The Buccaneers will travel to Atlanta on Sunday to battle it out with the Falcons for last place in the South. A familiar place for a Buccaneers team that has finished 8 of the last 10 years at the bottom of the division. If last place was money, this team would be Ft. Knox. In fact, the only two years the team didn’t finish in last place since 2009 was in 2010 (3rd place) and 2016 (2nd place), when they were coached by two of the assistant coaches currently on the Falcons staff. Raheem Morris and Dirk Koetter.
History Repeating Itself
The Buccaneers record over the last decade reflects that of a team that averages a new head coach every 2 years. The Bucs have gone through head coaches like scratch off lottery tickets. Hoping each time the next one was a winner. So having two former head coaches still coaching for a division opponent is a reality. It’s that those two coaches have the highest winning percentage and longest tenure as head coach over the last ten years when it starts to feel like a kick to the gut.
It Starts At The Top
When the Buccaneers brass put a former ball boy and son of the teams first head coach John McKay in charge they made the best move to date in the history of the franchise. Rick McKay would steer the team through new ownership. Draft a pair of Hall of Fame defenders in the first round of the 1995 draft. Hire Tony Dungy a year later, and champion a new Raymond James Stadium here Tampa Bay.
Due to the reigns of Bruce Allen and Mark Dominik, the position of General Manager for the Buccaneers weren’t the biggest shoes to fill. But if you want to put your finger on how the Buccaneers won Super Bowl XXXV, Rick McKay is your man. He also currently serves as President and CEO of the Atlanta Falcons.
It remains a hung jury on the performance to date of current GM, Jason Licht. There have been strikes of lightning, and personnel moves that fell to the ground with a resounding thud. The 2019 team has shown very brief moments of potential, a lot of young team mistakes, and provided Tampa Bay fans with a lot of frustration. Maybe Sunday in Atlanta will get the team back on track. If not, they will find themselves back in very familiar surroundings. In last place in the division.
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