As a long time Bucs fan I remember that fans come and go with the team’s record. It’s sad that “fans” do this to their supposed team. I have always been a Bucs fan and will die one, proudly I might add. I have been very optimistic about this upcoming season as many of you know and with good reason.
We all know that the Raheem Morris firing was not only inevitable but it was necessary for this franchise to move on. We shopped coaches all over the NFL and nearly landed Chip Kelly from Oregon, talked to football legends and interviewed coached like Shanahan, Sherman and others. It seems like GM mark Dominik literally sailed this ship to the ends of the earth looking for “our coach”. He anchored just off the coast of New Jersey went to Rutgers and brought us back a man by the name of Greg Schiano.
Few knew who Schiano was and initially many thought he was yet another failure by front office and ownership. We cried almost in unison “When will we get what we deserve, a winning program with high character men and if it’s not too much to ask another super bowl?” Critics sited that college coaches are not that successful in the NFL and set an avalanche of negative comments from the teams fan base for that very reason. Many cried foul that Schiano was selected including former members of the team. How on earth will he put together a staff this late in the off season to have an adequate staff to be able to compete? Doomed are we to another coach that can’t deliver? Why us?
Is it fair to have assessed a coach based on what other men have done? So Many questions and few answers until the season kicks off. But some things stood out significantly in this offseason. The Glazers heard the cries of its dwindling fan base and brought in the “change of culture” many felt we needed, they opened up their wallets and allowed Dominik to get some top notch free agents in WR Vincent Jackson, G Carl Nicks and CB Eric Wright. But why should the fan base believe in a team that has not delivered and ownership that appeared to not care?
Few though can argue that we have not invested in this team, the franchise and its future. We have a premier deep threat receiver in Vincent Jackson, we have arguably the best interior line now with the addition of Carl Nicks, and we have a pretty good secondary, likely the best in the NFC south, with Talib not going to jail and the additions of CB Eric Wright and S Mark Barron. We have a fresh young LB corps With Mason Foster and the newly drafted Lavonte David. We have a young D-line packed with early round picks from the last few years and the potential to be dominant. We have on paper the best offense the Bucs have EVER had! So there are SO many reasons to be excited as a fan. You are excited aren’t you?
While it is still early to know the answers from what I have noticed is that fan confidence is up, even with some of the harshest critics and cynics. We can clearly see that the organization has made an about face, the coaching staff assembled is world class and looks to be one of the best in Bucs history. We have a good OC that has worked with great teams, players. We have a defensive assistant in one Butch Davis who is in my mind a defensive legend, to the likes of one Monte Kiffin. We have a great O-line coach in Bob Bostad and one of the best college DB Coaches in Ron Cooper. We have Earnest Byner teaching our young stable of RB’s on how to be the best. There are so many coaches on staff with great resumes and combined could be the building of something great.
So I ask you Bucs fans, is this the year we end blackouts? Will you go to at least one game to help OUR team by being the 12th man? Will we finally outnumber visiting fans in our own stadium? Will Raymond James be a tough place for opponents to play again? It all comes down to us. We have a decided investment in this team and the team has one in us now. The Glazers have invested heavily this off season and made some outstanding draft choices as well. So if the glazers have made that investment and commitment in us, will we make that same investment and commitment in them? Stand up Bucs fans! Go to a game or 2 or 3. Shout until the opposing team is forced into a time out or a penalty or until you lose your voice and have to stomp! Wear crazy attire and show the rest of the league, analysts, critics and especially opposing teams that this is Raymond James stadium! OUR home and while you may be welcome to visit, you and your team will be walking the plank come game day. The time to support our team is now, get on the ship or risk being left behind! Get excited, go to games, and support your team and Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!