Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Sports

Jones: The idea of Gruden and the Bucs beats the reality

RECOMMENDED READING


Jon Gruden to the Bucs?

Sounds like one sloppy, happy mess.

It would be one part delicious, one part debacle and all parts completely compelling.

I can see it now.

The Bucs season ends Dec. 31. They could hire Gruden before we finish off Auld Lang Syne.

What a way to start the new year.

The fans would love it. The ticket office would love. The media would love it.

It would be awesome. For one day.

Jan. 2, 2018:

Wow, look what the Bucs did! Jon Gruden is back as Bucs coach!

Then Jan. 3 comes and reality sets in:

Oh no, what did the Bucs do? Jon Gruden is back as Bucs coach!

I love the splash of hiring Gruden. Iím just not sure I love the actual hiring of Gruden.

Hey, I like Gruden. Whatís not to like? The way he walks. The way he talks. The Chucky face. And, yeah, the guy knows a thing or two about football. Hiring Gruden gives the Bucs something they donít currently have: relevancy.

But, you know, Iíve seen this movie before.

The first half was Oscar-worthy. Gruden rode into town on a white horse, took over a pretty good Bucs team and in his first season led it to the only Super Bowl this franchise has ever won.

That part was great.

Then came the second half of the movie. The flop part.

After the Super Bowl, he went 45-51 in six seasons and never won another playoff game, getting fired after the 2008 season. He changed quarterbacks like he changed socks. From Brad Johnson to Chris Simms to Brian Griese to Bruce Gradkowski to Jeff Garcia.

If he had lasted another year or two, he would have burned through another quarterback or two. Thatís how he operates.

So, do we really need a sequel?

Come to think of it, why would Gruden even want a sequel in Tampa Bay?

He canít possibly top what he has already done here. He has won a Super Bowl. His name will go on the Bucs Ring of Honor this season. Heís already a legend.

The only way it can get better is to come back and Ö what? Win two Super Bowls?

This is assuming he even wants to coach again.

There are plenty of rumors about Gruden. There always are. The Bucs want him. The University of Tennessee wants him. If Notre Dame keeps losing like it did in Miami, the Fighting Irish will want him.

And he always keeps the door open whenever he is asked. Of course he does. Thatís the smart play.

But he already has a good job. He is a fan favorite calling games for ESPN. He is paid well ($6.5 million, and that doesnít include endorsements). And he never has the pressure of having to win.

Then again, letís say he misses the adrenaline that only coaching provides. Letís say he misses the competition. Letís say he canít live without coaching, that itís in his blood.

Why come back to a place simply to repeat what youíve already done?

Granted, thereís plenty about the Bucs that might appeal to Gruden.

He lives here, so thereís that. He wouldnít have to move his family, buy a new house, fill out change-of-address forms.

And, perhaps, he really likes quarterback Jameis Winston. The key to any head coaching job is having a decent quarterback, and maybe Gruden thinks he can lift Lombardi Trophies with Winston as his quarterback.

Still, there are other jobs and other quarterbacks outside of the one place that fired you even after you won a championship.

So what would the Bucs like about Gruden?

For starters, he has won a Super Bowl. That carries a lot of weight on a resume. And heís a name.

But after that, there are questions.

Will he demand complete control of the franchise even though heís probably better off just being the head coach?

Will he sour on Winston too quickly and start another revolving door at quarterback?

Will the coach who loves veterans be patient in rebuilding this thing right with kids?

Of course, we are way ahead of ourselves here. At last check, Dirk Koetter is still the head coach, and unless the Bucs take a complete nosedive the rest of the season, he should be the coach again in 2018.

But Grudenís name is starting to creep into the rumor mill.

So, I have to admit, it sounds fun.

Until it actually happens.

Contact Tom Jones at tjones@tampabay.com. Follow @tomwjones.

Comments
Flames ride hot Gaudreau, beat Capitals

Flames ride hot Gaudreau, beat Capitals

WASHINGTON ó Johnny Gaudreau would rather talk about anything other than his offensive production. Heís just making it impossible to avoid. Gaudreau had a goal and an assist to extend his career-best point streak to 10 games and lead the Flames to a ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Cavs roll over Pistons, close in on Central lead

Cavs roll over Pistons, close in on Central lead

DETROIT ó An emphatic win over a first-place opponent had LeBron James and the Cavaliers talking confidently again. "We havenít had a win like that in a very long time," James said. "Thatís what happens when we donít let up." James scored 16 of his 1...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Tuesdayís sports on TV/radio

TODAYBoxingWelterweights: Alexander vs. Castillo7:30 p.m.FS1College basketballMaui Invitational semifinal1:30 p.m.ESPNLegends Classic third-place game3:30 p.m.ESPNUMaui Invitational consolation game4 p.m.ESPN2Legends Classic final6 p.m.ESPN2George Ma...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Florida A&M football coach Alex Wood resigns

TALLAHASSEE ó Alex Wood resigned as Florida A&M football coach Monday, two days after the Rattlers completed their season. Athletic director Milton Overton Jr. said offensive line coach Edwin Pata, a former FSU tight end, will serve as interim coach....
Updated: 9 hours ago
Rays agonize over which prospects to protect on 40-man roster

Rays agonize over which prospects to protect on 40-man roster

ST. PETERSBURG ó That the Rays went right up to Mondayís 8 p.m. deadline in deciding to add seven players to the 40-man roster, and that a couple they left off seem to be potential Rule 5 draft losses, was apparently a good thing."Thereís always some...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Bucs journal: Dirk Koetter says Doug Martinís not at fault for struggling running game

Bucs journal: Dirk Koetter says Doug Martinís not at fault for struggling running game

TAMPA ó RB Doug Martin had just 38 yards on 19 carries in Sundayís win against the Dolphins, but coach Dirk Koetter said his teamís struggles running the ball shouldnít go squarely on his running back."In my opinion, he is not the reason weíre not mo...
Updated: 9 hours ago
HomeTeam Hot Shot winners: Nick Ferrini and Kellyn Trowse

HomeTeam Hot Shot winners: Nick Ferrini and Kellyn Trowse

HomeTeam Hot Shots Nick Ferrini, MitchellOn Monday, Ferrini embarked on a five-day cruise with 30 family members. "Parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, you name it," he said. Destinations during the trip include Key West, The Bahamas and a...
Updated: 9 hours ago
UF has little to say after meeting with Kelly

UF has little to say after meeting with Kelly

GAINESVILLE ó At last, thereís some actual smoke to the Chip Kelly-Florida rumors.The Gators sent a group ó including president Kent Fuchs and athletic director Scott Stricklin ó to New Hampshire on Sunday to talk with the former Oregon coach about U...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Reeling Broncos fire offensive coordinator

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. ó The Broncos fired offensive coordinator Mike McCoy on Monday and replaced him with quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave. Klint Kubiak will take over as QBs coach while Musgrave calls plays for the final six weeks of a soured season tha...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Sports in brief

Sports in brief

OBITUARYnovotna, known for endearing embrace, dies at 49PRAGUE ó Jana Novotna, a tennis Hall of Famer who sobbed on the shoulder of a member of the British royal family after a heartbreaking loss in a Wimbledon final, died Sunday at the age of 49. Th...
Updated: 9 hours ago