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Season by Season History of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 1990

A fired head coach and an awful trade set the Buccaneers back in their quest to get back to winning ways.

In 1990, Ray Perkins met a fate that even Greg Schiano avoided: Being fired mid-season.
In 1990, Ray Perkins met a fate that even Greg Schiano avoided: Being fired mid-season.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Before the start of training camp and the official kickoff of the 2014 Buccaneers season, Bucs Nation will take you through every season in Buccaneers history, one by one, to paint the whole picture of how the Buccaneers got to where they are today.

We move on to the 1990 season, which featured another fast start followed by a late collapse.

Season Recap

Record: 6-10 (Tied for second in the NFC Central with every team other than Chicago)

Points scored: 264 (25th in NFL)

Points against: 367 (22nd in NFL)

The Arrival of Wayne Haddix: An offseason acqusition from the Giants, defensive back Wayne Haddix, an undrafted rookie out of small Liberty University just a couple of years prior, burst onto the scene with seven interceptions in 1990, three of which were returned for scores. The three defensive touchdowns would remain a franchise record until Derrick Brooks scored four in 2002.

Another Failed QB Experiment: To go along with post-Tampa successes Steve Young and Doug Williams, the Buccaneers started a young Chris Chandler for three games in 1990. Chandler would go on to earn two Pro Bowl spots as the trigger man for the dynamic Atlanta offenses of the late 90's.

"Throw Ray in the Bay": Head coach Ray Perkins was fired with three games left in the 1990 season, with the crowd calling for his removal after yet another mid-season collapse after a promising start. According to BucPower, the coach's tyrannical ways had worn down the players, and a change was welcomed by media and fan alike. Perkins would end his Tampa Bay career with a record of 19-41.

Key Games

Dominating the Division: A 26-14 victory over the Green Bay Packers in Week 6 would mark the Bucs' fourth win over a division rival in a strong six-game start to the year. The Bucs burst out of the gates on a 19-0 run, and would cap things off with a Haddix INT return in the second half to keep Green Bay from staging a comeback.

Except for the Bears...: The Bucs posted five wins over division opponents in 1990, but none of them came over the division champs from Chicago. This was secured after a Week 16 27-14 loss to the Bears, in which the Bucs were outgained by over 150 yards and failed to capitalize on three Chicago turnovers by giving away three of their own.

Major Storylines

The Bucs couldn't even fire their coach the right way in 1990. It's just the way things were going for the bumbling franchise.

Vinny Testaverde told reporters that it was discouraging to win a game, and find out that the coach was fired that week anyways. But that's what happened, as owner Hugh Culverhouse went back on an earlier promise to keep Ray Perkins around by letting him go a week after a victory that ended a six-game losing streak.

It's not that Perkins didn't deserve to be fired. His team started off well, just as it did in 1989, only to collapse in the middle of the season and finish well out of contention at the end of the year. But the timing was certainly questionable.

The Bucs made a curious personnel decision from a player perspective in 1990, as well, trading for Chris Chandler by sending away a 1992 first-round pick to the Colts. The coaches involved in the decision would later have differing opinions on the matter, but as Rick Stroud said at the time, it was one of the worst trades in NFL history, as Chandler would be let go by the Bucs not long after his arrival.

Why was he added to the roster anyways? Vinny Testaverde was a first overall pick and seemed to be improving, not that he had much to work with on offense as the Bucs had never replaced James Wilder and couldn't run the ball or protect the quarterback.

The Bucs were without a coach, lacking in talent, and needed some real change to happen to get back to their winning ways. But as you know, that change was still a few years away...