Sunday morning Tampa Bay Times columnist Gary Shelton wrote a column about how coaches like Jeff Fisher and Wade Phillips declined to interview with the Buccaneers. Does that reflect on ownership? Are the Buccaneers even an attractive destination for potential head coaches?
Below is a sample of Shelton’s column.
Source: Gary Shelton Tampa Bay Times
Over the last week, we have learned a great deal about the Bucs, mainly that a lot of people don't think working for them sounds like a great deal. That's a little unsettling. You keep waiting for the Bucs to say no to coaches such as Phillips, and for crying out loud, he's saying no first. Frankly, if any of the 32 NFL teams want to interview Phillips, he should show up 15 minutes early and he should bring pizza.
Most of all, however, we have learned the Bucs job, despite a talented young quarterback and a promising defensive line, might not sound quite as attractive as some might have you believe. Just asking here, but could it be that some coaches don't see the stability or the track record of spending that helps make winning possible? Why else?
PR Reacts: Shelton brings up some valid points. What does it say about an organization that can’t attract free agent coaching candidates? But is that actually the truth?
First, we aren’t even sure the Buccaneers contacted Fisher. I would imagine some feelers did go out and chances are the Buccaneers at least spoke to Fisher's agent, but maybe it was Tampa Bay that decided Fisher wasn’t a good fit. Some reports are saying Fisher’s price tag was in the $6 million range. Perhaps Tampa Bay saw his six playoff appearances in 17 seasons as a draw back. The facts of the Fisher situation may never come out but for the most part Buccaneers fans aren’t losing their minds about not interviewing the great mustachioed one.
The Wade Phillips situation is a little more interesting. Phillips claimed he was contacted by the Buccaneers two weeks ago (that puts it before Morris was fired) and seemed interested and a bit intrigued by the possibility of becoming an NFL head coach again. But late Thursday night Phillips took his name out of consideration and politely declined to interview.
I’m not sure I believe Phillips decided he was too good to come to Tampa, or that he thought he that the ownership and the organization’s reputation had anything to do with it. Phillips more than likely looked at the other candidates and realized he didn’t stack up as well as say Marty Schottenheimer. Maybe the Buccaneers were talking to him about joining the team as something other than head coach. Or maybe the criticism he immediately began to receive by Houston fans for even scheduling an interview in the face of the biggest game in franchise history played a part.
Phillips track record as a head coach won’t turn many heads and the fact that it appears the Buccaneers are bent on bringing in a disciplinarian; Phillips just wasn’t a good fit.
The Buccaneers probably do have a perceived reputation around the league as a penny-pinching organization, at least over the last three seasons. Tampa Bay no doubt will not only be doing the interviewing, but some candidates will also be interviewing the Buccaneers. In this case the old adage is true, perception can become reality. The only way the Glazers and the Buccaneers organization can change the perception – or reality – is by convincing the potential candidates they are willing to open their checkbook then following through with it.