In his press conference today, Joel Glazer talked about Raheem Morris' firing, the future of the team, spending on free agents and other topics. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' co-chairman emphasized a commitment to winning and said that spending money wasn't going to be a problem, a message the Bucs have emphasized in the past as well - though not necessarily through their actions. One quick note: the Bucs also made it clear that they will not be returning to London in the near future, as they're focusing on building the fan base in Tampa.
I've selected a few key quotes that I think are important to take away from Joel Glazer's press conference. I'd recommend watching the entire press conference yourself, though.
On if there will be other changes to the organization:
"After a season like this, you obviously have to take a step and look at everything. You can't be stubborn and not make some changes and reflect on what led to this. We'll take some time, we'll all meet, Mark [Dominik] will do a thorough review of the situation and we'll see where we do have to make some changes. We're open to all changes or anything and the goal is to put a winner on the field. That will be the number one goal, as always."
On the Head Coach search
"There's not going to be any timetable. It's going to be a thorough, wide search. We want to find the right person for this job and if that takes a week or three weeks or whatever it is, that's what it'll be. We want to find the right person. "
"We're going to keep an open mind. We're not going to pigeonhole exactly what we're looking for here. We're going to interview a lot of different candidates, talk to a lot of different people. This is going to be an exhaustive search. But at the end of the day this is going to be the leader of our football team. The leader has to stand for something, and every different person stands for different things."
"It's to easy to say you want a leader and discipline and all these different things. I'm not going to characterize it one way or another. We want a person who we feel will represent this team well, will represent the community well and get our players progressing like we like to see them progress."
"I'm not going to put any unofficial deadlines on this. We're going to talk to people until we find the right person, and when we find the right person and it's the right chemistry and the right belief in what that person stands for, for this franchise and working relationships with the general manager and everyone else in the organization, that's when we'll make the decision."
On making a splash to sell tickets and get the fans excited:
"I think ultimately, always, when you're making decision you've got to do what you think is in the best interest of winning. Because winning is what fills seats. We're in a situation in Florida with a tough economic situation, but ultimately you've got to win. So to try and make a splash day one that sells a few tickets day one - the objective is to have a fundamentally sound long-term plan of winning. Winning is what sells, and winning is what gets people excited and winning is what fills the stadium. All the selling a few tickets this week or next week is not the driver."
On why the Bucs decide to remove Raheem Morris as head coach:
"It was the progress of the team. That was a big thing."
"It's not just one thing, but I'll point just to the progress of the team and where we're at. Again: you can't point to one thing or another, you look at the totality of the situation when making your decision."
On spending money:
"We will always do what it takes to win." [..] "I will never hide from our responsibility in this because we're 4-12. Ultimately, we're the owners, it starts with us."
"We are going to spend whatever it takes to win, to put the best team on the field. I think people also have to realize that the majority of the spending in the National Football League comes when you draft a player, and then you re-sign him. There has never been a player who was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who has left this organization because of money. And if you're not drafting well over a long period of time, guys don't get re-signed. Donald Penn, re-signed. Davin Joseph, re-signed. Big-money contracts."
"And if you're leading the way with free agency, and I think we've seen this over the years with teams, if that's the way they lead the way - it hasn't proven to be successful. We will be happy to spend in free agency, but we have got to build a team and we have to draft well and build a foundation for this team. But we're open-minded. Whatever we've got to do to win, whatever everyone thinks is going to help. The new coach is going to have great input into how we proceed here, but if you look at the teams that are challenging for the Super Bowl this year I think fundamentally they were built through the draft, supplemented with free agency."
On free agency:
"I think there's been a slight misconception in the past that we're just gonna draft and we're not going to do anything else." [..] "Our firm belief is the foundations of successful teams are built through the draft, but you do have to supplement with other players through free agency or whatever it is at the right time and if it's the right players."
"We're going to work tirelessly to change it, because we don't like losing. I can assure you: no one likes losing less than us. This season was..it's not fun losing."
On possibly returning to London in the future:
"We spoke to the league recently and informed them that we wouldn't want to be participating in the foreseeable future. I think we were helping the NFL build internationally, we believe greatly in that - but for the immediate future we want to focus on building our base here."