Jim Bates knew what he wanted, didn't get it
For several weeks during the offseason, we heard persistent rumors that the Bucs were chasing then-free agent DE Jason Taylor.
Everyone in the front office denied it. The rumors kept coming. It didn't make sense.
After some more reporting, however, we realized that Taylor was indeed being pursued by the Bucs, just not by those in charge. It was Jim Bates -- the Bucs' now-former defensive coordinator -- who was phoning Taylor on a daily basis, trying to lure his former Dolphins star to Tampa Bay while attempting to influence general manager Mark Dominik to sign him.
I mention this because it's possible this wasn't an isolated incident. Bates, who was demoted to a consultant's role this week, clearly wanted Taylor because he had great success with Taylor in his defensive system while working for the Dolphins. Bates knows the type of players that thrive in his scheme. But he got no such players.
The Bucs technically rebuffed Bates on Taylor because of the player's age, 35. The team figured signing him would be a contradiction to its stated philosophy of moving in a youthful direction, a decision that led to the release of Hall-of-Famer-to-be Derrick Brooks.
But this example with Taylor begs the question as to what other players Bates lobbied for but did not receive. The question is relevant because the Bucs' personnel clearly didn't fit what they were attempting to do with their defense.
The point is the Bucs did Bates no favors. Perhaps he was told up front he would have to make do with the personnel he had. In that case, Bates should have known better.
But in either case -- whether his personnel suggestions were shot down before or after his hiring -- it was not an ideal situation and the ultimate outcome shouldn't be surprising.