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January 5, 2014 @ 10:53 am
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Report: Glazers Made Overtures To Gruden And Cowher

Written by Mark
Cook
Mark Cook

Mark
Cook

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CBS Sports Jason La Canfora reported on Sunday that the Glazer family approached former Bucs coach Jon Gruden and former Steelers coach Bill Cowher about coming to Tampa Bay to replace the recently fired Greg Schiano. The report also stated the Glazers could also look to bring Tony Dungy back in some capacity.
While some in the media have speculated that the Lovie Smith hire had been in the works for a few months – or even longer – prior to the firing of Greg Schiano last Monday, according to a report by Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, Smith may not have even been the Glazers first choice and actually explored the possibility of bringing Jon Gruden back as head coach.

The report also stated that Gruden wasn’t the only big name the Glazers targeted.

"Tampa Bay ownership pursued a reunion with former Super Bowl winning head coach Jon Gruden, according to league sources, making a run at him prior to their eventual hiring of former Bears coach Lovie Smith. Furthermore, according to league sources, the Bucs sent word to former Steelers coach Bill Cowher about their interest in him back in November, but were quickly informed Cowher was more than happy working as an analyst for CBS."

La Canfora also wrote that former head coach Tony Dungy could eventually be part of the organization at some point.

"The Glazer family, which owns the Buccaneers has been reaching back to some former employees following the firing of coach Greg Schiano and general manager Mark Dominik, and, some believe, they may ultimately approach former coach Tony Dungy about an upper-management position once his son concludes his college career at Oregon. Smith is a former assistant of Dungy’s in Tampa, and the idea of reconnecting with their salad days seems to be resonating with the ownership group."

While some of the Bucs fan base still question the Glazers commitment to the organization, if any part of this report is true, then that question has clearly been answered.

The Glazer family wants to win – and win big.

The Glazers are on the hook for $9 million dollars still owed to Greg Schiano and now have approximately $20 million committed to Smith on his new deal. Add in the amount of money they have spent on free agents like Vincent Jackson ($55.5 million), Carl Nicks ($47.5) and Darrelle Revis ($96 million) and can anyone say with any conviction that the Glazers don’t want to put a winning product on the field?

And it also appears the Glazers may be taking a page out of Lightning owner Jeffery Vinik’s playbook (who spent $40 million of his own money to upgrade the Times Forum) and are going to spend millions out of their own pocket for upgrades to Raymond James Stadium’s scoreboards.

In a report by the Tampa Bay Times on Thursday, the Tampa Sports Authority has been ready to upgrade the video boards at the Stadium that are woefully behind the times as far as today’s technology standards for some time now.

In the report there is an indication that the Glazers want to take it a step further.

"The Sports Authority requested and received bids early last year for new video boards. Sometime thereafter, the Bucs asked the authority to hold off on making a decision until the team has an opportunity to review the options.

The team may want to go bigger and fancier on the scoreboards, and early indications are that the Bucs owners may be willing to pick up the cost difference if they opt to go that route, said one Sports Authority member.

"The Buccaneers want to make Raymond James a state-of-the-art facility, similar to what it was when it opened in 1998," said Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan, who serves on the Sports Authority. "Candidly, our scoreboard is archaic. I believe the Bucs want to make it something beyond just another scoreboard."


It is clear the Glazers have heard the voices of the fans and had they kept Greg Schiano they knew they were facing a mountain of epic proportions in selling tickets, luxury suites and gaining corporate support.

A willingness to even consider bringing Jon Gruden and Bill Cowher to the Buccaneers shows the desire by ownership to bring a winning product to Tampa Bay, if in fact the report is accurate.

Fans can question the decision making of the Glazers, but it is getting harder and harder for even the most vocal critics and cynics to say they don’t want to see the Buccaneers back on the national stage in a big way and are committed financially to seeing it happen.

Last modified on Sunday, 05 January 2014 11:48
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  • avatar


    Gruden's knowledge of and love for the game is 2nd to none. With a good ownership groups (remember the Glazer boys took on so much debt to buy Man U that they had to get some of it from hedge funds and starved our roster, screwing the fans and team and coaching staff as a result) and good personnel evaluator as a GM (which Dan Snyder is learning Allen is not) Gruden would be back in the Super Bowl without a doubt. He built the Raider team that got to the Super Bowl and rebuilt the Bucs offense (Pittman, McCardell, Jurevicious, Jenkins and others, as all the idiots who say he won with Dungy's team fail to recognize) and installed an entirely new play book to win it in Tampa. I would be thrilled to have him back but he has a great gig and I'm happy we at least get to hear his insights on MNF. ----- Glazers know nothing about football, only know $$$ and use fan sentiment as their guide to decision making. Could learn a lot from the Steelers. Means we're going to be stuck with their rapid coaching changes forever because they don't know enough to know any better. PR, do you have any thoughtful analysis at all to share with us? And an editor?
  • avatar


    Surprise surprise...Morgan is STILL posting negative comments and Owlykat is STILL pushing Tebow!!! Both are welcome to ignore my posts as I will ignore yours.
  • avatar

    Wow....No. Just NO.
  • avatar


    I agree with BucTerp. This is a very strange report. If it happened at all, at most, I think it was a "Jon, what would it take?" type conversation. I am not thrilled with the Lovie selection, but the Bengals and Steelers have proved the right coordinators can make things happen when a coach is out of his depth. With the league going a bit easier on the obvious officiating assistance to marquee franchises, we might even get Steelers' level success, although I do fear the Bengals are our ceiling.
  • avatar


    I think when everything is said and done. The Bucs aRE ONE STEP CLOSER THE COMMENT ON WINNING BIG TIME-GO BUCS
  • avatar


    Lovie may not be the very best coach, but he is a darn good one and knows how to manage a game. I hated watching the Bucs losing games because the coach couldn't manage the clock, or chose ridiculous plays that caused turnovers, or resulted in crappy field position and subsequently losses when the games were really in the bag. See ya' Schiano, glad to see you go. I am very happy that this is a much better group of coaches this time around.
  • avatar

    I just wanted to clear the air and say the owners did reach out to me about thier head coaching vacancy and I said yes as long as I can have 44 yr old Kurt Warner as my starting qb, and Ladanian Tomlinson at rb and have Michael Strahan for a pass rusher
  • avatar


    I don't think Strahan can fill the gap anymore, just look at his front teeth!
  • avatar


    Gruden is almost as stubborn as Schiano and I'm glad he's gone. I was a big supporter of his until mid-way through the 2008 season. All the best coaches (Belichik, Harbaugh, Chip Kelly) change with the times and their personel and stubborn coaches who won't will ultimately fail and be out of the job. As for the video boards, I'm glad the Glazers are still highly committed to the team (I never thought they weren't) and looking for ways to improve it, but I say get slight upgrades to scoreboards and put the rest of the money saved towards implementing Wi-Fi throughout the stadium like the Patriots have. It's no small endevour to do it, but the only drawback for me being at the game is not being able to get fantasy football updates on my team at halftime. The heat doesn't bother me; when I'm at the game early in the season it sometimes ends up raining during some point in the game anyway.
  • avatar


    Report: Glazers Made Overtures To Gruden.....just shows how stupid the Glazer youngsters are seriously thinking Gruden would come back to the team that unceremoniously canned him - and asking him to take over a mess of a team with no QB while giving up a lucrative ESPN gig. These idiots are lucky Lovie took the job. Hey Lovie, welcome to your job as our HC knowing you were the THIRD CHOICE. Can this organization get any more ridiculous? Hey blogger, I'm still waiting for that refund you promised me.
  • avatar


    Very glad to hear the Glaziers tried to get Cower and Jon Gruden. As far as there not being confirmation, remember Jon Gruden is an avid reader of these posts and would have already told us if it wasn't true. I am happy with the hire of Lovey, and that the Glaziers hired the best Coach available and did so quickly so he can put together an excellent Staff. I also am pleased the Glaziers would welcome Dungy back in a management post. I also like the fact that Tedford is an expert at spread football having been the Offensive Coordinator of the Ducks. That tells me he knows just how essential it is to have a durable QB who is both a running threat with the accuracy to throw deep, keep plays alive with his feet, and can throw accurately on the run. Of course he will know that Glennon, no matter how smart, does not qualify and never will. The good news is there are numerous QBs in this draft in the first round who do qualify (but would still take some years to develop), or they can just sign Tebo. I have a feeling this Coaching staff would not be prejudiced against his strong religious convictions that some posters here would, and taking Tebo would allow the Bucs to fill a lot of their current holes through the draft and they have the cap space to grab free agents to fill the rest and we could be playoff bound this year, like K.C. That is the great potential I see now post Dumb and Dumber, and why I am happy!
  • avatar


    Tebow.....really? I think that fantasy has run it's course.
  • avatar


    I heard the same sort of report on the NFL Today show regarding Cowher and Dan (Spender) Snyder having an actual meeting. Cowher denied it. Who really knows? Same with the old worn-out stories about the Glazer's finances. I know this much. Money is no more a problem with the Glazers than getting a girlfriend is for Hugh Hefner. This story about reaching out to Cowher, Gruden, Dungy and maybe even Lombardi's corpse....pure speculation.
  • avatar


    I thought if Gruden were to ever coach again it would be with the Bucs. Jon Gruden is officially the new John Madden. He's got the best football gig in media, MNF. Good for you Jon, enjoy the next 20 years there.
  • avatar


    Jon Gruden is my favorite head coach of all-time. During the Raheem era, and subsequent firing, I was crossing my fingers that we could lure Cowher to be our new head coach. That being said however, I think if Gruden, Cowher, and Lovie Smith were all up for grabs and equally liable to become our next HC, I would have gone with Lovie. Gruden brought a fire to the team we've never had before, but it was always 11 wins one season, 5 wins the next. 9 wins, followed by 7 wins. And I agree that Cowher didn't become considered an "elite" coach until Roethlisberger became QB. During the days of Kordell Stewart and Tommy Maddox, they were just an average team. Lovie Smith's defenses in Chicago were always near the top of the league and consistent playoff contenders. Plus his familiarity with Dungy, the Bucs, and the Tampa Bay area make him the ideal fit. And I for one, would be ecstatic to see Dungy in a role of either GM or President of Football Operations... some high profile front office gig. What a dream that would be!
  • avatar


    For the first time in several years.. I am glad I am a bucs fan with season tkts. Thanks Glazers !
  • avatar


    So what does this mean? It clearly demonstrates that the purchase of Manchester United along with the 2008 stock market collapse and subsequent "great recession" put the Glaziers (along with many others) in a serious financial bind. Many of the reports at the time describing Glazier real estate holdings as in various stages of bankruptcy were spot on. As to the question of if they had any money with Madoff, we'll probably never know, but clearly they took a very serious financial hit with the results being that they could not spend ANY extra money on the Bucs for several years. That's why they HAD to ditch Gruden. He was not going to go along with that kind of a program. Too bad for everyone involved. All of that being said, it also shows that when they have the $, the Glaziers want to win and will spend. God bless them for that. Many of us suffered during the financial crisis. Just because you're rich on paper doesn't make you immune from pain. I, for one, am very satisfied with our ownership situation as it current exists. That quite a ways from what we were all (almost) saying 3+ years ago. Way to go Glaziers and thanks for your efforts on our behalf.
  • avatar


    Something does not feel right with this report. I kind of question his sources. He is the only one reporting this. Nobody else has confirmed it. Let's remember how quickly this deal for Lovie was done. And let's remember not to believe everything we read.
  • avatar


    There is no question the Glazers want to win. I wonder if Eddie DeBartolo bought the team if they would be winning? Wanting to win and winning aren't the same thing.
  • avatar

    @Horse: The drama is Karma. A wise man once said, "Be careful who you crap on on the way up. You may have to ask him for toilet paper on the way down."
  • avatar

    I would just like to thank the glazers the last two seasons they have shown great commitment to our be loved Buccaneers IE Vjax, Dashon Goldson, and Darelle Revis. Im also happy with the hiring of Lovie Smith not sure why people our talking bad about him I think Tedford will be a great offensive Cordinator and Im guessing Leslie Frazier as our DC and it would be great if we could get Dungy as a Front office Person. The Buc Fan is right 2014 is the right time to be a Bucs Fan.
  • avatar

    i am very happy lovie smith is the next coach of the bucs.... i do not care who they may or may not have inquired about..... LOVIE SMITH is a winning coach, perfect for our community and team. i couldn't be happier. looking forward to next season !!! GO BUCS !!!!
  • avatar


    Hoarse....Agree 100 percent that a retractable roof would be great but paying for it is another matter especially when fans don't go to the games. You are also correct that the cost of tickets does not make it easy to go to the games or want to go when you can sit at home with a big screen and be fine. IMO the NFL could be at it's cost limit for the average fan. IMO it won't be long before by people not going to the games football will soon become pay per view event.
  • avatar


    bucsfan524, thanks for doing such a good job of expressing something that was bouncing around in my skull-the learning curve. We need to be patient and give him time as the curve will be steep at first and then flatten out. However, while our team is young, it is experiencd with a lot of character guys that can provide leardership (something Smith demands). From a fan's perspective it looks like we need DE, WR, TE, OL, and perhaps a QB. But maybe we have most of the pieces and they just were not used properly (square peg in a round hole). We'll see what an accomlished, professional staff can do. Remember folks, we had something like 17 guys on IR that will rehab and be back. As for the overtures made to Gruden and Cowher, they were just that-overtures. Just touching base just in case they did want back on the sidelines. Nothing serious. Dungy after his son graduates from Oregon is a possibility though.
  • avatar

    Glad to see they made a move to try to get Cowher, and yes, Gruden too. Maybe Lovie was the best experienced coach out there...of course throwing out Shanahan. I would have liked to see the GM first, but if Lovie has the personnel decision, I guess he will basically do the contracts and "bean counting" for the salary cap. Let's just hope that Lovie becomes the next Dungy plus an Offense.
  • avatar


    Mark2001, Lovie will have last word on personnel. He will bring in a capologist and GM type to negotiate contracts, cap room, scouting, and bean counting. He will not be involved in that mess.
  • avatar


    What worries me is the fact that some of the fans may be expecting to much to soon. We have a coach that is capable of putting a super bowl caliber team together but we as fans also need to be patient and realize that with a new coach comes a new philosophy and a new learning curve! We have some of the pieces in place , but its obvious that our offensive line needs some work and defensive line also and another WR is needed. I really like Anthony Barr if we go the defensive route and also would love it if Clowny was available at seven, though I do not see him being there. On offense I really think we need a receiver and I would not mind at all if we pick Sammy Watkins seventh overall ! To me he kind of reminds me of Julio Jones somewhat.
  • avatar


    Kinderrt; lets get to the ticket issue. The same club seat area that I had in the 1970 's & 1980's while I lived in the TB area cost me considerably less based on money value turns every 8-8.5 years. This use to be a blue collar/middle class sport when the Bucs were formed. Now a days for the same club seats you can buy a great home event set up and enjoy the game in AC. If you want to feel like you're at the game, you can turn off the AC and open the windows. Notice that it was hard this year to sell out play off tickets? That's another sign that people under 40 aren't that interested in football like I was in my 20's, 30's, 40's. Besides producing a better product which I agree that the Glazers are trying to do, the stadium & parking, needs much improvements. They are no longer friendly to the older Buc fans in their 60's, 70's, and yes 80's. Time to seriously think about an open and closed roof system. I would definitely buy tickets if the AC was on in Aug thru Oct.
  • avatar


    PewterReportMC; I see that Frazier has not been announced yet as the DC? Also, I thought Gruden and Cowher were asked about the HC job prior to the firing of Schiano weeks ago? I don't quite see the drama here.
  • avatar


    I think it's great that the Glazers would reach out to two coaches with winning credentials. It is especially refreshing to know that the Glazers would put their ego and pride behind them in reaching out to Gruden in the interest of winning. I don’t think the story here is just that the Glazers were considering Gruden or Cowher. The story also implies that the Glazers had made their mind up back at 0-8 that they were going to fire Schiano! All the posts that we saw about winning the last few games or turning things around was pure speculation. I’m happy to have my opinion reinforced that the Glazers are committed to winning. They just don’t shout from the roof tops like Jerry Jones!
  • avatar

    I thought they might go after Gruden. Why not ? Our offense is a mess. Lovie is going to be a great coach. Dungy would make a great Manager.
  • avatar


    TheBucFan is 100% correct, you will never satisfy everyone. The people that complain I wonder how many buy tickets and go to the games. With the amount of people at the games I would think not many. I am happy with Lovie and will give him FIVE full years to turn this around. Cowhers name is always brought up with a coach search but when you look at Cowers record he was not all that great, just average for the amount of years he was with the Steelers. He only became good when he got a QB, something we need also but very HARD to find.
  • avatar

    To all the Buc Fans who aren't happy with Lovie becoming our Coach this article strongly suggests the Glazers were trying to get the best coach possible. We got Lovie. The best coach available that would come hear.Stop complaining for once and support your team. It seems atleast 70% of the Fan Base is happy with the Lovie hiring so that puts you in the 30% who's not happy and the Glazers are NEVER gonna satisfy 100% of the Fans and to be honest any of us in the 70% group should not worry about the 30% of Fans who cant get behind there team. What im trying to say is the Glazers did there best in hiring the best coach possable.The majority of the Fans are somewhat happy to very excited. Get behind your team and "the majority" of Fans and don't B... Complain everyday that you didn't get what you want and support your team. We all want the same results (W's SB Wins) and this is the time to get behind your team. GO BUCS!!!
  • avatar


    TheBucFan, Amen!
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