INDIANAPOLIS, IN - JANUARY 31: NBC studio analyst Tony Dungy looks on during the Super Bowl XLVI Broadcasters Press Conference at the Super Bowl XLVI Media Canter in the J.W. Marriott Indianapolis on January 31, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Here's one topic to pass the time: which coach is the best coach in Tampa Bay Buccaneers history? The Bucs have had a few good coaches, but the list is hardly long and exhaustive. Every fan hopes that Greg Schiano is the next name on that list, but for now he's just the new coach. As for the best coach in Bucs history - there really are only three candidates: John McKay, Tony Dungy and Jon Gruden.
John McKay (1976-1984):
The first coach in Tampa Bay Buccaneers history, McKay went 44-88-1 in his nine years in the NFL. That's a pretty disappointing record, but the circumstances he had to work under were far from ideal. Expansion teams were incredibly talent-deficient when McKay took over, yet he still managed to get the Buccaneers to the NFC Championship in just their fourth year of existence. And he did that while being limited by one of the cheapest owners in pro football history in the form of Hugh Culverhouse. The Bucs' owner was so cheap that he let their franchise quarterback walk rather than pay him a competitive salary - it's a miracle McKay even managed to win a playoff game under those circumstances. And, of course, we mustn't forget the quotes. Oh, the many, many hilarious quotes. After being asked about the team's "execution" he once quipped "I'm all for it."
Tony Dungy (1996-2001)
Tony Dungy is the man who is often given credit for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' turnaround. He was brought in by the Glazers to completely overhaul the franchise, and he did so in short order. After a slow start his combination of tough, fundamentally sound defense and ball-control offense produced an unknown era of success in Bucs history. Year after year the team got to the playoffs, and made a splash once there. The closest his teams got was the NFC Championship in 1999, when they lost a ridiculously close game against the Greatest Show on Turf Rams. But despite Dungy's success in re-building the franchise, he couldn't quite get to the Super Bowl - and that's what eventually got him fired. Still, a 54-42 record after nearly two decades of consecutive double-digit losing seasons in Tampa is incredibly impressive.
Jon Gruden (2002-2008)
Gruden was the man who got the Buccaneers a Super Bowl win, but that win will never completely be seen as his win. It was, after all, still Tony Dungy's defense that provided the basis for the incredible 2002 season. But we can't ignore Gruden's accomplishments that season: he inspired the entire team and built his own offense which delivered a substantial contribution. Gruden didn't really win with Dungy's team, although he may have won with Dungy's defense - but it was still Gruden's Buccaneers that won. Unfortunately for Gruden, he didn't come close to repeating 2002's success in later seasons, never winning another playoff game with the Bucs. He won two more division titles and finished his time with the Bucs with a 57-55 record.
So, who do you think is the best coach in Bucs history?
Who is the best coach in Buccaneers history?
John McKay (53 votes)
Tony Dungy (650 votes)
Jon Gruden (178 votes)
881 total votes