Coaches Earned Majority Share Of BlameJune 30th, 2012
One of the most candid and respected Buccaneers in recent years was Earnest Graham. And over the years Graham delivered his most open interviews with J.P. Peterson, of 1010 AM.
The two co-hosted The Earnest Graham Show in 2009 & 2010, (there may have been earlier years) and it was there that Graham had no problem saying he thought 30 percent of the NFL was using HGH, a story that went national back in ’09.
Yesterday evening brought another one of those candid Graham chat sessions with Peterson.
Peterson asked Graham about who deserved more of the blame for the 2011 Bucs season, players or coaches. Graham prefaced his answer by saying he response would be no reflection of his love for anyone, but “a lot of that burden will lay on the coaches.”
Graham said the unraveling of the Bucs was “not because veteran guys didn’t speak up” or that there weren’t enough veterans. Graham didn’t elaborate with a lot of detail but said coaches didn’t back up those veterans looking to right the ship.
Interestingly, Peterson mentioned to Graham that the Bucs collapsed in London after he was hurt during that game, and Graham responded citing the loss of Gerald McCoy “as a young leader” as a major turning point in the team’s collapse.
Joe found that intriguing considering Ronde Barber previously pegged the season-ending injury to McCoy as one that doomed the defense. So it seems that McCoy was an impact leader on multiple fronts, per Barber and Graham.
Graham said he doesn’t know Greg Schiano at all, but regarding Schiano’s attention to details, Graham said that was absent when the Bucs needed it last season.
“We didn’t have them down the stretch when we got tired,” Graham said.
For Joe, Graham asssigning more blame on 2011 coaches than players — not absolving players — is significant because Joe knows Graham woudn’t hesitate to call it the other way if that’s what he believed. Barber, for instance, said the Bucs got Raheem fired. Joe’s not calling Barber a liar, just pointing out the perspective of two respected players.
Joe hopes the coaches were at the root of the Bucs’ collapse from a 4-2 record. That would bring more hope for a big rebound under the New Schiano Order.
Joe will deliver more from Graham’s interview through the weekend.