Tony Dungy is probably the nicest guy ever to coach a professional football team. However, nice guys don’t win Super Bowls.
Dungy was rightfully fired as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers because he was unwilling to change. And after two identical years of disappointment and underachievement, the need for change is an understatement.
Some will say Dungy is the victim of his own success. The fact is Dungy is a victim of his own convictions. When a person is in the position of an NFL head coach, changing a philosophy is the hardest thing to do. At that point in your career, you are no longer a student. You were hired to do your thing. Dungy’s “thing” was perfection, but that misguided idea led to a conservative offense, which never changed throughout the Dungy era even though they went through three offensive coordinators. When a coaching scheme makes Brad Johnson look like Trent Dilfer, there is something wrong with the scheme.
When a team has an 11-5 record one year, 10-6 the next and 9-7 the year after that, despite adding a premier wide receiver and the third all-time proficient passing quarterback, it doesn’t take a billion-dollar businessman to realize there has been a decline.
When a team produces a record 34 Pro Bowl players in five years and only wins two playoff games, it comes down to coaching.
Now is the time to make a serious run at the Super Bowl, not a repeat of the last two years. Bring on the man who can take you to the next level.
- William Albritton
- Anthony Gagliano
Fire Tony Dungy? The Buccaneers must have lost their minds. Before Dungy arrived in the bay area and brought some toughness to Tampa Bay’s defense, the Buccaneers were nothing more than a big joke in bright orange pants. Six years later, the Bucs have established themselves as perennial playoff contenders and won more games in Dungy’s six-year tenure (54) than they did in the previous 10 seasons (43).
This was a team that expected to pick in the top 10 prior to his arrival and now the fans are upset if the team doesn’t make it to the NFC Championship Game. Well, only two teams can get that far, and it happens that the Bucs weren’t one of them this year. Don’t you think that’s a bit unreasonable to ask for a franchise that had only made it to the postseason three times in the 20 years prior to Dungy’s stint as head coach?
If all of that doesn’t impress you, consider these numbers before you start the preparations for your Bill Parcells welcoming party: Dungy compiled a .549 winning percentage and took his team to the playoffs four of the last five seasons. His predecessors finished well below .500 (94-213-1 in 20 seasons for a .301 winning percentage), and Tampa Bay won a pair of division titles.
In a shorter amount of time, Dungy also produced more Pro Bowlers and one less division title, along with three seasons of 10 wins or more, something accomplished just once by the Bucs before he assumed the head coaching position.
Lastly, I haven’t forgotten when this franchise was still called the “Yuccaneers.”