TAMPA — The Glazer family took many things into consideration when deciding whether to fire coach Jon Gruden and general manager Bruce Allen recently. They mulled feedback from players. They considered the string of seasons that ended in disappointment.
But they also took the temperature of the fan base. And what they discovered didn't help the cause of the previous leadership.
"Our fans are our stockholders," team co-chairman Bryan Glazer said Monday. "They're what we play for — the people in our stadium and the ones that watch on TV. That's what it's all about: Winning and how they feel about the team. If they don't feel good about the team, then there's something wrong.
"I think you all know the sense that's out there," Glazer said. "It was time for a change."
There was widespread disappointment expressed from fans during and after the team's late-season collapse, when the Bucs lost four straight after a 9-3 start and missed the playoffs. And Gruden appeared to lose much of the appeal he had after bringing the franchise its first Super Bowl title in the 2002 season.
After installing Raheem Morris and Mark Dominik as coach and general manager, respectively, the Bucs must decide how to proceed. With more than $40 million in salary-cap space for the upcoming free agent period, Glazer said the team is willing to tap into those resources — as long as it can justify the spending.
"I think it's no different than it's been in the past," he said. "We have a lot of money to spend. We'll spend it on the players that are going to help our football team. That's the key thing. We want to have a winning team, but we want to build a winning team and have a team that is going to have sustained success over the long term."
Around the league
PANTHERS: The team quickly filled its opening at defensive coordinator, hiring Ron Meeks to replace Mike Trgovac. Meeks spent the past seven seasons running Indianapolis' unit.
RAMS: New coach Steve Spagnuolo hired Dick Curl (assistant head coach/quarterbacks), Paul Ferraro (defensive assistant) and Frank Leonard (offensive assistant).
RAVENS: Linebackers coach Greg Mattison was promoted to defensive coordinator. Mattison, 59, had a long college coaching career including a stint as a Florida assistant.
REDSKINS: The team made a second round of layoffs, dismissing six employees in the stadium ticket office and four seasonal employees. Earlier this month the team laid off more than 20 people.
STRINGER SUIT SETTLED: The widow of Vikings lineman Korey Stringer reached a settlement with the league over his heatstroke death during training camp in 2001. The league will support Kelci Stringer's efforts to create a heat illness prevention program. No other terms were revealed.
MORE jurisprudence: Imprisoned star Michael Vick is suing a former financial adviser for at least $2 million. Vick claims Mary Wong of Omaha, Neb., misrepresented herself to gain control of his finances, which she then misused. … Former Vikings great Carl Eller was convicted of assaulting a police officer who tried to arrest him after he swerved and nearly struck a squad car in April. Eller, 67, faces up to a year on each of four counts when he is sentenced Feb. 23.
T.O. SHOW: Cowboys receiver Terrell Owens will star in a reality show this summer. According to VH1, friends and publicists Monique Jackson and Kita Williams will help him re-examine his personal life.
OBITUARY: Former lineman Jerry Fowler died Monday of complications from surgery. He was 68. Mr. Fowler played four games for the AFL's Houston Oilers in 1964, then was a Louisiana elections commissioner who served four years in prison this decade for taking kickbacks on voting machine contracts.
Times wires contributed to this report.