Teams can draft well and hire the best coaches, but sometimes things out of their control – like luck – can make or break a franchise. With the announcement that Eric Wright and Aqib Talib won't be dealing with offseason criminal trials was met with a huge sigh of relief inside the organization.
A lot goes into a successful football season. Talent is crucial, good coaching without a doubt is imperative, but one thing that isn’t controllable – but maybe just as important – is good luck.
With the announcement Friday by Eric Wright’s attorney that charges won’t be filed, combined with the case against Aqib Talib being dropped earlier last month, the Buccaneers appear to have dodged two major bullets (no pun intended).
Friday afternoon Wright’s attorney, Jeremy I. Lessem released a brief statement.
"On July 1, my client Eric Wright was involved in a car accident in Los Angeles and was arrested for suspicion of DUI.
"Today, I am pleased to announce that the Los Angeles County District Attorney has reviewed the facts and decided not to file any charges. Therefore, no charges at all will be filed against Eric. Eric is glad this is behind him and is eager to begin training camp at the end of the month."
Back in June Talib’s attorney Frank Perez issued similar statement.
"We appreciate the District Attorney's thorough review of this case. Aqib is appreciative of the support that he received from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' organization, his teammates, Buccaneers' fans and his friends and family during this difficult period. With this matter now successfully behind him, Aqib's sole focus is on contributing to a successful 2012 season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers."
And with those two press releases the cases of Pepto Bismol that were stacked outside general manager Mark Dominik’s office door were put back in storage until the next public relation’s disaster happens.PR Reacts, Cook’s Take:
Having the two criminal cases dropped certainly must have brought a sigh of relief to the upstairs offices at One Buccaneer Place. After a disastrous 2011 which included a 4-12 season, ten straight losses and a complete cleansing of the coaching staff, the organization went into “rebuilding mode” beginning with the hire of Greg Schiano, who was brought in to win football games, but also change the culture of the franchise.
Schiano inherited the Talib fiasco but gave the veteran the benefit of the doubt. So far so good. Not only has Talib steered away from controversy, the former first-round pick also recently spent part of a day visiting learning disabled students with his boss, something that as far as we know hasn’t happened during Talib’s tenure in Tampa Bay.
The Wright signing was met with some skepticism by fans early on who wondered if Dominik overpaid ($37.5 million deal). When PewterReport.com broke the story that Wright was absent from several offseason workouts due to an undisclosed illness, the red flags increased. Then when Wright was charged with felony DUI the angry mob was in full effect with many calling for the Buccaneers to release Wright immediately. But with more than $15 million dollars guaranteed over the first two years that scenario seemed unlikely. Fortunately for Dominik and Schiano the case never materialized and a tough decision didn’t have to be made.
Both however are still treading thin ice, with little – if any – margin for error. Schiano has already shown by the release of Tanard Jackson and Kellen Winslow that he expects the players to buy into the "Buccaneer Way" and you can bet the two mentioned won't be the last who will be shown the door before Schiano's coaching career in Tampa eventually ends.
As stated earlier, as seen by the duo's good fortune, "Lady Luck" may in fact be back on the Buccaneers’ side. Now if the luck continues and grants Gerald McCoy, Brian Price, Josh Freeman, Wright and a few others a healthy season, and the team stays fairly intact over the course of the next six months, the possibilities are wide open for success.
Football is undoubtedly about talent and coaching. The difference between the hoisting the Lombardi Trophy and selecting first in the NFL Draft is separated by a razor thin margin, and you can never underestimate the luck factor.
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