Friday, January 16, 2009

Gruden Fired

Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden and GM Bruce Allen have been fired. This leads to three immediate questions.

1. Why was Gruden fired? I think it was a combination of things. Gruden was supposed to be an offensive genius but the offense in Tampa Bay has not really done anything under his leadership. The argument can be made that Gruden did what he could with the players he was given which is why Bruce Allen also got the axe. I can't help but think that Brian Billick was also supposed to be an offensive genius when he took the Baltimore job after leading Minnesota to huge points totals as offensive coordinator. Like Billick - Gruden's success was due more to a suffocating defense than anything the "genius" did with the offense. Like Billick - Gruden won a Super Bowl but then his act grew tiresome. Both were fired 7 seasons after winning the ultimate prize. Billick was 60-52 after winning the Super Bowl for the Ravens while Gruden was 45-51 after beating Oakland in the Super Bowl. With Monte Kiffin the leader of the Bucs defense moving on to coach with his son at Tennessee - it was time for a change.

2. Where will Gruden coach next? Brian Billick still hasn't gotten a job since being let go by Baltimore. I wonder if the same fate is in store for Gruden? Gruden has a couple more years on his contract so it would make sense for him to hang loose for a while and maybe sit out a year as a TV analyst (his Chucky shtick should be amusing for 15 minutes or so). Gruden's name will be attached to any current opening and also to many major college openings starting next season. Personally - I'm not sold on Gruden as a coach. He seem to generate more light than heat.

3. Who will replace Gruden? My guess is Bill Cowher. It is said that Cowher's big issue with the Jets job was not being able to name his own GM / personnel director to work with. With Bruce Allen out of the way - the GM job is open.


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