Buccaneers co-chairman Joel Glazer, attending the NFL owners meetings this week, had much to say regarding the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the goals of the franchise.
Buccaneers co-chairman Joel Glazer who is attending the owners meetings in Palm Beach this week, took time to speak with the some of the media Tuesday and commented on the “State of the Bucs.”
Glazer sat down with the Tampa Tribune’s Ira Kaufman and discussed a wide range of topics. The one point of emphasis seemed to be the culture of change than newly hired head coach Greg Schiano is expected to bring to the franchise. Glazer, without mentioning names, was clearly addressing Aqib Talib’s felony aggravated assault charge trial that has been moved to June 25.
"We don't want to read about our players when it's non football-related, negative items,'' Glazer told the Tribune. "When we were looking for a new head coach, one of the key aspects of Coach Schiano is his view on integrity and his expectations of players, on and off the field. He's going to come in and there will be a culture change, I think, in the locker room.
"People will know very quickly on our team that certain things will not be tolerated. What's happened in the past is in the past and everyone comes in with a clean slate, but that clean slate only lasts so long.''
Glazer also commented on why this season the Buccaneers were active in free agency as opposed to the last two.
“That's simple. This was always part of the plan, once we set out on the road we chose,’’ Glazer said. “We said we're going to draft and develop, keep our own players and, over time, add free agents. When you're building a house, you don't buy the furniture first. We felt this was the appropriate time to add these players. It wasn't just adding free agents – it was the players who were available. These were unique situations with Vincent Jackson, who the Chargers still made an effort to keep at the top of his game, and Carl Nicks, the same situation with New Orleans.
“It was a combination where part of a plan coincided with these particular players for a perfect storm. We were starting over, rebuilding, putting seeds in the ground, letting them grow, and then at the appropriate time, adding pieces of the puzzle that will help this team take the next step. These are quality players who historically speaking are not available in free agency at their age.”
Last month PewterReport.com wrote a column saying the Buccaneers need to reconnect with their fan base as their popularity had actually slipped behind the Tampa Bay Rays according to an independent study of the Bay area’s sports teams. Glazer and Buccaneers management agreed that their grasp on the local market is slipping away.
“That's a huge priority for us,” Glazer said. “We've focused more and more with re-connecting. We've got a lot of good initiatives that I think will be well received by our fans. We've lowered ticket prices again. We now offer pricing for everybody and we're reaching out to all corners of the community. I have great confidence the Tampa Bay community will respond. They've always responded in the past and we know they love the Buccaneers.
“We've seen great response from our season-ticket holders with the hiring of Coach Schiano and the moves we made in free agency. People are excited. Most importantly, we're getting renewals, and we've also seen strong interest in buying new season tickets. I think people see the commitment and they like what they're seeing in Coach Schiano. With those two things combined, there's an optimism about the future that I haven't felt from our fans for a long time.”
Glazer said the commitment to winning has never wavered and he feels the Buccaneers are on the right track.
“We're as committed as any owner in this room,” Glazer said. “Winning is the No. 1 priority for this franchise and we will always do what we think is in the best interests of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to attain our goal – a Super Bowl championship and a team that is able to compete year-in and year-out to win it. Anything less is not what we are looking for. It's a new year, a new coach and we've got a lot of talented young players on this football team.”
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