Why they were hired and why they were fired
You have to love the advent of message boards and social media into the world. Everyone is immediately an absolute expert on everything. I mean, how many people out there are now telling you that they would never have hired Greg Schiano, that Josh Freeman was going to be a bust and that Titanic ship was never really going to be unsinkable?
There is one clown on a Tampa-based board who two years ago was practically crawling up Josh's backside in terms of praise and plaudits who now unleashes the sort of vile abuse only reserved for British politicians. And they think we don't forget.
When it comes to the hiring of the nine Buccaneer coaches, I have absolutely no problem with the decision on eight of them (I wasn't around for the hiring of John McKay in 1976 remember). Hindsight is a wonderful thing but in each and every case, the reason for their appointment was justified. As was their demise to be honest too.
John McKay - hired in 1976 to build the expansion franchise. Had a sparkling college resume at USC and was the ideal man to get it all started in Tampa. By 1984 he was thnking retirement due to Hugh Culverhouse's appalling penny-pinching ways as owner so McKay remains the only Buccaneer coach to go of his own volition in spite of the "Throw McKay in the Bay" banners.
Leeman Bennett- got the job in 1985 over long-time defensive co-ordinator Wayne Fontes to many fans' surprise but he had a winning track record with the Atlanta Falcons and was widely regarded as a good choice in the media. 4-28 in two seasons later and it was still staggering that he was surprised when he was fired at a shambolic Culverhouse press conference in January 1987.
Ray Perkins - the Bucs needed a tough new approach and that was Perkins' standard operating procedure. He had done a good job with the Giants and then at Alabama following the legendary Bear Bryant so again, the choice was a sound one. Unfortunately he married himself to Vinny, pissed off most of the players with his uncomprimising ways and hence was on his way out in December 1990 to the delight of the "Jerk the Perk" campaign.
Richard Williamson - took over as the interim coach from Perkins and immediately won his first start. Was popular with the players because he wasn't Ray Perkins and his more easy-going ways seemed a good fit. Culverhouse liked him for the permanent job in 1991 because he was cheap but again, the media were mostly behind the choice. Unfortunately he was just too laid-back and the likes of Broderick Thomas and Jesse Solomon just took over the locker room and the performances declined from there. No surprise at all when he went at the end of that season.
Sam Wyche - beat out the likes of Buddy Ryan to win the job and coming off his success in Cincinnati, was not a bad choice. Started off popular with the media and players but the act soon wore thin and it was only a four-game winning streak at the end of 1994 that saved his job. One more season did the trick and no-one was sad at all when he got the pink slip at the end of 1995.
Tony Dungy - was definitely not the first choice of the fans, media or new ownership but it turned out the perfect choice as the re-birth of the Buccaneers began in 1996. Took the Bucs the playoffs in four of five years from 1997 to 2001 but after the latter loss to Philadelphia, everyone could see the window of opportunity was closing and offensive woes meant it was an understandable move to let him go.
Jon Gruden - it took some time but once he arrived in Tampa, the team kicked on and hence the Super Bowl XXXVII resides in the Glazers' office at One Buc Place. Personality clashes with players and front office members saw a quick end to the honeymoon and in spite of brief playoff appearances in 2005 and 2007, the team was aging and Gruden was unwilling to rebuild from the bottom. With the new young coaching star supposedly in place, the end of the Gruden era after seven years was not that much of a surprise.
Raheem Morris - he had narrowly lost out on the Denver head coaching job in January 2009 and was seen as the next Mike Tomlin. Hence the decision to rebuild the roster was given to him and not Gruden so he could learn on the job in 2009 whilst the foundations were laid. It worked in 2010 and he was 4-2 in 2011 when the wheels started to come off. Raheem was just to nice to turn it around and the 10-game losing streak to end that season was his demise.
Greg Schiano - again the Bucs needed a stronger presence in the locker room and just like Perkins, that was his resume was Rutgers. Media and fans were supportive of the choice although things quickly soured after the on-field end to the Giants' game with the kneeldown play stunt. The past year have seen numerous stories of unpleasantness and the performances have dropped off a cliff since. It looks like he will stay the rest of the 2013 season but I would not expect him to order new office furniture at the end of December.
So nine coaches and all nine were good solid hires at the outset. And just like Joan Collins pledged her allegiance to every one of her seven (or was it eight?) husbands, it all went pear-shaped in the end. The current NFL landscape sees even less patience and tolerance than ever but for every ideal hire, every perfect choice, it all eventually goes down the pan.