Monday, October 24, 2005

Who is responsible for Super Bowl XXXVII: Gruden or Dungy?

A friend of mine came to the house the other day and we ended up talking about Buccaneer Football (Go Figure). He was talking down about Coach Gruden and he said
I hope this is his last year. Gruden sucks, and is
not the genius that everybody thinks he is

Then he said what a lot of Buccaneer fans think, that

"Gruden did not win us Super Bowl XXXVII, that Tony
Dungy did."

This is something I get tired of hearing over and over again. Please give Coach Gruden some RESPECT, he took us to the promise land and we WON.

I will be the first to admit that Coach Dungy was the greatest thing to ever happen to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He changed this franchise from the laughing stock of the NFL to a Playoff Contender and created a defense that should be talked about as ONE of the ALL TIME GREATS. (I also believe this is Coach Dungy’s year with the Colts. I am pulling for the Colts to get Dungy his first Super Bowl Ring. That is of course if the Bucs are not in it!) We must face the facts, Coach Dungy as the Bucs head coach could never take us to that next level. Coach Dungy’s offense was never really good, it was the defense that kept us in the playoff hunt every year. It was also the fans who gave up on Coach Dungy not just the Bucs ownership. Now those fans are worshipping Dungy and giving up on Gruden.

The Bucs ownership had a lot of egg on their face after firing Coach Dungy for a wishy-washy Bill Parcells, who I will never like (even though he is a legend).

The Buccaneers finally got their man, a man, who I believe is the only person who could have replaced Dungy, (Jon Gruden).

Now let me explain why Coach Gruden won us that Super Bowl and not Coach Dungy. First according to the media Gruden brought in 22 of his own players out of the 53 man roster for the Super Bowl season. Here are some of the names that stand out for that year:
  • Kerry Jenkins
  • Rob Johnson
  • Marco Battaglia
  • Greg Spires (Still a big factor today)
  • Michael Pittman ( Super Bowl Key: 124 yards rushing, still a factor today)
  • Joe Jurevicius (Key player during the Super Bowl run, should still be on the team)
  • Ken Dilger
  • Tom Tupa
  • Roman Oben
  • Keenan McCardell (Star Receiver during Super Bowl Run)
  • Jermaine Phillips (drafted that year, starter today)
  • Ryan Nece (drafted that year, starter today)
  • Ricky Dudley

Gruden also stood in as Rich Gannon during the Buccaneers Defensive practices. I know the Bucs Defense was number one that year, but even John Lynch said, that he knew every play that Gannon ran before he called it, Why? Because, Gruden coached Rich Gannon while he was at Oakland. His knowledge of the Raiders is what made our defense so great during that game.

I must also point out that our offense was also a key factor for us wining the Super Bowl. Michael Pittman had 124 yards on the ground. Alstott had a touchdown run, and McCardell had two receiving touchdowns. There was also two field goals by Gramatica, still showing that Gruden’s offense moved the ball well.

I am not trying to take anything away from Tony Dungy, I am just tired of the fickle fans, who dog Gruden out all the time. Mostly because he does not use Mike Alstott. Alstott is and has been my favorite Bucs player, but Gruden is the coach and he has a system that is working. The last two years we were hit with the injury bug, and costly distractions. This year we are 5-1, we had a great draft with Cadillac Williams and Barrett Rudd. How can you go wrong with last year rookie, Michael Clayton and with a rejuvenated Joey Galloway, now add Cadillac Williams and the number one defense to this years team. WHAT ELSE DOES GRUDEN HAVE TO DO TO PLEASE YOU FANS.

In my opinion Gruden needs a contract extension, because there is another Super Bowl in him. We also need to thank Monte Kiffin, the NFL’s best defensive coordinator. He has kept the Bucs defense in the top ten every year, even without Coach Dungy at his side (Who is the real mastermind of the Bucs Defense.....mmmmmmm?). This is just my take on the Bucs Coach/Super Bowl situation, but I could be wrong.


coloradohurricane said...

Gruden was definitely responsible for the Super Bowl victory. How many Super Bowls has Dungy taken the Colts to- even with Manning, James, and Harrison ?

Cutthroat Pirates said...

Coloradohurricane, you bring up another good point that I left out, Thanks.

Ski said...

I had a Panthers fan bring this up to me at a sports bar the other day. I told him, "Dungy may have built the team, but Gruden had two teams in the Super Bowl that fateful Sunday in February, the Bucs AND the Raiders."

Cuttthroat, I like your site. I typically wait for a site to be around for a month before I link to it. But in the interim I will give you a shout out in one of my posts.

Finally, have you visited BoltsMag and BucStats (I have links to both at my site)? Scott at BucStats runs a good Bucs stats blog. And John at BoltsMag is the godfather of Tampa Bay sports blogs. said...

You will have to wait until the end of the season to evaluate Gruden this year. Some 5 and 1 teams ended disasterously.

coloradohurricane said...

ski, I read your post about Mike Bianchi's column in the Orlando Sentinel.

I grew up a Dolphin fan(although I spend most of my time today following the 'canes) and lived for the past 10 years in Orlando.

You could make the argument that Orlando is either a Buc or Dolphin town, but the Jags are definitely not in the picture. They might not even be #3 in Orlando. So for the NFL to show Pittsburgh vs. Jax when they could have shown the two most popular teams is absurd.

I met a lot of sports fans in Orlando. I don't think I ever met a jaguar fan.