Here are some common myths you hear on sports talk radio, websites and blogs, and why they simply are not true:
Myth 1: The Glazers are cheap, and are running this organization on the cheap just to make a profit.
Myth Buster: People do not change who they are. The Glazers were commited to winning once, therefore they still are. To mistake someone being in financial trouble in this near depression of an economic downturn we are in for being cheap is rediculous. Odds are each one of you knows someone who hasnt paid their mortgage in a few months. Property values have plummeted. The Glazers are not immune to this. The NFL television contract is more than enough to run ANY NFL team for any calandar year. It does not however supply enough money for cash bonuses. The Glazers are cash strapped, but not without money to pay players or make deals.
Case in point: Last years Free Agency which every seems to think was a complete bust because no money was spent- Kellen Winslow traded for, then given a brand new lucrative contract, Michael Clayton given a brand new lucrative contract, Antonio Bryant was franchised and paid 10 million dollars for one year, Derrick Ward was signed, thereby obtaining the best Tight End and Tail Back free agents available on the market last year. They even gave 2.5 million dollars to Mike Nugent. Not all of these deals worked out, but they spent money.
Myth 2: The Glazers hired Raheem Morris as a cheap coach until the lockout year passes, then they will pay for a real coach.
Myth Buster: This is the silliest argument I've ever heard. So the cheap way is to fire your coach, continue to pay him, and pay the new coach too, so you can save money! Excellent strategy. Its amazing the Glazers have any money at all! Jon Gruden is still getting paid to not coach the Bucs, while Morris is getting paid TO coach them. For some reason, people find it easier to believe this than maybe the Glazers actually wanted to do something about the Bucs situation and fired Gruden no matter if they had to admit their mistake of resigning him and hired whom they felt was an up and coming young coaching wonder in the mold of Mike Tomlin or Tony Dungy.
Myth 3: The Bucs late season winning streak was irrelevant, it served no purpose and took us out of the Suh drafting position.
Myth Busters: Pro Football players do not lose games on purpose. That is for people like the casual fans to think and assume. Winning two key games in a row at the end of the season did more for the Bucs players esteem than drafting Suh ever could.
While Suh is a specimen of true amazement, Gerald McCoy is actually the guy who fits the Bucs needs the best. McCoy is a true 3 technique DT like Sapp was, and is probably more of a plug in lineman than Suh is, at least for us.
Myth 4: The Bucs are going backwards, we were 9-7 and now we are 3-13, that is not progress.
Myth Busters: The Bucs had all three wins over either quality opponents (Green Bay, New Orleans) or in a precarious situation ( in Seattle, down at the half after turning the ball over and not playing good in the first). In 2008, none of the Bucs wins were over quality opponents. They needed the second kick off return for a TD in franchise history to spark the franchises biggest comeback ever over a team with a couple wins on the year (@KC), and were also down by 17 to the 0-16 Detroit Lions, and required a punt return for a TD in that game too. Other wins were over Seattle by a mere 10 points at home, a major comeback win vs Chicago which went 9-7, another major comeback needed to beat a 6-10 Green Bay team, and an inability to score a TD against a 9-7 Dallas Cowboy team with a 40+ Brad Johnson at QB. The 4 game losing streak at the end was the icing on the cake. That 9-7 record was smoke and mirrors. None of the veterans that were purged from this team for the rebuilding process have done ANYTHING worthwhile in the league in 2009, with many of them no longer even in the league!
Another point of fact: Sam Wyche had the best record of any Bucs team during those 14 years in 1995 with a 7-9 record. The Bucs started the season out 5-2 that year, and beat Green Bay at home for the first time in many years to go 7-7 and secure the franchises first non-double digit losing season in 12 years. The following year with Tony Dungy, they started the season 0-5, and 1-8 finishing off 6-10; also 'technically' regressing in record, although we all know that team did not regress.
Not only do we have these myths, but further rediculousness, are the lessening of impact of the victories over Seattle and New Orleans, both on the road. They are ' lucky' wins, against teams playing at their worst. Well what about when we played Philly and New England at OUR worst? Few people know you can cant on two hands the number of times Tampa Bay has won on the Pacific Coast in 34 years. Few people remember the Bucs went into the 4th quarter at New Orleans down by 14 to the eventual SuperBowl championship New Orleans Saints. It was still 17-3 to start that 4th quarter, and we squandered several scoring opportunities. The Bucs also ran the ball very effectively in Overtime, they simply out-physically played the Saints in that game.
Ive said this once, and I will say it many more times, this area is a little spoiled by the recent success of the Buccaneers from now well over a decade. Before 1997, Tampa Bay suffered through 14 consecutive losing seasons, right now, we are only at one. With our weak schedule, we could find ourselves at 8-8 and on our way back to not only respectability but more. We are in great position in the draft, in the deepest draft since 1983 at the positions we need the most. Two if not 3 impact players will be added to the foundation of this team in 2010.
No teams in the NFL that are dominant were put together in a hurry. They all had to rebuilt from somewhere. Even our own SuperBowl Champion Buccaneers team of 2002 was built with a foundation of drafted players, not free agents.
All drafted, then Brad Johnson, Keyshawn, and Simeon Rice were added to finish off the team.