The Countdown: 20 Worst Buccaneers Personnel Moves Of The Past 10 Years — No. 15

July 13th, 2015
"You got me 15th Joe? You're out of your freakin' skull man."

“You got me 15th, Joe? You’re out of your freakin’ skull, man.”

It’s the countdown feature you’ve all been waiting for. Not really, but on the heels of last year’s award-winning “20 Worst Buccaneers Of The Past 10 years” feature, Joe had to deliver.

A list like this is highly subjective and toxic. Fits of rage were common during production meetings at world headquarters. Scared interns soiled their pants. Full beer bottles were smashed, and a treasured Rachel Watson poster was accidently destroyed. But order was restored.

Current and former general managers and head coaches might not like what’s coming, but it had to be done. This is what happens when your team is 30-70 in its last 100 games.

No. 15 — Firing Jon Gruden

One easily could argue booting Chucky for Raheem Morris deserves the No. 1 ranking on the countdown. However, the Bucs were 10-6 with a revamped, clearance-rack roster in Raheem’s second season. So Joe opted to rank Chucky right here.

Some of the great comedy of Chucky’s firing came in the immediate aftermath, when Raheem took to the podium and repeated over and over that the Bucs were going to “stay the course.” Hell, if you planned to stay the course, then why not keep the Super Bowl-winning coach coming off back-to-back 9-7 seasons?

Every coach’s time runs out. Joe gets that. As Joe’s written previously, Don Shula and Tom Landry were ousted during their historic careers.

Perhaps it was just Chucky’s time. He never coached again, so there’s reason to believe Team Glazer might have known Chucky’s desire was waning. Very few 45-year-old men get fired in a career they claim to love passionately and then walk away. Spin it however you wish, but Chucky quit coaching after he got fired.

Regardless, the Bucs never replaced Chucky’s leadership and results. Hindsight reveals it was a bad firing.

No. 16 — Choosing — And Drafting For — The Jim Bates Defense

No. 17 — Drafting Cadillac Williams Over DeMarcus Ware

No. 18 — Garrett Gilkey: Virgin Center

No. 19 — Cutting Chris Jones

No. 20 — Failing on Brett Favre trade

51 Responses to “The Countdown: 20 Worst Buccaneers Personnel Moves Of The Past 10 Years — No. 15”

  1. pick6 Says:

    after watching guys like joe gibbs and mike holmgren tarnish their legacy significantly in their second stint, he might have decided the Madden route to immortality was a little more assured

  2. MaHaBoNe Says:

    This was the beginning of a lot of team Glazers decisions that didn’t go well. however, it was the reach to get Gruden that landed us a SB. We can only hope that they have a couple more reaches left in their pocket.

  3. pick6 Says:

    *their second stint following their superbowl-winning gigs. i realize a new job would in fact be gruden’s 3rd stint. point is, anything less than an epic turnaround and a superbowl would be a major letdown for whoever hires him. i can still see him getting back into the game if a team on the cusp – with a heady veteran QB – comes calling.

  4. Mike10 Says:

    Wasn’t he fired the year they lost 4 straight (one of which @home to Jamarcus Russell) and fell out of playoff contention, needing only one win. Hindsight being 20-20, ya, you think we would have learned from history in firing Dungy, and would have not just shown an experienced and accomplished coach the door after crapping on themselves the last half of the season. But I would argue it was the transition from that firing that forced this franchise into a decade-long tail spin: showing your HOF vets the door and beginning a rebuilding effort with a head coach that was the secondary coach a week before..

    And for the record, I’m not sure I would call it “quitting coaching” Joe. The Bucs gig propelled Chucky into, what I would call, an absolute DREAM JOB with ESPN. I don’t care how good of a coach he might have been, you take a polarizing character named “chucky” + football genius + a SB ring and put him on MNF, the NFL draft, and give him his own “QB Camp” + give him $5+ million and say “just don’t get a DUI”…. You’d have to be dumb to throw all that away for coaching. What else does he have to prove?

  5. Buc1987 Says:

    Before you Gruden haters come in here and try to pounce on the man saying he never did anything before he came to the Bucs. Or that he can’t develop a team and needs a ready made team for any chance of success. Oh it’s been said on this here site. So once again in defense of that stance I bring you what he did for the Rrrraiders!

    From Wikipedia :
    Under Gruden, the Raiders posted consecutive 8–8 seasons in 1998 and 1999, and leapt out of last place in the AFC West. After uniting with journeyman quarterback Rich Gannon, Gruden led the Raiders to the top of the AFC West and they made the playoffs three straight seasons (the third time under Head Coach Bill Callahan). Oakland finished 12–4 in the 2000 season, the team’s most successful in a decade, and its first division title since 1990, ultimately reaching the AFC Championship, where they lost 16–3 to the eventual Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.

  6. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Don Shula and Tom Landry were ousted during their historic careers

    True, and all Great Coaches indeed, but they were all coffin-dodger by the time of their release.

    • Paul Brown -1975 (67yrs old)
    • Tom Landry-1988 (64yrs old)
    • Don Shula -1995 (65yrs old)

    Gruden, the Youngest Super Bowl Winning Coach of All-Time (@39yrs old) was released when was 45.

    We’re all entitled to our opinions, but I personally believe the worst decision our Franchise has ever made. Nothing comes even remotely close.

  7. Buc1987 Says:

    Let’s also not forget the “tuck rule” game that the Raiders would have won only adding to Gruden’s success even more.

  8. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    We faced the team he built from scratch, in the Super Bowl and Dominated Dem’

    Nuff Said

    at #15..smh#disrespectful

  9. Buc1987 Says:

    Luv ..of course I wholeheartedly agree. Chucky also made us relevant in the national media because of his personality alone. Even when we had losing seasons under him.

  10. Buc1987 Says:

    Landry and Shula had quite a few losing season from what I remember, yet they remained head coaches. You’re right Luv this could easily be the #1 dumbest move in the team’s history let alone the last 10 years.

  11. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Our record since we decided to released THE BEST DAMN COACH WE”VE EVER HAD


  12. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    The Joe’s know better, they’re just trying to stir the pot-get the blood boiling, primed and ready for the season-That’s all

    Freakin #15

  13. Buc1987 Says:

    Actually I’m wrong about Shula.

  14. Buc1987 Says:

    Luv I can’t even fathom what could be #1 compared to this, which is not even in the top 10. Perhaps letting Kiffin leave?

  15. Mike10 Says:

    LUV.. I just vomited in my mouth. 30-64?d

  16. LargoBuc Says:

    Gruden was like a twelth player on the sideline. He was so intense and smart and gave everything he had on game day. Alot of games, with the talent we had, we probably should have lost but his superior coaching on gameday was the difference. No better coach to have on your sideline on Sunday.

  17. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Still pissed Mayor Kiffin, announced his departure at the tail end of the 08 season.
    Defense completely gave up after his announcement -I mean the difference was like night and day.

    We were freakin’ (9-3) before he announced that sh*t.

  18. Buc-A-New Says:

    So Favre at 20, and Firing Gruden at 15. I can’t wait for number 1

  19. Buc1987 Says:

    LargoBuc …some would that his rhetoric got stale and the players weren’t buying in anymore. Not me of course, but that’s some of the arguments I’ve heard before. Just throwing that out there.

  20. Buc1987 Says:

    *some would SAY

    Dayum Joe’s you need an edit button soooooooooo badly.

  21. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    I hear u man. Made me throw the egg & turkey bacon sandwich out to the dogs. Damn good sandwich too. O well

  22. Buc-A-New Says:

    Buc1987 Says:
    July 13th, 2015 at 10:28 am
    *some would SAY

    Dayum Joe’s you need an edit button soooooooooo badly.
    Lol Luv. Sounds like it really was a good sandwich. I just made an egg, sausage, and corn beef hash burrito to take to work. Im not throwing that puppy away!

  23. Buc1987 Says:

    STOP IT you guys are making me hungry!

  24. rriddler Says:


    “Landry and Shula had quite a few losing season from what I remember, yet they remained head coaches. You’re right Luv this could easily be the #1 dumbest move in the team’s history let alone the last 10 years.”

    Don Shula had only 2 losing seasons in 33 years as a head coach. He was 59-37 in his last six years, with 4 playoff appearances, before that moron, Wayne Huizenga, fired him.

  25. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Been begging for that damn edit button for years. They won’t budge though.

    I can barely write a damn grocery list without scratching something out.

    I’m like beer, cognac, tilapia, cheyenne….O wait cayenne..cerano peppers, zucchini…damn (serrano)

  26. Buc1987 Says:

    Correct Riddler…I admitted my mistake shortly afterwards. I was kind of iffy on the Shula thingy. So I looked it up.

  27. Buc1987 Says:

    With me I just type too damn fast. That and the fact I’m practically going blind as I get up in age, but I won’t give in and get some glasses. I still think I’m 20 years old.

  28. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    U better not, especially if slow cured that beef yourself. hahaha

  29. mike Says:

    should have been #1. We are in a 3 way tie for irrelevance bc of this move. The raiders too have been just as bad as us since he left.

  30. drdneast Says:

    Gruden was a great Xs and Os coach and great with established veteran players but was terrible in the draft.
    He and GM Bruce Allen were just as bad in the draft as Dummynick/Morris/Schiano.
    Still, if it wasn’t for Gruden rebuilding the offense with FA’s in 2002 we probably would lost to the Eagles 10 to 5.
    For that, Gruden will always hold a special place in my heart.

  31. Mike10 Says:

    I don’t get how u have 3 teams run so differently in this city! Brian Glazier needs to go vacation with Jeff Vinik… Jason Licht should go sit in on a scouting meeting with Matt Silverman.

    …. Just don’t put Glazer in the same room as Sternberg, Sternberg would faint and Glazer would cash in on the Bucs…. actually, now that I think about it….

    Chew on all them TB analogies…

  32. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Hopefully this year I won’t have to end the season with my annual

    “Time to sale the team to Edward J. DeBartolo, Jr.” spill

    Things just haven’t been the same since Mr. Glazers stroke. There’s something to be said for the man that makes the Billions. An the children that reap the benefits, rewards of his hard work.

    Here’s to the Innovative minds of the world, and the the elusiveness of applied knowledge.

  33. Hawk Says:


    “We faced the team he built from scratch, in the Super Bowl and Dominated Dem’”

    The only coach in history to have TWO teams in the Super Bowl at the same time.

  34. Rob Says:

    Joe, this didnt have to be #1 on the list, but it certainly should have been top 5 or at least top 10.

  35. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Yes Siirr!!!

    The trifecta, would be for Gru’ to come back– to the team that fired him. Take us to the dance. Screw the Prom Queen, by winning it all, and ride off into the sunset.

  36. Snook Says:

    Gruden wasn’t staying without Bruce Allen, right?

    And Bruce Allen HAD to be fired. Had to. Awful salary cap management and horrible drafting.

  37. Buc1987 Says:

    To be fare to Gruden he had no first and second round picks for 2 years in a row and our D was already aging.

  38. Another J Says:

    It was time for Gruden to go, He was a great coach,but We needed something different. 9-7 without the playoffs was getting kind of old.

    Unfortunately we’re not very good at hiring replacement coaches, but Hey we’re getting better at that, Hopefully…

  39. tickrdr Says:


    I “LUV” your passion, and agree with your takes. In fact, that is what I miss most about the Gruden regime, his passion for the game and his hate for losing. It seems Lovie doesn’t care at all, and tries to tell the fans that “we’re still in it” and “real football begins in November”. Some don’t seem to care about being the laughingstock of the league.


  40. James Walker Says:

    This firing has nothing to do with Gruden’s performance according to a friend who did janitorial services at One Buc. But, if Jon ever coaches again it will prove my source wrong. If Jon is ever hired again I will disclose what I have heard.

  41. Hawk Says:

    With our luck, he’ll go back to the Raiders and beat the Bucs in the Super Bowl just to spite the ghosts of Al Davis and Malcolm Glazer.

  42. Joe Says:


    Still pissed Mayor Kiffin, announced his departure at the tail end of the 08 season.

    Joe had that story well before the end of the season. 🙂

  43. Joe Says:

    If Jon is ever hired again I will disclose what I have heard.

    Email Joe. Would love to compare confidential notes. Joe’s heard some things, too.

  44. Stanglassman Says:

    Why is it OK to slander and speculate about Freeman but Gruden we need to be so confidential?

  45. Hawk Says:

    @ Stanglassman
    Freeman does not have the money or passion to sue? :^)

  46. SteveK Says:


    Hey man, Freeman quit and tried to torpedo our franchise. He’s rat poop.

    I hope Freeman bounces back in Miami, pulling for the underdog. I forgive Freeman, but will never forget not want to see him in a Bucs uni again.

  47. Howard Cosell Says:

    Lol….Gruden was mean to someone and they got they wittle feewings hurt?
    I hope it was the soccer brats. That would elevate Gruden to a deity.

    On the bad side: Monte probably got tired of him too and that might be what destroyed the Bucs. Just pure speculation on my part. The front office and the best team we ever had was 2002. First Gruden alienated McKay which was
    also a bad move. You never want to break up the band if they’re not sucking.

  48. Buc1987 Says:

    When my cousin played for Gruden 2 years he said he never met a more faker person in his entire life and that was while he was still playing for him.

    But oh well WTH does the long snapper know anyways?

  49. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Joe had that story well before the end of the season


  50. ufour20 Says:

    Gruden was the best coach this team ever had and I hate that we let him go. IMHO, this should be #1. The year he was let go, we were poised for another play off run… injuries – I believe it was 15 players on IR, cost us that run and then his job. You don’t fire your only Super Bowl winning coach, fing stupid.

  51. Seminole Bill Says:

    Oh Joe, I beg to disagree. In fact, I’ll posit that Gruden never should have been hired. Had we kept Dungy, a Super Bowl may still have resulted, and we would have saved the draft picks we gave away to get Chucky. Maybe, maybe not. But here is an unarguable point: compare the Dungy years to those since; it has been downhill in a hurry.