If the Glazers' plan works, it will be worth it for Bucs fans
I wanted to add to what Rick Stroud just posted below, which, by the way, is very worthwhile reading.
One of the main themes harped on Wednesday by Bucs co-chairman Joel Glazer in his annual sit-down with the Times is that the decisions to fire former coach and general manager Jon Gruden and Bruce Allen, as well as the decision to resist signing aging players, have been made with long-term goals in mind.
Of course, in the short term, this will cause you, the fan, some pain. A 3-13 record is a pretty vivid illustration of this.
But the case Glazer laid out reinforced something to me: That the Glazers are smarter and more calculated than people give them credit for. It also reminds us that they are willing to do whatever it takes to win.
Once upon a time, they traded four very precious draft picks for Gruden, and the payoff was a Super Bowl victory. This time, they are stripping down a team to the bone and rebuilding it because drifting between 7-9 and 9-7 just wasn't good enough.
In this, you should take heart. They want to hoist that Lombardi Trophy again and, right or wrong, they are committing to the plan they think will get them there.
This isn't me being swayed by some savvy spin. There's probably a little spin at work here, but when you listen to him, it's hard not to walk away feeling like the man laid out a very compelling case. That might not fit the conspiracy theories -- the family is broke, cheap or buried up to their eyes in debt they can't pay -- but there are very valid points being made here.
Yes, 2010 may not end up being a banner year for the Buccaneers. But if they execute this plan correctly -- and the jury is still out on that point -- they will have made another decision that pays off handsomely in a team that wins long term.
When it comes to their spending, yes, they could have signed a free agent such as defensive end Aaron Kampman -- who had a torn ACL, by the way -- to a huge contract that would have benefited the team in the form of an extra win or two, if that. And don't forget, this class of free agents was the worst in years because most players aren't unrestricted free agents. Besides, the Glazers see moves like that as deviating from their very specific plan, and they're willing to deal with the short-term consequences of seeing it through.
That takes guts. And it takes conviction. And the Glazers are showing plenty of both.
The ride is going to be bumpy. But, if they chart the correct course, smooth sailing could follow. In the meantime, you might want to buckle your seat belt.