Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Sports

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

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 [email protected] Follow @tomwjones.

Comments
Know the Foe: Houston

Know the Foe: Houston

A look at Houston, which hosts USF on Saturday at TDECU StadiumNickame: CougarsRecord: 6-1 (3-0 AAC)Wins: at Rice, 45-27; Arizona, 45-18; Texas Southern, 70-14; Tulsa, 41-26; at East Carolina, 42-20; at Navy, 49-36Loss: at Texas Tech, 63-49Coach: Maj...
Updated: 1 hour ago
World Series: Red Sox will give Dodgers early dose of lefties

World Series: Red Sox will give Dodgers early dose of lefties

BOSTON — The Red Sox feel going with two lefties to start the World Series against the Dodgers is the right move.With LHP Chris Sale over the stomach issues he still, smirkingly, says were caused by a belly button ring and set to start Tuesday ...
Updated: 9 hours ago
World Series: Dodgers manager Dave Roberts remains a Red Sox hero

World Series: Dodgers manager Dave Roberts remains a Red Sox hero

BOSTON — The Dodgers already had plenty to yell about, and to toast, when they gathered in the bar of Milwaukee's Pfister Hotel late Saturday to continue the celebration of their National League championship.But as a quick clip from the ALCS 14...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Riley Bullough returns to aid Bucsí depleted linebacking corps

Riley Bullough returns to aid Bucsí depleted linebacking corps

TAMPA — Riley Bullough watched the Bucs' win over the Browns Sunday on TV, and saw as two of his old teammates suffer season-ending knee injuries. He hated to see them go down, but he knew that it might be a matter of time before Bullough would...
Updated: 10 hours ago
World Series: Viewing Dodgers-Red Sox through a Tampa Bay prism

World Series: Viewing Dodgers-Red Sox through a Tampa Bay prism

BOSTON — This World Series has plenty. Two iconic franchises in the Dodgers and Red Sox. Two museum-quality venues in Dodger Stadium and Fenway Park. A historic first pairing of minority managers, in Puerto Rican born Alex Cora and bi-racial Da...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Bullough eligible to return at a good time with LBs out

TAMPA ó Riley Bullough watched the Bucsí win over the Browns Sunday on TV, and saw as two of his old teammates suffer season-ending knee injuries. He hated to see them go down, but he knew that it might be a matter of time before Bullough would recei...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Buccaneers AfterMath: Dirk Koetter chooses his inconsistent kicker over his inconsistent quarterback

Buccaneers AfterMath: Dirk Koetter chooses his inconsistent kicker over his inconsistent quarterback

TAMPA — By beating the Browns 26-23 Sunday, the Buccaneers snapped a three-game losing streak and Tampa Bay breathed a collective sigh of relief.It wasn’t pretty, a misadventure full of interceptions, fumbles, penalties and missed kicks. ...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Dodgers to get an early dose of lefties

BOSTON ó The Red Sox feel going with two lefties to start the World Series against the Dodgers is the right move.With LHP Chris Sale over the stomach issues he still, smirkingly, says were caused by a belly button ring and set to start tonightís open...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Sports on TV/radio for Tuesday, Oct. 23

TODAYBaseball, World SeriesDodgers at Red Sox8 p.m.Fox; 620-AMCollege footballTroy at South Alabama8 p.m.ESPN2College soccerMen: North Carolina at Duke7 p.m.ESPNUNBA76ers at Pistons7 p.m.NBANHLSharks at Predators8 p.m.NBCSNSoccerUEFA Champions League...
Published: 10/22/18

Cowboys trade for Raiders WR

The Cowboys made a bold move for the present Monday, trading a 2019 first-round pick for Oakland receiver Amari Cooper in Raiders coach Jon Grudenís latest play for the future. The Cowboys hope to give quarterback Dak Prescott another weapon just a f...
Published: 10/22/18