NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora Talks To Joe

December 31st, 2009

As Joe often writes, with apologies to René Descartes, Joe has the NFL Network, therefore Joe is a man. 

This past Sunday morning, it was the NFL Network’s own league insider/scribe Jason La Canfora who broke the news that the Bucs reached out to Bill Cowher to gauge his interest in coming to the Bucs.

Taking a hint from Bryan and Joel, Joe reached out to La Canfora who graciously agreed to a brief interview about his scoop.

Prior to moving to California (via broadband modem) to become the NFL Network’s go-to guy for information, La Canfora covered the NFL and the Washington Redskins for six years for the Washington Post, and in a previous life was a beat reporter covering the Detroit Red Wings for the Detroit Free-Press.

JoeBucsFan: Joe didn’t read any timeline in your original “Mutiny” article when the Bucs “reached out” to Bill Cowher. Given the fact that not quite two weeks ago the Bucs had just one win, it’s not a stretch to understand that the Glazers would explore their options for a coach at that point. Do you know when, roughly, the Bucs contacted Cowher?

Jason La Canfora: The contact was certainly recent. I first heard of it last Thursday [Dec. 24] and then made some other calls ahead of reporting it Sunday. [The contact with Cowher likely happened] within the last few weeks.

Joe: Per your source(s), have the Glazers decided that they are going to make a move, or was this simply exploratory? In other words, per your source(s), are the Glazers inclined to keep Raheem Morris unless Cowher makes himself available? Have the recent Bucs win streak — including an upset at New Orleans — cooled the Glazers’ heals?

Jason: Nothing has been decided that I am aware of or privy to. Their intent appeared legitimate to see how interested Cowher would be. As I have reported, [Cowher] will not discuss jobs that are not open. I reported everything I heard in regards to the Glazers looking at an A-list candidate and being willing to spend to do so if the right person was available. But again, if any sort of final decision has been made, I am not aware of it.

Joe: From the information Joe have learned, Cowher is assembling a team of sorts (assistants, front office types, scouts) to bring with him wherever he may land. If Cowher comes to the Bucs (granted, currently a big “if”), would he be a “football czar” of sorts, where he would have the final say on everything football-wise, but he would have his hand-picked people running the front office? Related question: Wither Bucs general manager Mark Dominik should Cowher appear in Tampa?

Jason: No matter where Cowher lands he has several personnel people he is very comfortable with and would want to bring with him. I would expect one of those people to be the GM wherever he goes, should the right opportunity open up (Carolina, Tampa Bay, Houston and Chicago are places to watch).

Joe: Per your NFL sources and back channels, is it just the poor won-loss record the Bucs have that has motivated the Glazers to begin sniffing around for other coaching candidates, or is it a series of issues (firing coordinators, poor personnel moves)? Or are the Glazers also motivated by the rapidly apathetic fanbase/ticket sales?

Jason: I have heard the overall organization issues – staff problems, issues between some coaches and players, readiness to play, are all things that could play a role in a change. The franchise could also need one take-charge person to be the face of everything, and clearly there is not a lot of experience atop the coaching and football operations ranks there right now.

Joe: Joe is convinced, given the right situation (Dallas, perhaps Washington if somehow Mike Shanahan does an about-face), Jon Gruden would bolt BSPN next season. Gruden is far from a pillar of honesty and his shtick about wanting to stay in the booth next season rings hollow. What’s your educated guess on Gruden’s status for 2010?

Jason: From everything I have read Gruden will be in the booth in 2010, as I have reported several times. He’s pretty much locked in there for next season.

Joe: Joe isn’t all about business: Now that you’re a big network star, having escaped the shadows of a simple, hard-working beat writer at the Washington Post, do you find yourself having women throwing themselves at you amid your travels for NFL Network?

Jason: Nah man, I have a face for radio. My wife is happy so that’s all that matters. It’s fun to be on the sidelines at a stadium and have some of the hardcore fans recognize me and interacting with them. Gave a dude one of my ties that he was begging for after the Jets/Bills game in Toronto. Guess that’s the highlight.

Thanks for thinking of me Joe and have a Happy New Year!

15 Responses to “NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora Talks To Joe”

  1. BigMacAttack Says:

    Good job Joe. Nice report and way to get the story clarified from the Source. I don’t think any other Buc’s Site has taken that initiative. Jason sounds pretty committed to his story as if it was the truth. Still, it was disputed, but who really knows? The Glazers?

  2. BigMacAttack Says:

    One more thing Joe,
    Your comment boards have really picked up in the last few months and are close to the number that gets. That is a tribute to you, and your staff(you). One thing that has made you so much better is your relationship with Steve White, Jeff Carlson, and Justin Palowsky. They know a helluva lot more than the local beat writers and reporters. (I do like Stephen Holder). Your business plan makes sense and couple that with pics of RW and CG in bikinis, what more could a Bucs fan ask for. More Pictures and definitely More Cowbell.

    Happy New year Joe and Great Job!!!

  3. Louie Says:

    Great interview Joe! Good to-the-point questions.

  4. D-money Says:

    Nice interview Joe but I don’t think this guy has any idea what he’s talking about.

  5. Rob Says:

    Happy new year Joe.

    Cool to see a piece from Jason La Canfora. Love the NFL Network.

  6. Mr. Lucky Says:

    D-money wrote: “Nice interview Joe but I don’t think this guy has any idea what he’s talking about.”

    That makes as much sense as the Glazers saying, “Nice job Raheem…now say hello to your new boss bill Cowher.”

  7. Chucky Says:

    Let’s face t Joe you just can’t accept the fact that I’m good in the booth. Man I’m gonna milk this MNF thing until the Glazer dough runs out THEN I’ll find a city who appreciates my talents – like Dallas.

  8. Rev. Sharpton Says:

    Joe I noticed you interviewed a pasty white guy about his sources for replacing my boy Raheem.

    Why didn’t you call Desi Cortez and get her opinion? All you did was use some of her quotes out of context.

    Man you’re just a hater Joe.

  9. Mr. Lucky Says:

    Nice original piece of investigational reporting Joe. Last time I read something that good was in a now defunct magazine called Pewter Report.

  10. Mr. Glazer Says:

    In the interview Jason La Canfora wrote “The franchise could also need one take-charge person to be the face of everything, and clearly there is not a lot of experience atop the coaching and football operations ranks there right now.”

    While I understand this is the popular misconception I can assure you that Joel & I are firmly in control of this entire situation. Ever since we directed that Raheem demote Mr. Bates and follow our defensive game plan you can see the obvious results.

    In fact once the Saints missed the field goal in last weeks game we placed an emergency call to the current HC and told them to execute running plays until the team was within field goal range.

    So as you have observed with my brother Joel and I at the helm this Buc’s ship has been righted and we look forward to continuing this trend in the future.

  11. Mr. Bates Says:

    Hey Joe since you have so much pull can I ask a favor? Would you see if Bill Cowher will give me my old job back – I miss traveling with the team.

  12. Pruritis Ani Says:

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out after Sunday. My thinking is the process is already in motion. I think the prospect of a continued decline in future ticket sales and the “organizational issues” the article alluded to are the driving factors. The owners may have come to realize they are put a lot of money into a club and essentially turned it over to people with little experience in the day to day operations of a football team (Coaching to the Front Office).

    Anyway.. Thanks for the articles Joe! Have a Happy New Year

  13. Joe Says:

    Thanks guys for all your kinds words. Much appreciated.

    Jason proved to be a way cool guy and Joe strongly urges you to watch his stuff on NFL Network and read his stuff on

    Joe was flattered Jason took the time to answer some of Joe’s questions. Joe also thought, who better to interview than the guy who dug up the scoop?

    And yes, Happy New Year to all of you! Let’s put this awful year behind us. Quickly!

  14. Scott Says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with BigMacAttack’s comments. Sites like this are a reason the print newspaper is going the way of the Victrola. You put together much more interesting and knowledgeable contributors than a newspaper can. You don’t have the huge overhead to do it, and you can market to a very narrow clientele that you understand well. I surf a half dozen Bucs/NFL sites daily and this has become my first stop.

  15. Patty McDaddy Says:

    Wow, I am glad to have found Joe’s site. Keep up the good work Joe. Other cities can eat their hearts out.