Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

With former Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Bruce Allen hired by the Washington Redskins, will they please hire Jon Gruden as coach, too?

Tanned, rested and ready, the Prince of Darkness is back.

Can the Little General be far behind?

Talk about your delicious little notions. From the instant you heard the Redskins had hired Bruce Allen, for whatever reason, you could not help but root for a reunion of the Troublemint Twins. Allen and Jon Gruden, Gruden and Allen.

Say it's so.

Please.

Honestly, whether the two of them drove your passion, drove you crazy or drove each other out of town, the NFL is a far more entertaining place with them sharing a franchise than without.

Heck, even Big-Dollar Danny Snyder ought to be able to figure that one out.

For crying out loud, why else would Snyder have hired Allen? Wasn't he aware of Allen's five seasons in Tampa? Didn't he suspect a resume with five pounds of White-Out?

"Bruce Allen is a proven winner,'' Snyder said Thursday.

Oh.

You probably remember things differently, don't you? Allen was the guy who drafted Michael Clayton and Gaines Adams and Dexter Jackson. He was the guy who signed Todd Steussie and Derrick Deese and Charlie Garner as free agents. He was the guy who told his fans that Chris Simms wasn't hurt and David Boston wasn't guilty and the Bucs weren't chasing Brett Favre (This just in: Gruden has since said he went to bed thinking Favre would be a Buc the next morning.)

That was Allen, too, who treated the truth as if he was afraid of going over the cap. He was smug, and he was distant, and he disliked reporters as much as many of them disliked him.

In the end, it didn't help. Together, Allen and Gruden were 38-42 with the Bucs with three winning seasons and two losing seasons. They never won a playoff game. And they didn't exactly bring in a lot of impact players.

In other words, it isn't a stretch to suggest the Bucs have such a difficult job in front of them because Allen didn't do his well enough.

That said, an Allen-Gruden reunion in Washington would be a fine place to resume the discussion of who let down whom, wouldn't it?

Who knows? Maybe Brian Griese and Tim Brown and Steussie could join the Redskins, too. Hey, maybe Allen could even trade for the Bucs' rights to Jake Plummer. Just for old-times' sake.

Please. Tell me the Mike Shanahan rumors aren't true. Tell me Gruden's TV gig won't take him out of consideration (and it's hard to believe Gruden would ever sign a deal that would keep him off of a sideline). Tell me that when the Bucs play the Redskins next year, Gruden and Allen are waiting. Tell me Monday Night Football wouldn't show up for that one.

Why wouldn't it happen? Sometimes, general managers and coaches grate on each other. Maybe Gruden believes Allen didn't get him enough talent. Maybe Allen believes Gruden should have won more with what he had. And maybe Gruden thinks Snyder is Al Davis without the wrinkles or the Super Bowl rings. And maybe Snyder thinks Shanahan's head would look better next to those of Steve Spurrier and Marty Schottenheimer.

That said, something tells you that Gruden-Allen would be fitting, doesn't it?

For most of the season now, as the Bucs have flopped and reflopped, it has been difficult not to wonder how much better off the Bucs would be if they had not fired either Allen or Gruden back in January.

Yeah, I think they would have more than one win. I'm going to say they'd have four.

I think this schedule would have slapped them around. I think the team would be older. I think the defense would still have holes. I think the playoffs would still seem a long way away. I think they would have drafted Peria Jerry instead of Josh Freeman. I think they would have made a run at Favre again (Allen would deny it), but he would still have signed with Minnesota. I think Jeff Garcia or Griese would start on Sunday.

And, yes, I think people still would argue about Gruden until Florida ran out of oxygen.

I know, I know. A lot of people have accused the media — and in particular me — of running Gruden out of town. That's convenient, but if it had happened that way, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have been as surprised as I was when the ax fell. Yeah, Gruden was criticized pretty hard in his losing years — funny how that works, isn't it? — but not so much in his last two 9-7 seasons.

Still, they were quite the pair, Gruden and his handpicked general manager. They made headlines, they livened up talk shows, they sparked debate. When you watched the Bucs, by golly, you had an opinion about them both.

Now, they can have a reunion tour. Gruden and Allen. Allen and Gruden.

It would be fun. It would be special. It would be fascinating.

Best of all, it would be somewhere else.

With former Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Bruce Allen hired by the Washington Redskins, will they please hire Jon Gruden as coach, too? 12/17/09 [Last modified: Thursday, December 17, 2009 11:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Cup-winning Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk makes Hockey Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman said Dave Andreychuk's name has surfaced often the past eight years with the selection committee.

    30 Oct 2001:  Left wing Dave Andreychuk #25 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates towards the blue line during the NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.  The Maple Leafs defeated the Lightning 3-2.  Mandatory Credit:  Dave Sanford /Allsport
  2. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  3. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: Alex Cobb (6-5, 4.05)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  4. Lightning journal: Forward Yanni Gourde agrees to two-year deal

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fighting to stay in pro hockey.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA108
  5. What they're saying about Dave Andreychuk making Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    "Dave helped me so much when I was just starting my career, a young kid that was looking to find his way as a hockey player, a person and a member of the Tampa Bay community. In addition to watching him compile such awe-inspiring statistics, I remember him as a big brother to me and many others, making sure all the …