What a glorious year it was in 2002. There were many memorable moments that season. There was Ronde Barber’s game sealing INT against the Eagles to send us to the Super Bowl, or how about the Bucs completely picking apart the Raiders in an unforgettable Super Bowl for all Bucs fans. Who was the architect of that glorious year? Jon Gruden. Forget those that say, “Oh well that was Dungy’s team.” Perhaps, and no disrespect to Dungy, but did he get them to the Big Dance? Gruden was the guy that got the Bucs their first Lombardi, and to that we owe him endless thanks.
Outside of that tremendous year, Gruden’s tenure was struck with mediocrity among high expectations with a Super Bowl winning coach. Consider this, for the next 6 season his team’s only won more than 9 games once (in 2005), and only two playoff appearances (both of them 1st round exits). Overall Gruden’s teams only won 50% of their games in 7 seasons. That is the pure definition of mediocrity, and would Bucs fans truly consider that an upgrade over Koetter?
Consider this; Koetter in one full season has won 56% of his games. When you project the Bucs going 8-8/9-7 (which is very likely), Koetter still has a better win percentage than Gruden year over year. Koetter overall has brought nothing but hope to this franchise. Yes the Bucs are in a rough patch, but one rough patch does not dictate the whole. His seat isn’t hot. At least not yet.
As Bucs fans, I get the complete admiration for Gruden and what he has done for the organization, but the numbers do not lie. And they tell us that we are better off with Koetter manning the ship.
As for the front office, don’t get caught up in the emotion of it all; because it hasn’t worked for you thus far. If this season continues to pile up the losses, you will hear calls for Koetter head and to bring Gruden in. Ignore them. In Tampa Bay Gruden was overall a mediocre coach, and that is not what Tampa Bay needs.