The Biggest Mistake

June 19th, 2018

Joe did not vote for either one.

This is a fun, yet frustrating post.

Over at Bleacher Report, Brad Gagnon, decided to cobble together a list of each NFL franchise’s worst mistakes over the past decade. Gagnon seems to dismiss the popular pick for the Bucs and instead goes a different route and thinks former Bucs commander Greg Schiano was the worst mistake the team has made in the past decade.

The Buccaneers might regret letting Michael Bennett get away in free agency in 2013 because he became a three-time Pro Bowler with the Seahawks. They also might regret releasing Darrelle Revis the year the four-time All-Pro cornerback helped the Patriots win the Super Bowl. And they might regret picking Mark Barron instead of Luke Kuechly in the top 10 in 2012.

But it would have been tough to predict Bennett would bloom late, the business decision on Revis didn’t seem wacky at the time, and the Barron pick is just another reminder the draft is a crapshoot.

So instead, let’s go with the team’s decision to replace Raheem Morris with Greg Schiano in 2012.

The 2012 Bucs had Bennett, Gerald McCoy, LeGarrette Blount, Doug Martin, Lavonte David, Vincent Jackson, Donald Penn, Mason Foster and Adrian Clayborn. The 2013 team looked the same, plus Revis and minus Bennett and Blount. They had talent, and yet Schiano failed to deliver in his two seasons in charge.

He started 6-4 in 2012, but then it became obvious Schiano was already losing the roster. He lost 13 of the next 14 games and was fired at the conclusion of a four-win 2013 season.

Joe would suggest Schiano is not the worst mistake the franchise has made in the past 10 years. Not even in the bottom three. Joe felt bad for Schiano. For every thing he did right, there were two or three things that went wrong out of his control. You know, like leaky, sleepy Josh Freeman going mental and the MRSA.

Schiano must shoulder blame for running off players he deemed were not “Buccaneer Men,” while those same players proved to be key cogs in Super Bowl-winning teams.

The Michael Bennett thing is still a mystery. Joe was told by someone very high up the totem pole at One Buc Palace what went down with Bennett, but Joe will likely never be able to confirm it.

Still, how many tens of millions of dollars of Team Glazer loot has this team spent and how much draft capital has been p!ssed away trying to replace Bennett? And the team still hasn’t filled that hole (though the jury is still out on Jason Pierre-Paul and Noah Spence). Just think of the players that otherwise could have been had with burned free agent cash and draft picks, if Bennett was still with the Bucs?

Throwing Bennett out the door for no good reason was mistake No. 3.

What was mistake No. 2? That would be hiring inept Lovie Smith. Combining his blind player evaluation skills, his rotten coaching, his stubborn wretched scheme and his distaste for scoring points, Lovie was nearly the perfect candidate to wear the crown as the worst mistake in the past decade. Though to be fair, Lovie hired AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht and offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, and signed off on drafting America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston.

But you know what takes the cake as the top mistake the past decade? Firing Chucky.

Yeah, Chucky sort of greased his own wheels out of town. When the folks who sign your checks ask you repeatedly to draft and develop a quarterback and you basically tell them to f’ off after each request, well, don’t be shocked if you get run.

Still, this team has morphed into Cleveland South since Chucky was jettisoned. Eight out of 10 seasons since that dark January 2009 Friday afternoon, the Bucs have finished the season docked in Buccaneer Cove (last place in the NFC South).

This team never fully recovered from Chucky getting run, never made the playoffs since he prowled the sidelines.

77 Responses to “The Biggest Mistake”

  1. Lou. Says:

    Totally disagree.

    Chuckie had to be fired. He wasn’t picking good players, he wasn’t developing any players, and his game management stank. Yes, he did a lot with a little — but who was at fault for the last six Drafts?

    In terms of bad choices, a set of GM decisions have really retarded the Bucs’ recovery. The set of FA busts. The kicker fiascos. The annual roster holes — WR, OL, DL & can.

    Raheem started out with a weak talent base. Schiano suffered the slings and arrows of bad luck. But Chuckie just ran out of juice and became a walking caricature of himself. Good riddance to (what became) bad garbage.

  2. K_Bassuka Says:

    Schiano hire was as bad if not worse than the Lovie hire. Schiano was bad and it’s hard to think of anything “good” he did for this team.

  3. Walter Seidel Says:

    Agree with Joe 100%

  4. Wausa Says:

    The most recent issue the Bucs have faced is waiting one year too long to get players to fill massive holes on the roster.

    The Bucs waited one extra year to get more passing targets to help out Mike Evans. The Bucs waited one extra year to get help at running back. The Bucs waited two or three years too long to get help at defensive line and the Bucs waited one extra year to get help at defensive back.

    Hopefully this is the year the waiting was worth it.

  5. LargoBuc Says:

    Schiano and Lovie were both awful. Lovie was past his prime and living off of 2006. Schiano just never got it and just seemed out of place, not just on the Bucs but in the NFL as a whole.

  6. Cobraboy Says:


  7. The Buc Realist Says:

    Coach Schiano did crazy things that the players hated like “showing up on time”, “working hard” and “being disciplined” !!!!!!!!!!! It was a culture shock to the roster after the three year bachelor party that was the talk show dom\rah regime!!!!!!!!!!!! Coach Schiano’s down fall was that he had to compromise with talk show dominik to get anything done!!!!!!!!!!

    Incompetent loser smith was the worst ( you can’t argue with getting the #1 overall pick by finishing dead last in the league!!!!! The very bottom of the barrel!!!!!!!!!! That classless clown shoe should have been run out after that embarrassing, demoralizing year!!!!!!! Where was Joe’s and the sheep call for accountability then!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1b mistake was talk show dominik making decision on anything!!!!!!!!!!

    #3 mistake was Team Glazer going into cost saving mode, and then thinking after that, they could just turn it back on an compete!!!!!!! What they found out is how far behind the division they really became!!!!!!!!!

    GO Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. doolnutts Says:

    Here is the thing with the Schiano hire… Hiring a coach from a school like Rutgers it should have been known that you give him at least 4-5 years. There is a huge learning curve from college to NFL and that should have been understood going into it all. I am not even mad at the guy as he was dealt a poor hand with the lack of support at the top.

    I still think Lovie was the worst hire of all 3 post-Gruden. Lovie has no excuse for his failure on the field or in roster evaluation. He has been in the league long enough that he deserved the short leash that he got. I thought his teams looked worse than both Schiano’s and Morris’s.

  9. ben Says:

    Gruden always kept the bucs exciting to watch and was great on national pr for the team .. firing him was worst mistake and by the record ,it shows!

  10. Pickgrin Says:

    IMO – the quinfecta of mistakes that were all made in early 2009 is what has set this franchise back most severely over the last 10 years.

    1. Firing Jon Gruden
    2. Promoting Mark Dominik to GM
    3. Hiring Morris – a 32 y.o. position coach as HC who had zero HC experience
    4. booting Derrick Brooks out the door before he was ready to retire
    5. Drafting Josh Freeman in the 1st Rd

    Those 5 mistakes that all came within a 3 month period in early 2009 set the table for the next 7 years of sucking out loud by our once proud and capable Buccaneers team.

  11. The Buc Realist Says:


    You did not even include that terrible free agent class, that they handed signing bonuses to 4 players that did not even play 1 game for the Bucs that year!!!!! It becomes 7-8 players that only played 4 games or less that had signing bonuses!!!!!

    Then talk show dominik hired 2 coordinators, one that did not make it to the out of pre-season (jagz) and the other almost made it half way thru the season in (Bates)!!!!!!!!!!

    Where were joe and the sheep with their calls for “accountability” then??????

    GO Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The one common element to all of the things mentioned is Mark Dominick…..It’s amazing that the entire article never mentions him….he was presiding over all of this and was a miserable failure…..

  13. The Buc Realist Says:


    He played very nicely with the media!!!!! He is like the crackhead informant to the police!!!!!! He was always leaking his side of the story, and would text with anyone in the media!!!!!! joe cannot confirm this ( it would be revealing a source type situation)

    But the man is trash, a clown shoe, who is either delusional or liar, who was never afraid to grab praise even if it was not his work!!!!!

    He sounds good on the radio, and is always right after the fact!!!!!!! But the Truth is he did much harm to this franchise that we love!!!!!! And the fact that he has begged to get back into a nfl front office and cannot even get a free tour is very telling!!!!!!!!

    GO Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. DayOnePaul Says:

    Lousy ownership make bad decisions. Ever since Malcolm handed over control to the children.

  15. Not there yet Says:

    Of course I disagree. Josh Freeman fiasco was on schiano watch. Yes he was a dope head, sorry and lazy but it came off the rails on his watch when he drafted that horrible quarterback named Mike Glennon. They could have just dealt with the guy until they found a real quarterback unless he thought he was a playoff caliber coach. Michael Bennett happened on his watch as well and it was basically because of schiano

    But I would put Lovie as the biggest mistake on that we agree. Then again hiring Raheem as a head coach is what started the downfall with Mark Dominick giving the guy am offensive coordinator that got fired before the season started and a defensive coordinator fired in season. For a guy that had never even been a coordinator in the league they didn’t give him any help or support because the Glazer’s were being cheap

  16. Joseph Mamma Says:

    You know who doesn’t think Schiano was a mistake, Lavonte David. Wasn’t he basically an All-Pro in his scheme. Since Schiano left he has been pretty average.

  17. Waterboy Says:

    Schiano didn’t have the resume to demand the type of respect he wanted from players. You have to win a couple college national championships or at least consistently compete in them or have some solid NFL coaching accomplishments to walk in the door with the Mike Ditka approach.

    As far as Chucky it was time for him to go. I actually would’ve fired him several years before the Glazers did. He’s a guy that I always felt had potential to be a GREAT head coach if he’d get out of his own way and realize his limitations and allow someone else to do player evaluations and make those decisions.

  18. 813bucboi Says:

    lovie being the worse?…….not a chance…..lovie had no talent to work with…..why is dirk the only HC that gets the “no talent excuse”…..

    this team has lacked talent since 2009…..

    how about talking about this regimes failures and what they need to do to improve…..focus on the present and future not the past….this staff has brought the past to reality with a 5-11 season…..

    this staff is on pace to being the worse…doing less with more gets you that title…..


  19. George Says:

    I agree with Joe, Gruden firing was the Bucs worst mistake. Gruden would of done much better if he had the 2 first round and the 2 second round draft picks and a better GM. That would be Evans, Wintson, Marpet, Smith. Remember he got fired after a 9-7 season. The team was 9-3 that year, had the #1 seat. It is leak Kiffen would be leaving to go to work with his son. The D tanks, 4 straight losses. The Bucs miss the play-offs, Gruden get fired.

    I miss watching meaningful games in December

  20. The Buc Realist Says:

    Uh-oh, here is 813bucboi swinging on loser lovie’s jock once again!!!!!!! If the incompetent one had less, its because he made it that way!!!!! He had the juice and was bringing in terrible players because they knew his antiquated system!!!!!!!!!!! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    loser lovie [email protected] balls, but 813buc holds them up for that classless loser!!!!!!!

    the classless loser was so bad, he made a bad roster, the worst in the NFL!!!!!!!!!!!

    The winning 2016 season proved it already!!!!!!! The incompetent one about to get tossed from that third rate school proves that!!!!!!!!!!

    Funny how the “no excuse” guy, was the biggest excuse nut hugger to loser lovie in 2015!!!!!!!!!!!

    Keep fixing the “real” problem, the roster!!!!!!!!!!!

    GO Bucs!!!!!!!!!

  21. The Buc Realist Says:

    FRAUD ALERT!!!!!!!!

    Here is the loser lovie fan boi back in 2015!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    813bucboi Says:
    December 18th, 2015 at 1:38 pm
    …at this point how do you not blame the players for their performance…its one thing to point to coach if players were saying, ” we didn’t practice this or we never seen that in the film room but its the complete opposite…coaches are preparing them properly but the players aren’t giving maximum effort and passion and aren’t executing…I cant believe kwon a rookie, can come into onebuc place, and is already be a vocal, emotional and play by example leader

    @bucrightoff…completely wrong…”And in a league where everything is very close, not having a coaching edge is the difference between being the Rams and the Cardinals.”….the answer would be TALENT….the cardinal are more talented than the rams at every position from top to bottom…better players, better offense better defense…coaching is very important but if my guy is better than your guy and wins his one on one match up every time, theres nothing you can do about it except hope to find another match up…GO BUCS!!!

    …what more do you want me to say…fire lovie…but at the same time I hold the players accountable as well…as a coach once told me and my team mates…”I cant play the game for you”…lovie cant coach and play the game…for the three of you to sit here daily and put 100% of the blame on lovie and not blame the players that are actually playing the game is just down right wrong and sad on so many levels…in case you didn’t know, there’s more than one reason lovie cut ties with revis barron and golston…yeah some of it had to due with scheme but it also had to do with $$$$….all the players were being paid way too much and not producing…they didn’t produce under schiano either… we were 4-12 with the no fly….cutting those players are one reason why we have 50million to spend in FA….talent and coaching work hand in hand…schiano had a little bit of talent and could do nothing with it but regress…lovie has no talent a still some how progressed this season…GO BUCS!!!

  22. miken Says:

    I would say hiring lovie was a bigger mistake but the Biggest mistake ever made is not wearing those beautiful uniforms pictured above every damn game.

  23. Reality-is-a-Beotch Says:

    Biggest mistake hands down was the hiring of the one dimensional dungy the clown. He wasted the careers of 2 hof fame players and a handful of great players with his ignorant and stubborn approach to football. Team never contended under dungy total pretenders.huge mistake settling for such a one dimensional bum.

  24. miken Says:

    We fired Gruden and hired Morris set the franchise back a decade. Then Morris hires 2 cordinators who dont last a month into the season.

  25. Neal Says:

    Cutting Matt Bryant probably lost us more games than anything. Look at all the game not having a kicker has lost us. Not to mention all of the times the Falcons have beat us by 3 points in that span.

  26. Anonymous Says:

    Lmao… Hiring Lovie and drafting Freeman are #1 and #2.

  27. Lamarcus Says:

    Oh no. Lovie was way better than this current staff. And I vouched for this staff for stability but man it’s hard keeping up with that. This staff has me with little to no confidence everyday.

  28. 813bucboi Says:


    2016 was proven to be a fluke in case you missed the 5-11 season we just had…..

    was I wrong about a rookie coming in and being the heart and soul on defense…..and who drafted kwon?…..the defense in 2015 didn’t have half the talent as we did in 2017 but they still won 6games….that’s an indictment on dirk……

    I never once used injuries, SOS, IRMA, HK and other BS you come up with to make excuses… 2015 the team had no talent…..that’s a fact…..

    your the biggest loser on JBF… do realize that this defense has been worse than lovies except for a 5 game stretch….lol….everything else is the same….lol…..maybe if you weren’t on your knees you would see that…..

    the sad part is im not worried because I know dirk will prove me right unfortunately….

    now pull your skirt down and change your tmaxi…..


  29. The Buc Realist Says:

    Joe, please no more loser lovie articles!!!!! 813bucboi can’t handle it, and might do something crazy!!!!!! He keeps saying something taste salty and sweaty!!!!!!!LOL!!!!!!!!!!

    Keep fixing the “real” problem, the roster!!!!!!!!!!!

    GO Bucs!!!!!!!!!

  30. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    Raheem as HC was a horrible move followed closely by Lovie, who is going to be fired in Champaign, I thought schisno should have gotten one more year, woyld have liked to see him with an offense that had a legit NFL QB, because he had the defense the best it has been since the “glory days”

  31. Eric Says:

    Chucky firing hands down the worst decision in franchise history. And that is hard to do following letting Doug Williams go and drafting Bo Jackson.

    Leeman Bennett, Richard Williamson, Ray Perkins hires were not stellar.

    Nothing tops the ineptitude of firing Jon and Hiring Rah. Still get a sick queasy feeling in my stomach when I think of it. Gonna return when Jon wins big in Oakland.

    Lovie gets a bad rap. Should have gotten year three IMO.

  32. Waterboy Says:

    Good point, which coach/GM cut Matt Bryant?

  33. jmarkbuc Says:

    The thing that most set us on this downward spiral was letting lil Napoleon run Rich McKay out of town, eliminating any hint of a checks/balances system. Unless you wanna go one step further and say firing TD was the first step of the butterfly effect.

    In any case, giving Bruce Allen the GM job so mighty mouse could go unfettered was a huge mistake.

    I will be very interested to see how Gruden plays out in Oakland/Vegas, early indications are he hasn’t learned a thing during his hiatus.

  34. Tnew Says:

    The worst mistake happened after the Gruden hire. And it still continues. Not hiring a President of Football operations much like Jacksonville did with Tom Coughlin was and still is the biggest mistake ever and it has lasted a decade now. Every bad decision from that point on can be tracked to that point. Poor direction and decisions directly tied to lack of experience or long term vision

  35. The Buc Realist Says:


    Big pay day mckay was doing horrible the last 3-4 years with the Bucs!!!!! Once the “real” brains of the operation left for other GM jobs, big pay day mckay started the decline!!!!!!!!!

    I miss those days, when he was running the falcons into the ground!!!!!!!!!!

    Keep fixing the “real” problem!!!!! The roster!!!!!!!!!!!!

    GO Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!

  36. jmarkbuc Says:

    Here we go…

    Tmax-is-a-biatch, claiming TD is the worst thing that ever happened to the Bucs. Dude you are out of your mind.

    Please say something even more inflammatory and stupid, once again, so you can get run…..

    Surely Joe appreciates integrity more than click bait, one would hope….

  37. 813bucboi Says:

    lol…..cant handle it… nor the article bashing lovie bother me…..I state facts….

    obviously, you cant handle your booty partner dirk failing……now tell smitty to get back to work…..he’s played under your skirt long enough…..and judging by his weight lost, he seems to have caught something……unfortunately it aint a new defensive scheme……


  38. Bobby M. Says:

    Again…..Schiano shoulders blame for a mess he inherited. I blame the guy that hired him in the first place…..DOMINICK! Say what you want but Schiano’s name comes up in both the NFL and NCAA for openings. Dominick attempts to “leak” his own name out there in hopes of getting interests and still nothing. John Lynch who has ZERO experience as a GM not only got interviewed when Dominick couldn’t…..but also landed a quality coach in his first gig. Dominick couldn’t get anyone to come play for him because people in the league circles knew he was a joke. Schiano took his shot with an absolutely god awful situation and it back fired. Nobody looks back on that error as if we were a playoff caliber team…..We were in total rebuild mode for the 2nd time in less then 5 years with Dominick.

  39. __TGH__ Says:

    What happened with Bennett? You’ve referenced a few times now that you’ve heard but won’t share the story? This isn’t the Journal, you don’t need to confirm with additional sources to share a rumor.

    This happened long enough ago and there has been enough turnover, including the GM, it shouldn’t be an issue… unless it involves people still with (or owning) the organization.

    Write the story!!!

  40. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:

    1. The Glazer siblings not hiring an autonomous president of football operations after Malcolm became incapacitated. Many mistakes on these lists could have been avoided by this.

    2. Not giving Gruden a strong GM, after the Mckay divorce ,who had authority to make final decisions on FA and the draft, that includes saying no to Grudes when he went full AARP (Charlie Garner?!?). Maybe Gruden would have refused this, who knows…

    3. Mark Dominik

    4. Lovie Smith

    5. Mark Dominik

    I realize we are not all going to agree as to whether Dungy is a hall of fame level coach. But, to include him on this list? Wow. Good luck with that.

  41. Jmarkbuc Says:

    We all know the reason Raheem was hired, and there is only one reason.

  42. Jolly Bucs Fan Says:

    #1 mistake was Mark Dominick, his drafting set us back a decade and we are only just now recovering. Raheem and Schiano were both bad coaching choices. but hiring Bill Belicheck wouldnt have turned this team around when it was completely devoid of talent

  43. Gobucs Says:

    I can’t take anyone’s comment seriously when they can’t spell the word “and” and use “an” instead.
    Pathetic. And I honestly don’t think they know the difference.

  44. Bucamania Says:

    1. Making Mark Dominik as GM
    2. Hiring Bruce Allen as GM
    3. Hiring Raheem Morris as HC
    4. Hiring Lovie Smith

  45. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Mark Dominic.

    Doesn’t matter who the coach is. If you only net 2 meaningful impact cornerstone long term players in 5 drafts you are destroying a team. Especially considering one of those players was a top 3 no-brainer pick.

    And he’s the one who hired Morris/Schiano. He also failed miserably in FA. You could almost just make personnel moves randomly using coin flips and have a better 5 year result.

    Schiano / Lovie were both terrible imo. Schiano had no in game management skills whatsoever and didn’t know how to score points in the 2nd half. If you average like 6 points in the 2nd half as we did under him; to me that shows you are getting thoroughly out-coached in-game every time.

    Lovie was just a stubborn guy whose system was antiquated and he had no vision for anything really at this point in his careeer imo. The fact that he took over defensive play calling from leslie frasier after it had been improving; only to see it get to an ultimate low point; is a pretty direct indictment on him. The schedules we faced were much easier than 2016-2017 and it’s not really close – especially in terms of the amount of back-up QBs and scrub offenses we faced under Lovie vs what we’ve been playing against the last 2 seasons.

    I think our offensive talent is massively better than when Lovie was here; but defensively it wasn’t that much different until this year due to the D-line additions in FA and investing in D-line in the draft finally. Basically swap Revis/Barron/Verner/etc for guys like Grimes/Evans/VHIII/Spence – the later 2 who have been disappointments thus far – and it’s basically mostly the same talent we had in 2016-2017 imo. Slight upgrade but the amount of injuries in 2017 would lead me to say 2017 wasn’t any better than any of Lovie’s squads.

    Not when our starting DE is a rookie MLB lol; and our top CB is a 4th round pick playing his first year at the position. 2017 defensive talent – due to injuries and old players’ play falling off a cliff – was as bad as it’s been any other year imo.

  46. Joseph Mamma Says:

    Love and Warrick Dunn:

    Garner was actually one of the youngest players Gruden signed.

    Yeah Gruden likes to recreate “Del Boca Vista” with his teams, but I still wish we got him back to coach.

  47. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I disagree with Brad Gagnon.

    There have been plenty of mistakes with the Bucs over the years:

    The firing of Tony Dungy.
    Even though I was for it at the time, in hindsight, I think taking the entire offense out of his control would have been smarter. He was an excellent head coach…truly excellent. Probably the best we’ve had. All head coaches have weaknesses and his was offense. Fix that, and he probably would have won multiple superbowls in Tampa.

    The hiring of Jon Gruden.
    I know, he got us a superbowl. He was a completely different personality, and at first, he was fun. Then we saw the real Jon…the lack of loyalty, the dishonesty, all of it. But the real reason hiring him was a mistake? The deal with the Raiders set this team back 2-3 years because of what was given up.

    The hiring of Bruce Allen.
    In their rush to give Jon all he wanted, they signed Bruce Allen on as GM. This was the start of our downfall. Think about it…Jon won his SB with McKay, not Allen. Bruce Allen took a team that had at least 5 good years in it, and caused it to decline rapidly. He sucked at drafting, and though he was average in free agency, he did just enough to get us by.

    Trading for Keyshawn.
    Rich McKay should have never done that deal, but I’m guessing Jon Gruden was insistent with it being his first year. Jon and Rich did not get along. I believe Jon made sure that was the case to get his own guy in, but the deal for Keyshawn hurt the team as much as the deal with the Raiders. Keyshawn was okay for us…but if you think about it, from the moment his first season ended, he was nothing but trouble for the team. A huge locker room issue. So we gave up those picks for one good season. NOT WORTH IT! We could have gotten someone else to do the job.

    Promoting Raheem Morris to Head Coach.
    Raheem had just been promoted to defensive coordinator, they fired Gruden and Allen, and then made him head coach. Raheem was more concerned with making and keeping friends than being a head coach. At first, being a players coach worked for him…then with the lack of discipline, everything fell apart. In no time at all, we had problems off the field, in the locker room and even on the field (Talib attacking officials and Raheem, Trueblood getting into fights, drug violations…the list goes on).

    I believe Morris might have done better had he had a couple seasons at DC first, but he was given the keys to the kingdom and he blew it. Incidentally, that 10-6 season? It was the easiest schedule the Bucs had for 5 years previous, and we have not had an easy schedule since. Sometimes it feels like the NFL intentionally wants us to suffer.

    The hiring of Mark Dominick.
    Now, Mark had his bright spots. He single-handedly changed the way the Bucs handled contract structures, and his methods have been here since. It is because of the way he structured them that we have not had cap issues since. However…the rest of the bright spots are few and far between. He sucked at free agency and the draft (mostly).

    The firing of Greg Schiano.
    There are a number of reasons it was a mistake. First, he was brought in to deal with the huge discipline issues left behind by Morris. We had a bunch of malcontents on the team. To top it off, he needed a quarterback badly, but we did not have a first round pick for him to get one. He had to settle for a third round pick to make the starter. Dominick and his deals hurt Schiano more than anything else (for example, see the next mistake). Between cleaning this team up and implementing his own vision, Schiano really did not have the time he needed. Think about it…first, he had to get rid of malcontents and locker room issues. Then he had to implement his vision without any good draft picks because Dominick had traded them away before Schiano was hired.

    Of all the recent coaches, I think Schiano got the worst deal. He was new at being HC in the NFL, and sure, he was overly strict and controlling, but he would have chilled on that front as the team he wanted formed. Everything that could go wrong that was out of his control, did go wrong. And his treatment of the media turned them against him, so it was constant negativity in the press.

    The signing of Kicker Lawrence Tynes.
    Lawrence Tynes had foot surgery a few months before signing with Tampa. During that treatment, he had what was thought of as a mild case of MRSA. This is something the media ignored later. A few months pass, he seems healed up, and Mark Dominick signs him. Low and behold, we have MRSA issues in the locker room. The irony is that Lawrence Tynes sued the Bucs for the MRSA, when he was likely the person who brought it into the locker room. But the worst thing was that the whole debacle killed Greg Schiano’s run as head coach. Other teams freaked out when they played the Bucs at their home stadiums, making a show of sanitizing their locker rooms after the Bucs left.

    The signing of Lovie Smith as head coach.
    I like Lovie as a man, and if people remember, I supported him to a degree. The thought of returning to the days of Dungy were a great thing to imagine. But teaming him with a rookie GM was the flaw in the plan. Jason Licht needed time to grow into the position, and Lovie took advantage of it and tried to run things his way. My issue during this time was that Licht was not held accountable. He could have put his foot down. Instead, he played along with spending in free agency, and given both of their FA scouting skills, it was doomed to failure. If Lovie had been teams with a veteran GM things may have turned out differently.

    This isn’t to say hiring Jason Licht was a mistake…just teaming him with Lovie was. They were the wrong fit.

    Acquiring Revis.
    HUGE mistake. Not only did it cost the Bucs a fortune in cash that never paid off, but it also cost us picks…that also never paid off. Regardless of what anyone says, Revis never really did well from that season on. He was outplayed by several CBs each year, even though he was the highest paid. I view him as a thief, and I hope he does not make the HoF, because really, he has not earned it…not when you compare him to other CBs who have not made it (such as Barber).

    The failure to build around McCoy.
    Gerald McCoy could have done twice as much if he had the right guys around him. An effort was made at first, I mean, the Bucs drafted two DTs one year, and two DEs the next. But the GM sucked at drafting, which is the most important thing when building a team (that’s why the people who want Licht gone are idiots). The secondary got attention, but lets be honest…we saw how little that helped. Had we a real pass rush, the secondary would have performed better. Instead, all we really had was McCoy, and one man is not enough.

    I could go on…such as the assumption that letting certain players get away always being a bad thing. It wasn’t in some cases. But this post has gone on long enough.

  48. Trench War Says:

    Schiano got a bum deal I.M.O., he never got a real chance. The local and national media was relentlessly hounding him before he was halfway through his tenure. It all started with the “toes on the line”, players and media trashing him for his strictness. and his crashing the victory formation. His reported bad dealing with a replacement referee who decided to go national and trash Schiano on live television. The stupid billboards. It’s funny though because now the organization, it’s fans, and the pesky media seems to yearn for the discipline that Schiano tried to instill in his team, and was rudely chastised for trying to do.

  49. '74 Bucs fan Says:

    ManU – worst mistake the G Boyz made that affected the Bucs’ franchise.

  50. ChanEpic Says:

    @JMark, was that only reason for the Raheem hiring also the only reason he went 10-6 that year?

    This site’s comment area is turning into the Bucs version of Breitbart’s.

  51. The Buc Realist Says:

    @Buc Bonzai

    Your so wrong about talk show dominik “single-handedly changed the way the Bucs handled contract structures”

    The truth is that because he wasted so much signing bonuses in 2009, Team Glazers said never again, and from that point on, Mike Greenberg wrote all the contracts and still does to this day!!!!!

    But this was another point that talk show dominik took credit for and would never correctly give credit to another person!!!!!!!

    and this should clear up why loser lovie gets so much blame!!!!!! And NFL GM Licht did not!!!!!!!!!
    Lovie Smith’s Power
    January 12th, 2014
    ” @caplannfl: Some nuggets on Bucs: HC Lovie Smith holds final say on 53; GM will hold final say on draft.

    GO Bucs!!!!!!!!

  52. TheCollegeBuc Says:

    Hey Joe,

    Not sure if you stated the reasoning to oust Michael Bennett as stated by that top level official. I’d like to hear what he said if possible, or at least get a link to where you’ve mentioned the reasoning before. I always thought the Front Office was completely silent on the exit of Bennett.

    College Neer

  53. John5 Says:

    See Joe? I’m not the only one that thinks Schiano was the worst coach ever. Anyone can argue (leaked) evidence about issues with Josh Freeman, but I believe Schiano never liked him and did everything he could to get rid of him. And I don’t think the rumors of him rigging the captain voting are so far fetched either. It was bad decision after bad decision from him that tore the whole team apart. I get that the team needed more discipline, which schiano had in spades, but he was to the extreme. The guy screamed at our super bowl mvp for bringing kids to the practice field for crying out loud.

    At the end of his short lived and atrocious NFL head coaching career, he just looked defeated and lost. His reaction the billboards put around tampa about firing him was the final cap on the circus show era that was Schiano. Further ruining the franchise for more work to be done.

  54. John5 Says:

    And since I feel like this article was a shot across the bow at me for my Schiano/Freeman comments, specifically questioning Joe’s football intellect, would you care to share where this information about Freeman’s mental status comes from? Is it because of the leaks that he took riddlin for ADHD?

  55. unbelievable Says:

    The worst mistake of the last decade is obvious:

    Mark Dominik.

    Dominik is responsible for continuing the lousy drafting we had under Gruden, plus he hired Raheem and Schiano. And while Schiano could not control MRSA or Freeman’s meltdown, he did oversee running out Bennet, Blount and Talib. (Talib was excusable though given his behavior at the time.)

    Again, it is Mark Dominik. There is no other answer.

    He’s a super nice guy, and great with the cap, but doesn’t know how to build a roster to save his life. Simple as that.

  56. Anonymous Says:

    Lovie and Freeman

  57. Maze Says:

    Simple as that

  58. Eric Says:

    I’d have to agree with all three, in the same order as well.

  59. RustyRhinos Says:

    Here we go again with the why did we get rid of Bennett, did he not have a bum shoulder on that “could” have been a problem going forward. It turned out not to be a issue but his departure was the result of his sub prime stats. The entire time he played in the NFL before his 9 sack season.

  60. Joe Says:

    And since I feel like this article was a shot across the bow at me for my Schiano/Freeman comments

    Nope. Never crossed Joe’s mind, sorry.

  61. mark2001 Says:

    Yes…all hall of shame material.

  62. unbelievable Says:


    You do realize that the year Bennett got those 9 sacks, was also the first and only year he started all 16 games in Tampa, right?

    The shoulder stuff was nonsense. They wanted Bowers to take his spot bc he was a high 2nd round draft pick, and Bennett wasn’t a yesman.

    Textbook pride move by the GM and HC. Hence my earlier post, the correct answer is: Mark Dominik.

    Anyways who cares, that’s all in the past now.

  63. Joe Says:

    Textbook pride move by the GM and HC. Hence my earlier post, the correct answer is: Mark Dominik.

    Which is why the Bennett thing is such a mystery. Remember who discovered Bennett and plucked him off of waivers? It was Dominik. That was a major feather in his hat. There are not too many general managers who get lucky finding a guy like Bennett off of waivers and developing him only to turn him loose for no good reason. In fact, most general managers are more proud about finding guys off the street than drafting a guy in the second round.

  64. unbelievable Says:

    Joe I’m not sure we will ever know the answer. But that makes me think Schiano had a lot of control over the roster.. My guesses are either:

    1. He was not a Schiano man, so he was gone like the rest (if Schiano had that much control of the roster)

    2. They wanted their 2nd round pick Bowers to blossom so badly, that they sent Bennett packing instead of paying him, naively thinking Bowers would replace him for cheap (despite Bowers showing almost nothing good on film…)

    I mean I don’t know what else it could be.

    But Dom is the one who hired Schiano… so the buck stops at the top sooner or later.

  65. Brandon Says:

    Bonzai- Gruden arrived in Tampa before the 2002 season. Johnson was acquired before the 2000 season. Not sure how Gruden screwed that one up. I do know that both those #1s given up weren’t that great. One was Anthony Becht.

  66. Duke Says:

    I caught that, Key, as well. I don’t know if Bonzai made an error or lumped the two decisions into a single point. I also read it as the former.


    Nice post. One point that I disagree with is firing McKay and hiring Allen. McKay was terrible with contracts and cap mgmt. There was not a 5yr window in 02. There was a 1yr to 2yr max window because of the mess made by McKay and his poor contracts. Allen came in and organized the team from a cap and contract disaster to cap relief in 3yrs.

    Also much as been said about Gruden and draft picks. It’s a base line belief that He was 100% in charge. I will merely say that isn’t as cut and dry as reported.
    2 picks as a small example. Chris Simms and Adrian Peterson. One He wanted the other not so much. Yet the selections were made. I guarantee that if Gruden had complete control He would have picked AD, passed on Simms.

    Last on that, Gruden had a heated conversation about selecting a franchise QB that ended up with a broadcast opportunity for him and Ra as HC. The arrow is pointing up.

  67. Duke Says:


    You are flat out wrong about Jfro and Schiano. Free himself commented on the adderrall mishap. Saying He was proscribed riddlen instead of add. That’s so preposterous to take as an explanation that it’s simply foolish. The players union was so certain that the team leaked information that it started an investigation.
    I think that it’s still ongoing because they have not reported upon their findings.
    The agent or free was responsible for the leaks. Schiano took the hits and as of July 2017 free has never reached out to Schiano to apologize. Total pos.

  68. The Buc Realist Says:


    John5 is so wrong!!!!!! He must be a fan of that old afternoon sports talk show!!!!!! Jfro was in huge trouble before Coach Schiano even got to Tampa!!!!! Coach Schiano was told to “fix freeman”!!!!!!! In 2011 JFRO was had major fines from the team for being late, and other infractions!!!!!!!

    Take the football out of it, and the truth is that Coach Schiano saved Jfro’s worthless life!!!!! He gave him a wake call!!!!! I don’t think that jfro is total clean!!! But he is not as bad as when he was the vampire of south tampa!!!!!

    GO Bucs!!!!!!!!!

  69. John5 Says:

    I love how everyone is so adamant that I’m wrong and all I’ve been asking for is where the alleged facts come from. Like Freeman having insane mental issues. I never debated that Freeman had issues. I said he did. I just said that Schiano walked in and tore him down.

    @Duke – I know Freeman commented on the riddlin aderol thing. Which is why I said it. It’s an actual fact. And my question was if that’s what everyone is basing Freeman having “mental issues” over. Because he said he had ADHD? And why would Freeman’s own agent leak any mishaps about him? That makes zero sense.

    @ Buc Realist – I’m not even sure it’s worth debating all those excalamation points. But I feel like you were mostly referring to all the stuff schiano leaked. I know Freeman had issues. My point the whole time is schiano came in with the mission to tear him down and get rid of him. And he did it in ridiculous fashion. Mission accomplished. The end.

  70. The Buc Realist Says:


    Where is “your proof” that the leak was Coach Schiano!!!!!!!!!
    In year 2012 Coach Schaino tried very hard to get jfro to take his job seriously and be a professional at his Job!!!!! Jfro did not love football!!!! He wanted to do selfish things after dark!!!!!

    And Yes, Coach Schiano wanted a “real” QB and wanted QB Carson Palmer, But talk show dominik once again protected his draft pick, and only drafted MG8!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And the adderall issue, is not a “fact”, That was just jfro version of what happened (passing the blame) The kid was a LIAR!!!!!!! He is a piece of garbage!!!!!!!!! And the NFL league knows it!!!!!!!!!!!!! you can believe him all you want!!!!! And keep wondering why, of what happen!!!!!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!!

  71. jmarkbuc Says:


    What was Rah’s salary for his tenure here? THAT was the only reason he was hired..The whole paying two coaches thing..If I don’t miss my guess that’s the reason DK is still here now.

    Rah had not an inkling of HC experience, and had no business trying to, much like DK.. Bucs were just up against the “coaches salary cap”, something they are prone to….

  72. jmarkbuc Says:


    The firing of Tony Dungy.
    Even though I was for it at the time, in hindsight, I think taking the entire offense out of his control would have been smarter. He was an excellent head coach…truly excellent. Probably the best we’ve had. All head coaches have weaknesses and his was offense. Fix that, and he probably would have won multiple superbowls in Tampa..

    I have always believed exactly that.. with the exception that I didn’t want him gone. Where were all those people that wanted DK retained for”continuity” when TD needed them. We’d have multiple SB’s and a flagship franchise if someone would have stepped up for TD the way they did for Klueless

  73. ChanEpic Says:

    @Jmark, I apologize for mis-characterizing your post. There have been many posts here on JoeBucs by straight up bigots, that sometimes it’s easy to mistake non-bigoted takes as bigoted. Please accept my honest apologies. Thanks in advance.

  74. John5 Says:

    @ Buc Realist

    My proof is that the NFL players union saw enough evidence to open an investigation into it, which still hasn’t concluded to my knowledge (guess they’re slow on everything that doesn’t involve white rich owners and coaches). Not to mention, there were several leaks of information involving Freeman. It wasn’t just that one.

    I just don’t get how everyone, including Joe, keeps saying Freeman had really bad mental issues. Maybe they’re all privy to something I’m not. Regardless, the whole point was Schiano was the worst coach ever. And I think he was the worst decision for the team. Nobody could’ve known it would’ve been that bad. But he turned the Bucs into a laughing stock. Literally.

    On to better days hopefully. Let’s go Bucs!

  75. Jmarkbuc Says:


    If I’m not mistaken Freeman by his own admission had bipolar disorder…..

  76. Jmarkbuc Says:


    It’s all good….

    The Glazers are all about money and covering there ass when they make a huge monetary mistake.

    I do have to hand it to Gruden, he could have gotten an HC job the next day after he was fired here. But seeing as how the Glazer geniuses had just signed him to an extension and then fired him (another brilliant move), he made them pay the entire contract, while making $6million a year at ESPN. Good for him. Terrible for us.

  77. James Walker Says:

    Firing Gruden was the biggest mistake in franchise history. The needed to fire Bruce Allen and take Gruden’s power over the roster.