The Father Dungy Double Standard

December 7th, 2012

Former Bucs great Warren Sapp spoke openly about the double standard that Father Dungy had with the Bucs, which Joe believes may have cost the team as many as two Super Bowl rings.

The neat thing about this weekend being the Bucs’ 2002 Super Bowl reunion is all the quality radio interviews former Bucs are conducting on local airwaves.

Yesterday, as Joe referenced before, former Bucs great Warren Sapp broke down crying while talking about how Joe Jurevicius, with his infant son dying in the hospital, arrived at the NFC championship game and helped turn the game, and the Bucs’ championship season, around.

Sapp on the “Booger and Rich Show,” co-hosted by Sapp’s former teammate Booger McFarland and Rich Herrera, heard locally on WHFS-FM 98.7, also expanded on a subject Sapp briefly touched upon in the outstanding NFL Films “America’s Game” series produced that highlighted the Bucs’ Super Bowl season.

Booger mentioned that when he first joined the Bucs in 1999, he noticed how Sapp and other leaders of the Bucs defense used to gripe about how Father Dungy seemingly didn’t care about the offense, but held the defense to lofty, exacting standards.

Sapp said that apparently, Father Dungy had one objective for the offense which seemingly didn’t include scoring. “Don’t turn the ball over,” Sapp remembered. But that changed dramatically on Day 1 of the Chucky regime.

“That was the difference between Johnny and Tony,” Sapp said of the difference between the two coaches. “It was three yards and a cloud of dust” with Father Dungy.

This is why Joe has never been on the Father Dungy bandwagon. To suggest Father Dungy was not a good coach is outrageous. But his disregard for offense with the Bucs bordered on irresponsible and his standard excuse of “This is the way Chuck Noll did it with the Steelers” was at best a weak smokescreen.

Joe firmly believes Father Dungy’s indifference to the offense likely cost the Bucs two Super Bowl titles.

35 Responses to “The Father Dungy Double Standard”

  1. Tampa2 Says:

    Oh yeah well the Bucs won the Superbowl with Dungy’s team!!

    – Delusional Gruden haters

  2. JonBuc Says:

    Good point, Joe. Watching how bad the Buc pass defense is now vs. then and how good this year’s offense is vs. then makes one appreciate both eras. Damn shame the ’99-01 team didn’t have much offense….and I’ve heard the stars from that era lament that fact.

  3. andres Says:

    Love Sapp! First ballot HOF!!!!

  4. Sneedy16 Says:

    Gruden was just screw with bad scouting and a GM who didn’t know to find good “young” talent. If they at least hit on some of the draft picks during his era the bucs would have been a good team. I think the 2007 draft was what hurt him the most. Missing on AD, Darrelle Revis, Patrick Willis. At least one of those players are the top at their position. Calvin Johnson, could of been had for a trade and there was even Marshawn Lynch. Can’t dwell on the past, but you can dream though.

  5. AtlBucsFan Says:

    I agree with you Joe. We missed a couple of SB opportunities with Father Dungy NOT focused on the offense.

  6. SteveK Says:

    Ok, Joe. I see your point.

    Dungy was not an offensive guru by any means, but you do really think Tony cost us 2 or more rings?

    I would have to firmly disagree. If the GM could have had the “right” QB on the roster: 1st rounder Trent Dilfer, Shaun “Baby hands” King, etc…

    One can say that Tony Dugy’s lack of offensive prowess held us back from a superbowl, but we would have never sniffed a super bowl without Dungy’s Defense. Dungy’s D beat Gruden’s O in the superbowl for crying out loud.

    Enough with any Dungy hating, the man is a Saint.

  7. SteveK Says:

    Dungy’s D scored 4 TD’s in the superbowl.

    Shaun King couldn’t even put up 6 points to beat the Rams, must have had a bad reaction to pineapple…

  8. kh Says:

    It was Monte Kiffin’s defense SteveK, the heart and soul of which was drafted by Sam Wyche.

    Agree completely Joe, regardless of how dominant our defense was at the tie, I couldn’t stand how anemic our offense was in those days.

  9. Miracle Says:

    To this day, I think that letting Gruden go was big mistake. The players always performed and we always competitive. Bruce Allen alone deserved the Pink Slip even though he did get us out of salary cap hell. I often wonder what the Bucs would look like with Dominick at GM, Gruden as HC and Raheem as DC. I believe that this would be a very formidable leadership.

  10. Bobby Says:

    @miracle….er…..nope. I like the way we’re going now.

  11. admin Says:

    JOE here,

    @kh – In an interview this week, Kiffin explained that Dungy was the architect of the defense, not him.

  12. OAR Says:

    No, Dungy did cost us SuperBowl rings, even Sapp basically says!
    I guess you don’t remember when Gruden’s O wood-shed-whooped Dungy’s D 45-0 in 1999.
    Ironic how Gruden was able to help our defense with his knowledge of his offense they were still using in Oakland and their players tendacies, etc.
    Nobodies “hating” on Dungy! We all know his denfenses were great, but his offenses weren’t held accountable or to that same standard!

  13. OAR Says:

    Dungy was the architect, but mechanic Kiffin kept it up and running smooth!

  14. Miguel El Magnifico Says:

    “Nobodies “hating” on Dungy!”

    I for one, despised Dungy and still do to this day. One of the best days of my life was watching Dungy, at #1 Buccaneer Place, unload his personal stuff from his company car in the rain the day he was fired.

    He is a major poser.

  15. D-Rome Says:

    I hate the “Dungy’s team” argument. When I first moved to Florida in 2000 most Bucs fans were screaming for Dungy to be fired not only because of the Bucs putrid offense but because he stuck with Clyde Christensen when he clearly wasn’t getting it done. Secondly, Dungy took this team as far as it could go and if it wasn’t clear 11 years ago it should be clear now considering Sapp’s and McFarland’s comments.

  16. Theodore Says:

    The Bucs won the Superbowl with Gruden’s offense, Dungy’s defense and Sam Wyche’s players.

    Now let’s go beat the Eagles again.

  17. Bucnjim Says:

    Great comments! Kiffin was the motivator and the mad scientist. He’s the one who called the plays on game day!

  18. Buc Fan #238 Says:

    I am happy with that lie of thinking:

    “The Bucs won the Superbowl with Gruden’s offense, Dungy’s defense and Sam Wyche’s players.

    Now let’s go beat the Eagles again.”

    However, lets not forget that the players themselves get the credit, not really the coaches.

  19. OAR Says:

    El Raton
    Wow, thats a strong term to use.
    Can’t say I wasn’t pleased with his firing, but he did get the ship sailing and gave us a vaunted defense during his time here! That, I thank him for, but not for our Super Bowl win. He gets none from me.

  20. OAR Says:

    “nobodies”…Ha…meant “nobody is”…dang brain farts!! Silent but deadly in academics!

  21. kh Says:

    @Joe- Kiffin would defer to Dungy, it’s not in his character to take credit for things.

    I’ve also heard Dungy say he let Kiffin handle the defense and didn’t micromanage him. So while Dungy might have been the “architect” he wasn’t calling plays and doing the week-in week-out scheming and game planning.

  22. Wade Says:

    Don’t forget, the Buc’s never scored a single touchdown in the playoff’s under Dungy..

  23. Wade Says:

    Let me clarify…A single touchdown against the Eagles in the playoff’s….

  24. SteveK Says:


    How could you honestly dislike Dungy? He didn’t win us the big game, but he took us from Orange Sherbert to Pewter Power.

    I enjoy all comments, but why the joyous reception upon watching Dungy leave?

    Gruden led us to a super bowl. Tony Dungy raised, developed, and groomed our team from nothing to “should have some more superbowls”.

  25. SteveK Says:


    You got it! Tony Dungy would and could delegate responsibility in order to build a winner. Ask Peyton Manning.

  26. Eric Says:

    Well maybe so, but Dungy is still my hero from bringing us back from total humiliation. I think a strong argument can be made that without tony we might not have the Bucs anymore.

    Plus that defense he pulled together was insanely fun to watch.

  27. SteveK Says:


    You right, you right.

    All hail King Dungy, the epitome of class, and could even shake Sapp straight.

    Dungy has also overcome a son taking their own life, and he even helped Mike Vick clean up his act.

    The man may not have been an Offensive minded coach, but he sure as hell could hold order, raise boys to men, and make for an all time great defense.

    Dungy is King of Buc football. Eric is right, no more Bucs if not for Dumgy and the HOF players drafted.

    We need to bring back Kiffin in any capacity.

  28. bucobruce Says:

    THANK YOU,THANK YOU,We never would of won a super bowl if not for GRUDEN.You covered everything else I wanted to say Joe so dido.Finally some people acually do know football,because I have been so tired of these dumba$$es that do not even know more than three players on the team and Im talking about in the history of the Bucs that always walk around saying it was good ole dungy team that won the superbowl.ahhhhhh!!! So once again thank you Joe.

  29. Eric Says:

    I agree no super bowl without Jon. But same applies to Tony.

    Let’s just say we were blessed to have two really good coaches, each with different talents.

    Let’s just hope we see such days again.

  30. SeanyMac in SC Says:

    Eric, well put and I agree

  31. Danny Says:

    We would have had at least one more Super Bowl if it wasn’t for the blown call against Bert Emanuel.

  32. Miguel El Magnifico Says:

    Dungy’s “success” had more to do with the end of the Culverhouse era and the beginning of the Glazer period. As cheap as the Glazer’s are, Culverhouse was the original Scrooge.

  33. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Goodbye Pete. Joe will not tolerate such an inaccurate insult. Over the line. –Joe

  34. Horice Says:

    Joe I have always respected your takes on this site, however you were either not in this business when Dungy took over or you have made a very bad take. All but one of these comments are spot on. I have and continue to follow EVERYTHING Bucs. I also follow Tampa Bay Sports radio religiously. Although I didn’t agree with the Dungy firing, I understood and accepted it as something that needed to be done. Some of these guys saying that Tony wasn’t this or wasn’t that should immediately have there sculls checked, or put the wacky weed down and move away. If you say that Gruden was the FULL architect of that team, then WHY couldn’t he repeat it?? The same would say that Dungy won & went to the Superbowl only because of Payton Manning. And if thats the case then why wasn’t Payton winning them before he got there?? I understand that you probably went “shock-jock” on this one Joe, however your take is dead wrong in my opinion & I was born and raised in the Bay area, and just didn’t start supporting the Bucs, but it was passed down to me from my father (unlike the MAJORITY of these commenters). I also frequent the barber shop of Derrick, Tony, and many other Bucs and Barber shop talk would put this topic to shame! Because we get things from the horses mouth instead of throwing kaka on the wall!

  35. Dave Says:

    BradJohnson was on the radio earlier too. He pretty much seeme disgusted by those that don’t give Gruen the credit deserves.