What the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Have Done and What They Need to Do

Signature SportsCorrespondent IMarch 17, 2009

The firing of Jon Gruden and Bruce Allen
As soon as the season ended, I was calling for this to happen. Sure Gruden won the Bucs a Super Bowl in 2002.

But what has he done since? Sure there is two division titles, but they lost in the first round both times and we had as many top five draft pick seasons as division title seasons. Gruden's ego and lack of trust in young players is what did him in, IMO.

Allen could've stayed, but I wont' complain, he was a Gruden guy so I can see why.
How I rate the move: 5/5

Hiring Raheem Morris and Mark Dominik
Morris is a guy I've been high on. He came back and took over the DB coaching job in 2007 and revived the career of Jermaine Phillips and made Tanard Jackson and Aqib Talib beasts in their rookie seasons.

A lot of comparisons to Mike Tomlin, doubt he has the same success, this isn't Pittsburgh, but they are similar coaches with similar backgrounds. I'm not too thrilled about Dominik personally, he's worked in the FO under Bruce Allen and we should've gone for new blood at GM.
How I rate the move: 4/5

The big cuts
This was a tough pill to swallow. Derrick Brooks is the greatest Buccaneer of all time. A defensive POTY, 11 time Pro Bowler, and Super Bowl champ. But his play has drastically suffered these last two years, and it's time to go younger.

Galloway was an obvious cut, he's washed up and lazy to boot. Dunn I'm cool with, love the little guy but his age showed at the end of the season and upgraded the position anyways.

Cato June is a terrible fit for our new defense, and really isn't any good to begin with. Ike Hilliard kinda disappointed me, he may be old. But the guy has some of the most reliable hands in the league.
How I rate the move: 5/5

Trading for Kellen Winslow
This was a surprise. We all knew Winslow getting dealt was a possibility, but on the first day of FA? I wouldn't think the Bucs would be a team to pursue him anyways.

We really don't need TEs, but we do need playmakers on offense, and Winslow is a hell of a play-maker if he can stay healthy. I love the move, but it will all depend on the health. Well worth the risk though, IMO.
]How I rate the move: 5/5

Signing Derrick Ward
Our only notable FA pickup. Kinda disappointing with all the cap space, but Ward is a very good pickup. Behind our talented young o-line and zone blocking scheme, I expect him to get over 1,000 yards again. He and Graham will make a solid, underrated 1-2 punch in the running game.
How I rate the move: 5/5

Re-signing Jermaine Phillips and Jerramy Stevens
Great move. Especially with how cheap Phillips' deal was. Jermaine is one of the best guys in the league you don't know about. A poor man's Ed Reed.

Stevens is also a very good TE. He and Winslow in two TE sets will create major mismatches, and it's depth in case Winslow gets hurt, a realistic possibility.
How I rate the move: 5/5

Adding Nugent and Koutovides
Yeah, none of you care about this. But the Bucs added K Mike Nugent and LB Niko Koutovides. Nugent will give Matt Bryant competition to be the kicker, which was needed, so it's solid.

Niko is also a solid addition for our special teams. With guys like Geno Hayes and Quincy Black likely getting a good shot at starting, we need replacements for them on special teams.
How I rate the move: 3/5


I'm disappointed in the lack of moves, we could use some more guys to add through FA. But I did like the moves we DID make. So far a solid off-season for the Bucs.

Looking ahead:

We have needs at QB, WR, DE, DT, OLB, and CB right now. DT being the biggest need. Hopefully we sign Angelo Crowell, then OLB would be fine to not draft anyone at least. Expect the Bucs to use their first rounder on either a QB, DT, or CB.

The QB would likely be Josh Freeman (or Jay Cutler if we trade for him), Jeria Perry is a possibility. But we may go for a better value pick with a CB. I hope we go with talent over need though.

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