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Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Bruce Allen says Glazer family "unsatisfied" with recent postseason failures

TAMPA — Jon Gruden isn't taking enough Gatorade showers to satisfy the owners of the Bucs.

The Glazer family is "unsatisfied" by the Bucs' failure to reach the playoffs four of the past six years and "still live in a championship world."

At least that's the impression they left with general manager Bruce Allen after one of the worst collapses in NFL history.

During a 45-minute news conference Friday, Allen addressed the reasons for the Bucs' 9-3 start and 0-4 finish during December.

"Unsatisfied," Allen said, when asked how the Glazers view the Bucs' postseason failures, including failing to win a game in the two seasons they did make the playoffs.

"We've had opportunities. You fight to get yourself into a position in November and December where you can talk and dream and go to sleep at nights saying, 'What if.' … We haven't closed. It's not acceptable, and we have to figure out a way to get this team better.

"It's no different than the feeling of the fans. There was hurt at the end of the season. We're going to make sure we're going to correct it for them, and we have to correct it for them. We just have to come up with the right plan and get some breaks on who's out there in free agency and things like that. Catch some breaks in the draft, who falls to us."

Though Allen was typically devoid of specifics, he indicated that the Bucs need an influx of talent to go with what he perceives as a strong core of players.

That process will start with the Bucs' attempt to re-sign some of their free agents, including receiver Antonio Bryant, who led the team with 83 catches for 1,248 yards and seven touchdowns. But Allen said the Bucs had not discussed whether to use their franchise player tag on him.

The Bucs have $46-million to spend during free agency, but Allen said the team has elected to carry leftover cap money from one year to the next, presumably to enable it to lock up core players. In 2008, the Bucs were $20-million under the salary cap.

Among the highlights from the news conference:

• Allen said the Glazers have not put any restrictions on spending for players and their purchase of the Manchester United soccer club in Britain in 2004 has no impact on the operation of the Bucs.

"The Glazers have given us every opportunity to sign anybody that we elect to sign," Allen said. "They have been very strong in wanting us to be aggressive and pick the right people."

• The announcement of Monte Kiffin's departure as defensive coordinator was not the reason for the defense's poor play in the final month. "To say that is the reason why we missed a tackle in the Oakland game, I think that would be shallow," Allen said.

• The team is optimistic about the recovery of running back Cadillac Williams from a second torn patellar tendon in as many years but are not counting on him until the second half of the 2009 season.

Allen would not speculate on the future of free-agent quarterbacks Jeff Garica and Luke McCown. Brian Griese and rookie Josh Johnson are the only quarterbacks under contract.

Allen said the Bucs are analyzing the final four games to determine what went wrong, including evaluating players and even examining how the team practiced in December, a revelation that puts Gruden's methods under the microscope.

"It speaks to coaching and players," Allen said. "First of all, we're all in this. We do win as a team; we do lose as a team. Do I share the responsibility? I feel more than a share of the responsibility. I wish there was something I could've done different.

"I'm not a historian. I'm not a fortune teller. But I will promise that this organization will do everything we can to get better this year."

Rick Stroud can be reached at stroud@sptimes.com.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Bruce Allen says Glazer family "unsatisfied" with recent postseason failures 01/09/09 [Last modified: Sunday, January 11, 2009 6:50pm]

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