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For Bucs, time to take new direction

Bruce Allen said the Bucs’ 0-4 record in December spelled the end, NFL.com reported.

BRENDAN FITTERER | Times

Bruce Allen said the Bucs’ 0-4 record in December spelled the end, NFL.com reported.

Why did the Bucs fire coach Jon Gruden and general manager Bruce Allen?

Executive vice president Joel Glazer said the owners were very disappointed that the NFL team faded from a 9-3 start to out of the playoffs by losing four in a row in December, and decided that they needed to take the franchise in a new direction.

Who is the new coach?

The Buccaneers will introduce 32-year-old Raheem Morris, recently promoted to defensive coordinator, as the new coach. Morris, who has never been a head coach, interviewed for the head coaching job with the Denver Broncos two weeks ago. Mark Dominik, the Bucs' director of pro personnel, will replace Allen as the general manager.

Why did the Bucs wait nearly three weeks after the season to fire Gruden and Allen?

Glazer said the family didn't want to make a decision as an emotional reaction at the end of the season, so they took a few weeks. After deciding, they met with Gruden and Allen on Friday to inform them of the decision.

How did Gruden and Allen take the news?

Glazer said they took the news professionally. Gruden wasn't available Friday night, and Allen wasn't talking. At Gruden's house, a teenage girl said he wasn't home. Allen answered his door with a beer in his hand, but declined to comment. NFL.com reported that Allen said the Bucs' 0-4 performance in December sealed his and Gruden's fates.

How much do the Glazers have to pay Gruden and Allen?

Both were signed through the 2012 season. With annual salaries estimated at $4.5-million and $2-million, respectively, Gruden and Allen could cost the Bucs close to $25-million to terminate.

What's next for Gruden and Allen?

Both are veteran football men who likely will stay active in the game. Gruden has a Super Bowl victory on his resume, which will make him an attractive candidate for jobs now or in the future. Allen has been the top football executive with both the Bucs and the Raiders and has connections throughout the NFL.

For Bucs, time to take new direction 01/16/09 [Last modified: Saturday, January 17, 2009 12:38am]
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