Four December losses doom Gruden, Allen

After four December losses and no playoff trip, the Bucs' head coach and general manager find themselves out of work.

Do the Bucs have a new coach already? Story here.

BucBlitz.com expert Matthew Postins examines why Gruden and Allen were fired. Story here.

BucsBlitz.com takes a look at potential replacements for Gruden. Story here.

Tampa Bay's announcement Friday that head coach Jon Gruden and General Manager Bruce Allen had been fired came after a 9-7 season that saw the Bucs miss the playoffs, just a year after the same record took them to the postseason.

Gruden joined the team in February 2002, becoming Tampa Bay's seventh head coach. The Bucs traded draft choices to Oakland to get Gruden, and less than a year later, the Bucs won Super Bowl XXXVII, the first such win in the history of the franchise. That season also marked the team's first-ever NFC South Division championship.

Allen's hire as Tampa's general manager in 2004 reunited him with Gruden, with whom he had worked in Oakland from 1998 to 2001.

Under the two, the Bucs won the division again in 2005 and a third time in 2007. The 2008 season saw the Bucs go 9-3 through late November and the team was poised to make another playoff run.

Then December came and with it, four straight losses, including a 31-24 defeat by Oakland, a loss Gruden described as "very tough." Up by 10 with 10 minutes left in the game, the Bucs unraveled in the final minutes.

After the Oakland game, Gruden said he was disappointed with the season. "I hate not competing for championships, and we are not, so it is not a very good season, not good enough," he said.

Allen began his career in professional football in 1978, when he was a 12th round draft pick of the Baltimore Colts. Before signing on with the Bucs, Allen was with the Oakland Raiders for nine seasons, from 1995 to 2003. During that time, the Raiders won three AFC West divisions, two trips to the AFC championship game and a trip to Super Bowl XXXVII. Also while in Oakland, Allen was named the 2002 George Young NFL Executive of the Year award by The Sporting News.

Under Gruden, Oakland made two playoff appearances, including two division titles, and played in the AFC title game in 2000.


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