First of all I want to say that Tony Dungy is the greatest Buccaneers coach of all time, in my opinion. Notice how I said “in my opinion.”? He completely changed the game for the Bucs. He transformed a team that hadn’t had a winning record for sixteen years to ultimately make the playoffs four out of his six seasons during his tenure in Tampa. There is a reason he’s in the Hall of Fame.
Power Rankings: Playoff addition
QB Rankings:: Who’s riding highest into the playoffs?
I really like Jon Gruden and he also deserves the utmost respect. He is the second youngest coach to win a Super Bowl to Steelers’ head coach, Mike Tomlin. Without him, we may have never gotten over the offensive hump to win that championship. However after the Super Bowl, the Bucs only made the playoffs two out of his next six seasons until his firing in 2008. He was also known for his notorious drafts in which he swung and missed, a lot. Don’t believe me? Well he basically had told Aaron Rodgers at one point that he was going to draft him… and then he didn’t.
Since these guys have left for greener pastures, the Bucs haven’t had the best of luck with head coaches.
Raheem Morris– I really liked this guy at first. Raheem was quite funny. He made press conferences interesting and was pretty good at coaching defenses. The players loved playing for him. Until they didn’t.
It could be argued that Raheem was too close to the players often treating them as peers. An incident occurred when the Bucs played the Patriots in London in 2009. Aqib Talib had gotten into an argument with Raheem in the hotel lobby for missing curfew and cursed him out. Many would contend after that point, he had lost the locker room and ultimately the players’ respect. After a brief successful season in 2010, the Bucs regressed to 4-12. He was too friendly and in the end, only coached three seasons.
Greg Schiano– I can’t help but laugh. This guy approached coaching in the NFL worse than I have seen. He built a solid defense during his tenure, but couldn’t make up for it with his inefficiencies.
It could be argued that he was too hard on the players, often treating them as prisoners. Watching practice was like watching boot camp. You could hear the echoes of Greg’s yells throughout the field, “Toes on the line!”. He alienated a lot of players who ended up leaving or being cut because they weren’t “Schiano Men”. Some of them include the aforementioned Aqib Talib, Michael Bennett and Lagarrette Blount. Guess what all of these players have in common, they’ve all gone on to win Superbowls. Could you imagine how talented this roster would be right now if we retained them? Ugh. He was the opposite of Morris, too irate and in the end only coached two seasons.
Lovie Smith– Although I like Lovie as a person, the guy just doesn’t seem to know what he is doing anymore. He has had massive success in this league, particularly with the Chicago Bears, but just couldn’t get anything done in Tampa. Seems like the game has passed him by.
It could be argued that Lovie was just too stubborn. He spent his entire career with the Bucs installing his system of defense. He pigeonholed positions, often inserting older Bears players. He stuck with Josh McCown at Quarterback over a much younger and more talented Mike Glennon. His defense gave up the highest completion percentage to opposing offenses and just couldn’t get that unit to improve. It is also speculated that during a matchup against the Saints that he embarrassed Russell Shepard who is a team captain in the locker room for cursing. He assumed a father-like role to the team when they needed a leader. Arguably his greatest accomplishment was coaching so bad that he drafted Jamies Winston with the #1 overall pick. He was just too soft and persistent to do things his way, that he also only coached two seasons.
I don’t think Bucs fans have been this optimistic with a head coach since Gruden. In his first year at Offensive Coordinator, he coached arguably the Bucs best offense in history, finishing #5 overall in 2015. He coached Jameis Winston to two 4,000 yard seasons in his first two seasons, setting an NFL record. He finished his first season with a winning record, at 9-7.
Not only has he etched these accomplishments on his resume but he is also widely-respected by his team. Dirk presents an intelligent, yet brutally-honest demeanor. He isn’t too friendly like Raheem or too condescending like Schiano. He exhibits Lovie’s player concern and patience, Gruden’s football acumen, Schiano’s discipline, Raheem’s approachability and humor, and last but not least, Dungy’s success(so far).
It’s safe to say that he is going to be this team’s coach for a quite some time if his methodology continues. Fans seem to thoroughly enjoy listening to Dirk speak. His moves make sense and actually work. They sky is the limit in relation to Dirk’s potential.
They say successful coaches only get better in year two. If that’s the case, then 2016’s feat is only the tip of the iceberg.
Dirk may speak softly, but he carries a big @*&*ing stick! (Close your ears, Lovie.)