The expectations were high in Tampa this year. And that’s only making the 2-5 start to the season seem even worse.
It’s gotten to the point where, as noted by JoeBucsFan.com, fans leaving the Raymond James Stadium after the Week Eight loss to the Panthers were chanting “Gruden.” As in former Bucs head coach Jon Gruden. As in former Bucs head coach Jon Gruden who three months ago mused in a podcast with PewterReport.com about returning to coach. As in former Bucs head coach Jon Gruden who will be in Tampa on a Monday night in December to enter the team’s Ring of Honor.
It’s unclear whether the Buccaneers would bring back the man they fired nearly nine years ago, in a surprise move that had all the earmarks of an inside job, with assistant coach Raheem Morris and front-office employee Mark Dominik were lined up in advance to quickly replace Gruden and G.M. Bruce Allen, respectively. First, the Bucs would have to decide to fire Dirk Koetter.
But from Tony Dungy to Jon Gruden to Raheem Morris to Greg Sciano to Lovie Smith, it’s become clear that the Buccaneers have no qualms about changing coaches in order to make the team better. Most recently, the Bucs quickly dumped Smith after only three years, elevating his offensive coordinator to the top job. Right now, the team isn’t good enough under Koetter, especially not in relation to where many thought it would be.
Whether that means a return from Gruden is one thing. Whether it means that Koetter is getting close to getting canned is another.