Today is a good day to pop in the old Buccaneers Super Bowl DVD and recollect the good days of quality football and winning. On the 12 year anniversary of the Bucs only Super Bowl win, we take a look at the 12 worst memories from the last 12 years for the Bucs.
1. Jon Gruden Fired / Raheem Morris Hired: We all remember the end of the Gruden era. The Bucs were 9-3 in 2008 when they lost the last four games of that season and missed the postseason. Despite a 9-7 record, the Glazers had had enough and fired both Gruden and GM Bruce Allen. The Bucs only Super Bowl winning coach was replaced by a man who had never, and still has never, been even a coordinator in the NFL. Raheem Morris went 17-31 and was fired after three seasons.
2. Treatment of Derrick Brooks During Release: The NFL is a business where most players will end up being released at some point during their career. The release of Derrick Brooks was not the issue, but the Bucs just including his name among others being released in a press release from the team. That press release was followed up by an awkward press conference with GM Mark Dominik and head coach Raheem Morris, but not including Brooks himself.
3. The Quarterbacks: With most Bucs fans expecting either Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston to be their quarterback in 2015 and beyond, it is quite comical to look back at the names that have played the position for the Bucs since Brad Johnson led them to their Super Bowl win 12 years ago. These names include: Brian Griese, Tim Rattay, Bruce Gradkowski, Chris Simms, Byron Leftwich, Josh Johnson, Josh Freeman, Josh McCown, Jeff Garcia, Mike Glennon, and Dan Orlovsky.
4. The Demise of Josh Freeman: We all know the story of Josh Freeman. He entered the NFL as a promising young quarterback. Freeman had a stellar season in 2010 with 25 touchdowns to just 6 interceptions. In 2012, Freeman was on the verge of getting a contract extension worth around $100 million. In 2013, he was released by the Bucs after three starts, had a horrific start for the Vikings on national television, and is now out of football completely.
5. Coordinator Issues: From Jeff Jagodzinski to Jim Bates to Jeff Tedford, the Bucs have had their issues picking coordinators in recent years. It's safe to assume that 2015 will be the first time in a long time that the Bucs have reliable coaches at each of their coordinator positions in Leslie Frazier and Dirk Koetter.
6. Trading for Jake Plummer: On March 2nd, 2007, the Buccaneers made a trade to acquire Broncos QB Jake Plummer by giving a 4th round pick to the Denver Broncos. To avoid going to the Buccaneers, Plummer retired and never played another down in the NFL.
7. Darrelle Revis Pursuit and Release: During the off-season of 2013, it was Revis watch in Tampa Bay. The Bucs need a cornerback desperately and appeared to be the only team willing to trade with the Jets for Darrelle Revis. Even though the Bucs were the only one willing to trade for Revis, Mark Dominik still gave up a 1st round pick in 2013, which turned into pro bowler Sheldon Richardson for the Jets, and a conditional pick in the 2014 draft. Less than a year later, the Bucs under Jason Licht and Lovie Smith would release Revis. The Patriots picked him up and now he's playing in the Super Bowl.
8. Haven't Won a Playoff Game Since the Super Bowl: I think most people thought the Bucs window was closing, which led to the massive trade for Jon Gruden. Unfortunately, the window has been slammed shut since 2008. The Bucs haven't won a playoff game since that Super Bowl win 12 years ago, and have not gone to the playoffs since the beginning of 2008.
9. MRSA: There were a lot of distractions under head coach Greg Schiano, and while MRSA was not his fault, it was a national story and major distraction for the Bucs in 2013. Carl Nicks and Lawrence Tynes have still yet to play football again.
10. Chris Simms Spleen: Chris Simms wasn't a great quarterback, but when your quarterback almost dies on the field, you tend to have a bit more respect for him. The hit on Simms against the Panthers happened right in front of my section 109. As Simms went to a knee, most of us didn't know what to think. Simms would have his spleen removed after the game. This injury also marked the beginning of the Bruce Gradkowski era in Tampa.
11. Currently the Worst Team in the NFL: There have been a lot of bad seasons for the Bucs since winning the Super Bowl at the beginning of 2003, but never have the Bucs been the worst team in the NFL until right now. The Bucs hold the 1st pick in the 2015 NFL draft, and while that means 2014 was awful, it could also mean brighter days are ahead with a potential franchise quarterback.
12. It's a Bucs Life: The Bucs marketing department has been in disaray the past few years with people in charge coming and going. I believe the Bucs marketing department is in great hands now with the hiring of Brian Killingsworth. While I appreciate what the Buccaneers were trying to do with the slogan "It's a Bucs Life," it just simply hasn't worked. Most Bucs fans equivalent "It's a Bucs Life" to the brand of football the Bucs have played and the embarrassing storylines theu've produced over the past few years that "It's a Bucs Life" has been around. No slogan will be successful unless the team on the field is successful. Unfortunately, "It's a Bucs Life" might never be successful because of all of the negative connotations it is already associated with.
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