Ira Kaufman: Buccaneers bowed out of chase for Jon Gruden

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The Buccaneers want everyone to believe that they never wanted to bring back Jon Gruden, and that they chose to keep coach Dirk Koetter based only on merit and expected improvement in 2018.

Ira Kaufman of JoeBucsFan.com, who has covered the team for years, isn’t buying it.

“That’s what you want to put out there when you finish second,” Kaufman said during the latest episode of his podcast. “When you go at bat and you strike out.”

Kaufman also spelled out what went down between Gruden, the Buccaneers, and the Raiders, before the Buccaneers decided on Friday afternoon to welcome back Koetter.

“By Friday, Oakland had emerged as a major player, talking to Gruden’s agent,” Kaufman said. “Nobody talks to Gruden directly, everything goes through Gruden’s agent, as it should be. And Gruden’s agent, operating from a position of tremendous strength, tremendous leverage. . . . Here comes Oakland. Mark Davis, Al’s son. And in the discussions with the agent, it’s basically the agent gets the impression, ‘Whatever you guys want. Let’s make this happen. Whatever you want.’ Well, when he gets back to the Glazers and basically says, ‘We have other options, and [a] concrete option in Oakland, and they’re willing to do this, and do this, and do this.’ And I think it reached a point where the Glazers, talking among themselves, the co-chairmen, said, ‘We can’t go that far. We’re not willing to go that far. A stake in the team. $10 million dollars. Total authority. We can’t do it. Doesn’t make any sense.’ So God bless Jon. Good luck. And at that point they reached the same conclusion that I wrote 10 days ago: If you can’t get Gruden, give Koetter another chance. . . . To even suggest that the Bucs had no interest in Jon Gruden coming back to One Buc Place. How naive can you be?”

There are plenty of naive people out there, who believe that the decision to keep Koetter had nothing to do with the failed effort to get Gruden. If they could have gotten Gruden, Koetter would be the one currently looking for work, and Gruden would now be saying he has a “good chance” of joining the Buccaneers.

29 responses to “Ira Kaufman: Buccaneers bowed out of chase for Jon Gruden

  1. Bucs win by losing here. Gruden’s not any better than Del Rio or Koetter. Has anybody listened to him comment on football games on television? There’s no depth whatsoever there.

  2. .
    ” To even suggest that the Bucs had no interest in Jon Gruden coming back to One Buc Place. How naive can you be?”

    ——–

    I’m not naive enough to give credence to an unsourced article. Where’s this information coming from? Gruden’s agent? Does Kaufman have an agenda? Is he pushing “fake sports news”? We’ll never know.
    .

  3. Chucky will only tarnish his legacy by returning. He is not taking the Raiders or any other team to a SB win.

  4. Give your coach total control and partial ownership of the team. I just can’t see a scenario where that go can wrong (sarcasm). Of course the Glazier’s weren’t going to go for that. No sane owner would.

    It looks like Raiders saved the Bucs some headache and possible future embarrassment. Imagine having to the fire the guy a second time as his name hangs on the “Ring of Honor”.

    Koetter may not be the answer, however, you have to give the guy a 3rd season. Misfortune started the minute that Hardknocks came knocking, then you had the hurricane that postponed the opening game, which led to having no bye week. Then Winston’s injury in game 2, and then a slew of other injuries.

  5. Any team willing to give an ownership stake to a head coach not named Bill Belichick is out of their mind. Do they really think that Gruden is THAT much better than Del Rio or anyone else? He’s been out of the game for almost 10 years – just the rule changes alone are going to keep him up at night.

  6. The Bucs are much better off. They may stink next year, but giving an ownership stake to an unproven coach (I don’t care what he did ten years ago) is flat-out asinine. Talking to guys around the league in preparation for a show is not the same thing as being immersed in coaching. With the exception of Dick Vermeil, coaches who come back after a long layoff almost always fall flat on their faces.

  7. I wonder how committed Gruden will be. He has been out of the league for 10 years, will he be like a Joe Gibbs who was out of the league for 12 years, then threw in the towel after 3 years after he came back to the redskins. Over/under whether Gruden is coaching after 4 years? I’m taking the under.

  8. This could’ve all been prevented if the Bucs never fired Gruden in the first place. They should’ve sat him down in 2009 and said, “Hey, look, our roster is ancient. WE ARE REBUILDING, DAMMIT”. Then the should’ve fired Bruce Allen and hired a strong GM.

  9. The Bucs are simply using the childish example our president uses when he’s not being chosen for something. He claims he’s withdrawing his name, whether it’s Time magazine, invites to the White House for championship teams, alleged state visits to close allies, etc. It’s ye olde “you can’t fire me! I quit” excuse. Very childish.

  10. I suspect long-time Bucs fans remember how lousy the Gruden-coached teams were once all those Hall of Fame defenders (Gruden was handed on a platter) aged.

  11. Yeah, right, Tampa Bay. You’d rather have the incompetent buffoon that you currently have over someone who was a proven Super Bowl winning coach.

    Tampa Bay will be condemned to futility for decades.

  12. cobrala2 says:
    January 3, 2018 at 11:10 am
    A la Denver retaining Vance… Elway can’t handle the current low supply/high demand environment.

    ——————-

    It has to be difficult for Denver. The job just isn’t as appealing as others in the league. An iffy O-line, no running game, an aging defense that relies too much on one knucklehead who could get himself suspended at any given moment, and no QB. Top it all off with an arrogant GM with limitless power and you get a toxic situation for any incoming coach.

  13. You guys are missing the point here, Gruden isn’t here for the team as a whole (well, he is) but rather that young quarterback with a ton of potential… Derek Carr. Just look at what Gruden did with Gannon, Johnson and hell he even made Simms look like a quality NFL quarterback until his spleen exploded. The Raiders offense is going to be incredibly explosive next year with Gruden calling the plays and we’re going to see a completely different Derek Carr in the coming years. Gruden has been out of the game for 10 years yes, but the man remains a quarterback guru… the rest will come with time.

    Signed,

    Not a Raiders fan

  14. This is the best move the Bucs have made all year. I still question bringing back Mike Smith after fielding the worst defense in the league this year

  15. We obviously know Kaufmann wanted to see Gruden back in Tampa Bay. He couldn’t build a winner the first time he was here, and this team isn’t the front runner he took to the Super Bowl. Tampa Bay lucked out in this one. Gruden won’t win another ring unless he is handed the perfect roster. The Raiders are not that team either. Back to the booth in 3 or less.

  16. He left two teams in a decade of ruins…. Bucs win by losing here. And the Raiders rise will quickly crumble back down. Better keeo Reggie as GM to have any hope.

  17. sherry4002 says:

    January 3, 2018 at 11:08 am

    I wonder how committed Gruden will be. He has been out of the league for 10 years, will he be like a Joe Gibbs who was out of the league for 12 years, then threw in the towel after 3 years after he came back to the redskins. Over/under whether Gruden is coaching after 4 years? I’m taking the under.
    —————————
    Gibbs retired and went to Nascar.. Gruden has stayed in the game!

  18. Art Shell tried ‘returning’ to the Raiders as head coach–that turned out well. (Said nobody).

    History is riddled with coaches who tried to ‘go home again’ and it’s never worked out–Shell, Gibbs, Flores, Chuck Knox, Dennis Allen (is there a team he hasn’t coached?), Capers–the list is endless. Second/third/fourth acts usually don’t pan out.

    Gruden will soon find that out in Oak/LV. And I don’t call Gruden’s (SB winning)trade from the Raiders to the Bucs a ‘second act’ because it was a continuation of his first.

  19. It has to be difficult for Denver. The job just isn’t as appealing as others in the league. An iffy O-line, no running game, an aging defense that relies too much on one knucklehead who could get himself suspended at any given moment, and no QB. Top it all off with an arrogant GM with limitless power and you get a toxic situation for any incoming coach.
    _______________________________________________________

    No running game? The Broncos had the 12th best running game in the NFL and were 37 yards from being in the top 10. CJ Anderson topped 1,000 yards for the first time in his career. And who is the knuckle head on the defense who the Broncos supposedly rely on? You can’t be talking about Von Miller who hasn’t been in trouble in 3+ years… The defense does not rely on him as they have a talented secondary as well. Be real

  20. Imagine the bitterness this time next year if the Raiders are in the playoffs and the Bucs are 4-12 (same HC, same DC and same wreckless QB so it’s very plausible)…

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