Bucs' Glazer: We'll spend whatever it takes to win
Bucs co-chairman Joel Glazer said the entire organization is responsible for the 4-12 season and vowed to spend 'whatever it takes to win.'
During a news conference Monday to discuss the firing of coach Raheem Morris, Glazer said the Bucs ownership and front office shared in the failures that led to a 10-game losing streak to end the 2011 season. He also responded to criticism that the his family wasn't financially committed to spending money on free agents to put a winning team on the field.
"We are going to spend whatever it takes to win to put the best team on the field,'' Glazer said. "But I think people understand that the majority of the spending in the NFL comes when you draft a player and then the player re-signs. There has never been a player who was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who left this organization because of money. And if you are not drafting well over a long period of time, guys don’t get re-signed. Donald Penn? Re-signed. Davin Joseph? Re-signed. And if you lead the way in free agency – and I think we’ve seen this over the years with teams – it hasn’t proven to be successful. We will be happy to spend in free agency, but we have to build a team and build a foundation for this team. But we’re open-minded. . . But if you look at the teams that are challenging for the Super Bowl this year, fundamentally, they were built through the draft and supplemented with free agency.''
Glazer admitted that the Bucs' ownership and general manager Mark Dominik may have gotten caught up in the success of the team's 10-6 record in 2010 and probably needed a few more veteran players.
"In these situations, it’s not just one person,'' Glazer said. "Everyone has to take some responsibility for the results of the season, whether it’s the owners, general manager, players, the entire organization. You can’t hide from your part in the whole situation.
“We will always do what it takes to win. I’ve heard that a lot, and again, we’ll never hide from our responsibility in this because we’re 4-12. Ultimately, we’re the owners and it starts with us.''
The Bucs had the youngest team in the NFL the past two seasons under Morris.
“If you look back, you can say, “Gee, may be we should’ve added some more veterans,'' Glazer said. "Maybe we should’ve done some of this. But then you can also look back and say well, we were 10-6, a young team that was going in the right direction. Do you want to go too far in that direction? I think there’s been a slight misconception in the past, we’re just going to draft, or we’re not going to do anything else. I think what our firm belief is the foundation of successful teams are built through the draft. But, you do have to supplement with other players through free agency at the right time and if it’s the right person.''
Glazer said the Bucs will immediately begin a head coaching search spearheaded by Dominik. But there is no timetable for hiring Morris' replacement, and Glazer said he's keeping an open mind about candidates. Former Titans coach Jeff Fisher is believed to be atop the wish list for the Bucs, who is scheduled to meet with ownership of the Rams.
“We’re not going to pigeonhole our decision,'' Glazer said. "We’re going to talk to a lot of different people, there’s a lot of good, potential candidates out there, whether they’re coordinators, former head coaches, a lo of possible candidates and we’re going to take our time to be thorough in this process, talked to the people and make a good collective decision here.''
A year ago, Glazer was celebrating a win over New Orleans to give the Bucs a 10-6 record, narrowly missing the playoffs. That success contributed to the Bucs' decision not to be big players in free agency.
“As we look back, were we too young last year?'' Glazer said. "At 4-12, you can make that argument. Ten and 6, you think well, these are headed in the right decisions.
"You never know what the exact answer is. There’s always going to be, is it the players? Is is the coaches? It’s tough to know for certain what that is. But you’ve have to reflect on the season, you’ve got to make decisions, you’ve got to do what’s in the best interest of the franchise and carry on. I feel brighter days are ahead. I feel confident we’ll get this ship in the right direction and bring in a coach who this community can be proud of and respond to, and the players can respond to and get this behind us. We’ll hang our head for awhile, but then we’re going to come right back and work tirelessly to change it because we don’t like losing. I can assure you.''