best team to compare us to would have to be the Titans... Poor cap management and picks have left that team in a rebuidling mode (like us) the last couple of years).  They had to let a lot of veterans go just like us and are starting over...

Why are we going to be okay?  We have the coach...I know many of you don't believe it but I was not just convinced by the Super Bowl...Last year was  proof enough for me...To go 11-5 in our division with Griese and Simms at quarterback, our offensive line, few free agent acquistions of note (Hovan and Bolden) and an aging defense...It was remarkable...We got spoiled...That was a hell of a coaching job (it wasn't like we are in the NFC North for gosh sakes...we won the South!)...We had another solid draft...we are going to have multiple first day picks next draft (and high ones) to add to this already strong young  group...We have two young promising quarterbacks and lots of cap room to bring in a solid veteran qb next year...and...just like the Patriots, Saints and all the other teams on top this year...we will have a lot of cap room to sign very good players...and a few studs.

Last of all...We have a general manager who will assure us some long-term success with good drafts and cap management...That is critical...Just ask Jeff Fisher.



OpTiOnMaStA

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#1 : November 07, 2006, 11:04:43 AM

Good post, DBuc. I like what you have said and I agree with your points for the most part.

The few things that I want to point out, though, need to also be said. I don't want to rain on your parade here. I like Gruden and think that he is a good coach but I don't think he is giving his best effort here. He has to adapt to the times and change his playbook a bit. The thing that makes people so mad about Gruden is that he talks the talk but when it comes game time he isn't willing to do whatever it takes to win. He gives up on the run because he thinks the pass is better but yet he knows that historically he has to run the ball to win. If not, he will lose. Secondly, his unwillingness to implement a shotgun formation further characterises this. No, the shotgun isn't going to make us a great team, it isn't going to fix our offensive woes (the Raiders ran it last night and you saw how that went), but yet he should implement it. We could get a few good gains by throwing a team off guard by using it. Yet he won't do it...it is questionable at best.

Next year is the year Gruden needs to prove to this organization that he is, to steal a line from Denny Green 'who we thought he was.' He needs to win next year, so expect a lot of FA aquisitions and draft picks that are going to play fast. We aren't going to be taking guys in rounds 1-3 unless we think they are going to be instant contributors. We need help and I think we'll get it and have a good enough season next year. If we don't, i'm afraid that Gruden will be fired following 2007-2008 though.

alldaway

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#2 : November 07, 2006, 11:05:47 AM

I do not think the Bucs compare well with the Titans.  The Titans have undergone two rebuilding periods in a short time span due to bad cap management after breaking free from cap jail with their first rebuilding period.  The Bucs also have a better level of talent and far more experience with veterans than the Titans.

rocko23

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#3 : November 07, 2006, 11:24:57 AM

Good post, DBuc. I like what you have said and I agree with your points for the most part.

The few things that I want to point out, though, need to also be said. I don't want to rain on your parade here. I like Gruden and think that he is a good coach but I don't think he is giving his best effort here. He has to adapt to the times and change his playbook a bit. The thing that makes people so mad about Gruden is that he talks the talk but when it comes game time he isn't willing to do whatever it takes to win. He gives up on the run because he thinks the pass is better but yet he knows that historically he has to run the ball to win. If not, he will lose. Secondly, his unwillingness to implement a shotgun formation further characterises this. No, the shotgun isn't going to make us a great team, it isn't going to fix our offensive woes (the Raiders ran it last night and you saw how that went), but yet he should implement it. We could get a few good gains by throwing a team off guard by using it. Yet he won't do it...it is questionable at best.

Next year is the year Gruden needs to prove to this organization that he is, to steal a line from Denny Green 'who we thought he was.' He needs to win next year, so expect a lot of FA aquisitions and draft picks that are going to play fast. We aren't going to be taking guys in rounds 1-3 unless we think they are going to be instant contributors. We need help and I think we'll get it and have a good enough season next year. If we don't, i'm afraid that Gruden will be fired following 2007-2008 though.

dud you took the words  out of my mind, Gru does not seem to adjust and do whatever it takes to win, your hole post was on point

BucsGuru

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#4 : November 07, 2006, 10:21:24 PM

Good post, DBuc. I like what you have said and I agree with your points for the most part.

The few things that I want to point out, though, need to also be said. I don't want to rain on your parade here. I like Gruden and think that he is a good coach but I don't think he is giving his best effort here. He has to adapt to the times and change his playbook a bit. The thing that makes people so mad about Gruden is that he talks the talk but when it comes game time he isn't willing to do whatever it takes to win. He gives up on the run because he thinks the pass is better but yet he knows that historically he has to run the ball to win. If not, he will lose. Secondly, his unwillingness to implement a shotgun formation further characterises this. No, the shotgun isn't going to make us a great team, it isn't going to fix our offensive woes (the Raiders ran it last night and you saw how that went), but yet he should implement it. We could get a few good gains by throwing a team off guard by using it. Yet he won't do it...it is questionable at best.

Next year is the year Gruden needs to prove to this organization that he is, to steal a line from Denny Green 'who we thought he was.' He needs to win next year, so expect a lot of FA aquisitions and draft picks that are going to play fast. We aren't going to be taking guys in rounds 1-3 unless we think they are going to be instant contributors. We need help and I think we'll get it and have a good enough season next year. If we don't, i'm afraid that Gruden will be fired following 2007-2008 though.

dud you took the words  out of my mind, Gru does not seem to adjust and do whatever it takes to win, your hole post was on point

Ditto.

dbtb135

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#5 : November 08, 2006, 02:59:27 AM

I agree some, but the draft is the main thing. I think good coaches comes a somewhat close 2nd, but coaches like Billick and even our own Gruden can look amazing one year and terrible the next. Bill "NFL God" Belichick didn't even do so well in his first time around. A guy like Parcells (and even Gibbs to an extent because he's been away for a while) can come in and not do a ton after being among the highest regarded coaches ever. Coaching is important, obviously, but it's not as important as the draft.

gone

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#6 : November 08, 2006, 11:11:36 AM

We've finally had 2 full drafts.  But no real FA cash yet.  We'll have a third draft, with an extra pick, and some cash to grab a few quality vets.  With $25 mill we could grab 3 or 4 depending on structure.  Maybe more with good trading.  Between another draft, finally getting some veteran talent in here, and a hopefully fairly soft schedule next year, the stage is well set for a playoff run.  If Gruden can't do it then, then maybe it's time to start looking.  Even if he fails to get a berth, it would depend on how the team looks, and where the weaknesses are.

I say veteran talent, meaning new vet talent.  All our good vets are at the tail end of their carreers, not in their prime.  We need some quality vets we can roll with for a few years, and we really don't have any.

I won't be surprised to see some heads roll this year; I think Gru will be coaching for his job next year and will drop Muir at least, and probably Bisaccia too.  They were both given lots of candy this year and did jack with it.


ZenBuc

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#7 : November 08, 2006, 12:58:26 PM

We've finally had 2 full drafts.  But no real FA cash yet.  We'll have a third draft, with an extra pick, and some cash to grab a few quality vets.  With $25 mill we could grab 3 or 4 depending on structure.  Maybe more with good trading.  Between another draft, finally getting some veteran talent in here, and a hopefully fairly soft schedule next year, the stage is well set for a playoff run.  If Gruden can't do it then, then maybe it's time to start looking.  Even if he fails to get a berth, it would depend on how the team looks, and where the weaknesses are.

I say veteran talent, meaning new vet talent.  All our good vets are at the tail end of their carreers, not in their prime.  We need some quality vets we can roll with for a few years, and we really don't have any.

I won't be surprised to see some heads roll this year; I think Gru will be coaching for his job next year and will drop Muir at least, and probably Bisaccia too.  They were both given lots of candy this year and did jack with it.



well this is the schedule for 2007:

HOME:
ATL
CAR
NO
ARI
STL
JAX
TN
NFC East team

AWAY:
ATL
CAR
NO
SF
SEA
HOU
IND
NFC North team

Assuming we finish last in the South this year, we'll play the last place teams from the NFC East and North. So I'm guessing that'll be at DET or GB and home against WAS or DAL...


i don't like the 2 west coast road trips and a possible road trip to GB if we have to play them and playing the Colts in the dome won't be pretty either. But overall the schedule looks a bit easier...

mennoman

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#8 : November 08, 2006, 03:40:31 PM

I think Allen is excellent at manging the cap longterm.  He came into a mess and has us back on our feet cap-wise. 

I think Gruden is a good enough coach.  However,I think his ego causes him some problems, though.  For instance, he seemed unwilling to adapt his offense to his QB.  Also, I was upset the he couldn't find a way to keep Meshawn on the field while he was collecting a paycheck.  We'll never know what went on there, but it wasn't like Meshawn did anything publicly that forced Gru's hand.  I don't see any better options than Gruden out there.

It's difficult to grade Gru-Allen's drafting ability since they haven't had many high picks that have had a chance to develop yet.  The jury's still out.

What scares me is the QB situation.  Simms is gone, whether or not he's the answer.  Grads may or may not be the answer.  If he is, great.  If he's not, we don't have a lot of options.  There are no proven vet winners due out in FA this year.  The top-rated FA QB is Matt Schaub....Matt Schaub.  Our own SoP is second-rated.

I hope we get SEVERAL impact players next year with all that cap $ and those high draft picks we will have, or it will be ugly again.

1sparkybuc

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#9 : November 09, 2006, 07:38:58 AM

Bruce Allen is the best possible GM for the Bucs in their current situation. He will earn his money in the next ten months.

Gruden needs an OC to run things for him. He's great at play design. He falters when it's time to implement those plays in a real game. He needs someone who recognizes which plays might work with the personnel available.

This team right now has no strong point to build on. There are holes that need to be filled at nearly every position. The decent players are either young and inexperienced or nearing the end of their careers. The D is going to receive a major overhaul in the coming offseason and the O is hardly set in stone beyond the RG and Cadillac.

Too many variables to make a guess at how well the Bucs will do in '07. I expect improvement but I doubt we will see the playoffs. It takes time to succeed with a simple system, and Gruden's system is not simple.

George Allen will soon be unemployed. Maybe he can help his brother out. ;D
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