Gary Shelton Puts Bucs In Crosshairs

March 14th, 2010
Why are you feeling sorry for me Gary?

"Why are you feeling sorry for me Gary? I have a Sam's Club membership."

Veteran St. Petersburg Times columnist Gary Shelton has seen a lot in his days covering sports in the Tampa Bay area. So when Shelton takes aim at a subject, Joe sits up straight in his chair and rests his bottle of Caybrew.

In a powerful column this morning, Shelton seems to have had enough with what is — or, more correctly, what is not — coming out of One Buc Palace of late.

He wonders in print why other dreadful teams last year saw fit to try to improve their roster in recent weeks, why teams with young quarterbacks to groom actually went out and got a solid receiver for said young quarterback.

Meanwhile, Shelton notes, the Bucs pretty much stayed pat.

Around them, other teams are trying to get better. The Ravens, who have a young quarterback of their own to grow, have added Anquan Boldin. The Bears, who have their own pressures to endure, have signed Julius Peppers. The Lions have added Nate Burleson, and the Dolphins signed Karlos Dansby, and the Jaguars signed Aaron Kampman, and the Bengals signed Antonio Bryant and so on. Before the Bucs got around to signing linebacker Jon Alston on Friday, 28 other teams had signed 81 other free agents (47 from other teams and 34 from their own).

Here’s a question: Were all of those teams wrong while the Bucs were right?

Here’s another: On a team that finished 3-13, are we to believe there was no one else out there — no one — who could help?

Please make sure to read the entire column linked above. It’s a sobering look at the state of the Bucs.

Shelton believes the Bucs are so bad, he actually is beginning to feel sorry for Mark Dominik and Raheem the Dream.

Joe already wrote how he feels sorry for Raheem the Dream.

33 Responses to “Gary Shelton Puts Bucs In Crosshairs”

  1. Eric Says:

    Excellent article by Shelton. Really can’t be said any better, and I hope others in the media take note and see the light.

    My only disagreement is the concept of feeling sorry for these guys. After the way they treated 55, they do not deserve it.

  2. Tj Tillman Says:

    Morris and Dominick are betting there carrers on players that have been inconsitent and have not produced on a high level. Players like The blocking icon Clayton, Greg white, Sabbi the great, Reggie brown who I did not know he was still in the league. Do the Bucs managment know we have to play the saints next year 2 and the ever improving falcons twice too. I think they think we have a good team cause of the Saints win last year which was a great comeback but remember that the siants missed a easy field goal or would not have won that game

  3. Louie Says:

    I’m sorry, I don’t feel a bit sorry for Dominik or Morris. They are willing participants in this mess. Nobody put a gun to their heads to take these jobs. They knew EXACTLY what they were getting into.

  4. Louie Says:

    Also, it’s great to see the local media starting to put some heat on these clowns at One Buc Place. The hard-core fans have seen the Bucs implode real-time. Maybe the casual fans will see it now that the local media has awoken.

  5. YearOBucsfan Says:

    I guess I will be the only dissenter. How does one compare the Ravens to the Bucs? A young QB is about the ONLY thing these two teams have in common. We are not close to being a good team yet. The Bears, the Bears, really! Are they a well run operation? Last I checked they traded for Jake Cutler, and Gaines Adams, RIP. Lets emulate the Lions instead because they have a proven record of making great decisions! The Bucs need to build a team from the ground up. They need to make great decisions in this year’s draft, and next year’s draft. Then think of adding some complimentary free agents to go from good to great. I don’t want to be the Redskins who every year go after the sexy pick up in free agency then continue to stink. Be harsh on them all you want after they have had a reasonable chance to do something.

    As for the 55 comment, it was his time, he showed it to everyone and every team, he just wouldn’t admit it to himself.

    As for the Sabby, and Clayton comments, they were brought here by GRUDEN. I will certainly call for Morris and Dominik’s heads in a year or so, if the team doesn’t improve, but until then I think it is a childish need for instant gratification. Think of this time as 2-3 years before the Rays went to the World Series. There were a lot of pissed off fans that thought Joe Maddon was a stupid choice.

  6. Tj Tillman Says:

    @ year Obucs fan yeah gruden did bring Clayton and piscatelli in but Morris and dom resinged clayton to that insane contract and Morris prides hisself that he scouted sabi the great. so in a way morris helped get the missed taclke machine and cover blowing man

  7. JK Says:

    Gary Shelton probably wanted Gruden and Allen gone. Now what ASSHOLE!!!!

  8. tampa2 Says:

    yearObucs fan. You seem to forget that Gruden benched Clayton’s sorry ass & was going to get rid of him. But your beloved “Radio & Dumynik” signed him to a 25 mil renewal. Instant gratification? How about “any” gratification! Be prepared for 4-12 “at most”. Then you can feel sorry for their sorry canned butts next year.

  9. YearOBucsfan Says:

    Gruden and Allen kept us just good enough to lose in the first round of the playoffs every couple of years, all the while not doing a damn thing for future success. The Bucs under Gruden and Allen were a patchwork of cast offs and very so so draft choices. I can’t believe that people’s memories are so short as to forget their drafting disasters. I wonder what the bloggers on here would say about the current regime if they had drafted another Dexter Jackson or Gaines Adams RIP. I have taken over positions in companies where a total overhaul was needed, and the expression Rome wasn’t built in a day fits. That is where we are now. Last year’s schedule was incredibly difficult. The new guys need to step up and prove themselves. The sad state that our team is in now is due to a TOTAL mishandling from Gruden and company. Our best years were built from the draft up, you add FAs when you are to going from good to great. We aren’t there yet.

    We looked like a no win team in the last 4 games in 2008 already. We ran out of depth and we are now paying for it. The patchwork approach only goes so far.

  10. Radio Mushmouth Says:


    I agree. I don’t want to hear shit out of our local beat reporters , because they are the reason we are stuck with Radio and DUmbnuts today. They applied the pressure that ran Gruden out of town.

  11. Eric Says:

    Eleven years as head coach in the NFL

    Five Division Titles, One Super Bowl.

    The Dream couldnt accomplish that in 100 years of coaching.

  12. Mark in Lutz Says:

    Go Rays! Baseball eats into the 1st two months of football season anyway.

  13. Tj Tillman Says:

    @YearOBucsfan I hear you that gruden always went after plaers like Tim brown and charlie garner and that it is going to take time to build I understand but. Last year we had a tough scheulde but this regime of morris and Domminick have not shown anything to prove to me they know what they are doing. THe bucs are not the lions ,cheifs, or the raiders we have talent. But when managment fire 2 cordinators have 4 qb’s , 3 kickers let one your best recive r go sign your worst to a contract extension and ignore Rudd and Penn I have to agree with everyone else’s negativaty

  14. Eric S Says:

    It was a great column. This crap has been going on for 6 years now. The wallet has been closed. It is getting ridiculous. I can’t believe some people have defended the Glazers.

  15. YearOBucsfan Says:

    I am not saying that Morris and Dominik are good in any way. They may be awful. I just think that it is far to early to fairly judge. Don’t you think the coordinators needed to be fired? Sure they were terrible hires, but when they took charge who was available? I think there was so much disarray at 1 Buc Place that I am willing to cut them some slack as they figure out the direction to go in their first year. The players seem to like Morris, maybe too much, maybe it is a good thing for acquiring future free agents and team cohesion. Bottom line is, I think Gruden did damage to the team, I think building through the draft is the right way to go if done right, and it is too early to judge Rah and Dom.

  16. Tj Tillman Says:

    I her you yearobuc it just is frustrating. a buccaneers fan is a friend of mine . I just get a little frustrated with some of hte moves I listed above plus I forgot we signed Mcnown to a big deal then trade him. Just saying I feel like really early on are making horrailbe decsions. They better hope Suh or mccoy are avaalible which I think they will so this franchise can excite alot of digruntle fans which there are alot . As far as cordinators I understand Bates but Jaqz I would like to know what hapeen on that ine . Bates should not have been hired in the first place where are Tampa bay a defense is named after us why they bring him in to play that damn quaters defnese

  17. YearOBucsfan Says:

    GO BUCS!!

  18. Leighroy Says:

    Lost in this article was the stat (that I have to paraphrase bc I don’t recall specifically) that the Bucs spent among the least over the last 5 years as well. This isn’t a new or uprising phenomenon.

    Joe, I would be curious to know how much we have spent on coaches recently too, and how that compares to the league if such a stat exists. We used to have great assistant coaches and paid top dollar to retain them whenever we could. Now I look at our assistants and I’m fairly unimpressed and often wondering just who in the heck some of these guys are.

  19. MTM Says:


    The NFL should have a minimum player salary that teams cannot go under. That way teams would be forced to stay competitive. And if they refuse they would be forced to sell. Yeh. I know just wishful thinking.

  20. Louie Says:

    It’s easy to say Gruden was bad, but he too had to deal with the lack of spending by the Glazerhouse’s. Remember, the Bucs have been the lowest spenders in the NFL since 2004. That’s 4 years that Gruden and Allen were handcuffed. Prior to that, they didn’t have any high draft picks due to the deal the Glazerhouse’s made to get Gruden AND were in salary cap hell.

    I’m amazed Gruden was able to make the playoffs as much as he did! It makes you appreciate just how good a coach Gruden really was.

  21. MTM Says:


    Yeh but Grudens D-Bag mentality scared off a lot of free agents.

  22. Eric Says:

    Yeah and free agents are knocking down the door to join this fiasco.

  23. maddog55 Says:

    Gruden is an excellent coach. Bruce allen is an excellent and fiscally sound GM. They were fired becuase they hada poor draft record and they did not do a good job developing the young players.Tony Dungy was an average coach and Rich McCay was an average GM. But they had a good draft record and they developed their young players.

    The Bucs were so good for so long becuase of 3 drafts. They didn’t win championships becuase Dungy would’nt budge on bringing in a offensive coordinator that was any good. If he had, I’m sure the Bucs would have more titles (conference and super Bowl).

    The basics of building a great football team is build a core thru the draft, don’t have too many rds 1-3 misfires and once you get to where your winning 10 to 13 games a year, add good young up and coming free agents to get you to the next level.

    Why would the Bucs pay huge dollars for a big name coach when our talent pool is so weak? Why would the Buc’s pay huge dollars on free agents over 30 years old when we are only going to get a couple years production out of them. Why would we kep players past their prime that won’t take a pay cut. Look at the players we have let go in the last few years. Who has made us wish we would have kept them? So we sign all thes free agentsthois year. Are we going to be a 12 win team next year. No, because we don’t have the young nucleus yet. DAH!

  24. YearOBucsfan Says:

    So…..let me get this straight. You think Gruden and Allen were good, but Allen couldn’t acquire good talent in the draft, and Gruden was a good coach, but couldn’t develop players.

    It seems to me that that is what the definition of a good GM and Coach are.

  25. Kyle Says:

    I would rather have the Bucs do worse and get a pick in the top 10 rather than go 9-7 limp into the playoffs then lose in the first round, leaving them with a pick at 19 or 20. If we go 4-12 next year, ya I will sad but if they have a good or great draft this year and get all the things they need then I will be satisfied. And with this draft being as deep as it is they could very well be good in 2 years. As fans we shouldn’t be angry when the team isn’t doing what we think is right, I have faith that they have a plan (god I hope so). Teams can’t always be good, just think we could be worse off…We could be Raiders fans.

  26. Radio Mushmouth Says:


    You’d rather go 4-12 than go 9-7 and make the playoffs?? Are you mad ??

  27. Finerdetailz Says:

    Gruden and Allen could do a millions time better than this Mickey mouse regime we have going on now. And I don’t feel sorry for this boneheads. They get rid of the leadership and had some bright notion that changing schemes was the answer. Give me Gruden every year at least he made it feel he and Allen could run an organization. And of course he went after FA, he wanted to win and given enough time he would have found the right combo. He had the same issues as these goofballs now. Everyone in this town wanted to run these guys out of town including dumbass Deumig and Beckles on 620. Now we have one of the worst teams and were not getting better. I guess this part of the plan. The media and sports radio in this town need to join forces and demand the owners come front and center and tell the fans why their not spending money. If their honest and up front then at least everyone will know.

  28. Eric Says:

    What I would like to know from the Rah supporters is when can we expect him to coach the Bucs to an NFC South Title?

    If he is truly a better coach than Mr. Gruden, shouldn’t we expect that at some point?

    2010? 2011? 2012? 2013?

  29. YearOBucsfan Says:

    I think I would fall into a Buc supporter category. I support the idea that you should give a leader a reasonable chance to lead and show their results. One year as a coach, after inheriting a debacle is not “a chance”. If you read some of my earlier posts on this thread, I clearly state that the current regime needs to prove themselves by making great decisions in this year’s and next year’s draft. They will need to make great decisions on acquiring real FAs, once they can reasonably expect to be good. The time is now to build, patience is a virtue. I have said before on this blog, I think they have 3 years to make the playoffs, and need to remain competitive for the playoffs after that. So to answer Eric’s question playoffs in 2011 if they get enough support from the Glazers. NFC South title, maybe 2011, but more likely 2012. Bringing in notable FA should occur after this year.

    Remember Gruden was handed a Super Bowl caliber team, Raheem was handed a team that lost 4 in a row, and looked bad doing it.

  30. maddog55 Says:


    I said Gruden is an excellent Xs and Os coach. Look waht he did with Tampa when he had the talent. Your’e right it takes more than a playbook and half time adjustments to be a great coach.I also said Allen is a good capologist. Once again, as a GM you have to be a good evaluator of talent or build an excellent scouting department for that.

    I agree with you. We have to build a good core group of young players through the draft, get to the point where we are a 9 to 10 win team and then we may add some 30yr old proven free agents to get us to the super bowl.

  31. Eric Says:

    YearOBucsfan Says

    Ok, that seems like a reasonable time – table to me. Thanks for answering my question.

    In the meantime I hope they get the kid someone to throw the ball to. This league is getting pass happy, with guys routinely throwing for 4000 yards. Without some big time playmakers we are just not going to compete.

    I still say Freeman to Marshall would be a force to be reckoned with in the NFC South for a long time and they should make it happen if they can.

  32. Kyle Says:

    What I was referring to was what Gruden was doing to compared to what I think Morris will do next year. Those 2 years where we made the playoffs I was more angry than I was this year and the bucs had winning records. I’m just saying I would rather get a top 10 pick than be one and done in the playoffs. I just feel that if you draft correctly like they did in the early 90s you can make your team great for many years.

  33. YearOBucsfan Says:

    I don’t know about that Eric. There are a lot of ways to win. I don’t think passing for 250 yards a game is necessarily a good thing, or required. A strong running game and great defense is usually how the best teams win consistently. Though it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if we got a top wide out or two. And I agree Freeman needs desperately a couple of receivers in addition to Stroughter, and Winslow (basically a reciever), who he can trust to run sharp routes, and fight for the ball.

    Nice to see, that in general we all seem to be in some agreement. The clock is ticking on the new regime. I just would like to see everyone calm down a bit and have an open mind for another year or two. We need to improve every year. That is how I evaluate a coach and the staff. Last year was rock bottom, and each year needs to build on each other to get to a sustainable winning tradition. So far, Rah and friends haven’t proven anything to me. I guess the only difference is that I am not as critical of last year as others on this blog. I picked them to win 4 games, and that was hopeful, looking at what we had and who we were playing. We need to win 6 or 7 games this year, and be competitive in others. I would be happy with that.