Here we sit at (5-4), the season and possibly Head Coach Jon Gruden's job hanging in the balance. Should the Bucs miss the Playoffs (knock on wood NOW!), would you FIRE Head Coach Jon Gruden? Would you FIRE General Manager Bruce Allen as well? Before the season began, I thought it was a forgone conclusion that Gruden and Allen should be FIRED if we didnt make the Playoffs. I gotta be honest, at this point; I'm inclined to give Gruden, Allen, and QB Jeff Garcia one more season.
My rationale is as follows:
QB Jeff Garcia is 37 years old!! I think we would all agree he's put forth a pretty impressive performance thus far, right? Given his age, why would you bring in another Head Coach aka System? I feel Garcia's 38th and potentially his 39th years of life would be wasted trying to learn a whole new system.
Believe it or not, I'm also interested in what Gruden can do with this exact same offensive unit coming back next season. Granted this unit hasnt beat the doors off the competition, but injuries (reoccuring theme) have plagued the progression of this offense. What kind of cohesive unit could Gruden have out on the field next season?
Then you look at potential replacements for Gruden: Would Bill Cowher think about returning to the sidelines, sure he would, but in Tampa (Especially when John Fox seems to be on his last breath in Carolina)? How about Jim Leavitt moving up from the University of South Florida? I'm not sure he'd do it and I'm just as unsure as to whether he could truly make that transition.
At this point, I'd rather give Head Coach Jon Gruden and begrudgedly General Manager Bruce Allen one more season to see what they can do. If they tank the rest of this season, I would probably be singing a different tune. I guess it depends how it all goes down.