I don't like calling the Glazers cheap. So I'm not going to. The economy in Tampa is just awful and we can't sell out a Football game (MNF not withstanding) or even a playoff baseball game. In some very rough financial times the Glazers have made some bold choices with their young Staff and Players, and so far they are paying off. But considering that they have paid down a big chunk of thier Manchester United debt, and that we have brought in some tremendous young talent, I believe it's time to commit to supporting that core talent with further financial investment.
I believe most of us would have liked to see the team bring in a few more veteran free agents. MD said at the time that there was no point in bringing in a free agent if they weren't going to be a starter. We beat this to death at the time, but I really believe this mentality seriously undermines both depth and competition. We relied on free agents so much under Gruden and Allen that this feels like an overcorrection to me. It now seems like the starting spot is guarenteed to the draft pick rather than to whomever is performing the best, and that undermines some of the accountability that is central to a team production mentality. We should turn our expert scouting loose on the free agent market too.
Perhaps more importantly, I wonder how much the team is spending on staffing. I say more importantly because if we don't have many veterans then we really need outstanding coaches to develop our talent. The turn around last year showed some real bang for the buc in that department, and I don't beleive the problems this year have negated that. But look at it in these terms: The Bucs may well have the lowest total coaching salaries in the league in addition to the youngest team in the league. I haven't been able to find the numbers to back this up, but RM "...is believed to be one of the lowest paid coaches in the league" and he is also acting as DC. Olsen was promoted to OC from QB coach in the preseaon. I assume he received some sort of pay increase, but I also assume that he is one of the cheapest OCs in the league.
The team is clearly having issues right now. I don't know if they are tactical, discipline, fundementals, or whatever else, but you can see that the Bucs do not come out ready to play on Sundays. They do not seem to have a viable game plan that they're ready to execute. Then they have to work their way into the game IF they can keep it close. The coaches have to be held accountable for this. I'll go ahead and say that I find it doubtful that we can do much now (maybe we can get Gruden back as QB coach!), but I want to see our owners expand the payroll by next season.