Monday, December 14, 2009

History Lessons

There are two quick items I want to highlight that I have heard the last two days. The first thing is now that Randy Moss had a bad game yesterday and an opposing defensive back for the Panthers called him out for "shutting it down", all of a sudden I hear the "I play when I want to play" quote thrown around again. I didn't see the game, I don't know if he "shut it down", I saw a few highlights when he dropped a couple of balls but that was about it. But aside from whether he did or didn't shut it down yesterday, its worth revisting what he actually said in 2001.

He stirred up even more controversy in November of that year, when, asked by Sid Hartman for the Minneapolis Star Tribune (November 23, 2001) if he felt motivated on the field by Cris Carter, he replied: "I play when I want to play. Do I play up to my top performance, my ability every time? Maybe not. . . . When I make my mind up, I am going out there to tear somebody's head off. When I go out there and play football, man it's not anybody telling me to play or how I should play."

Now his quote was taken out of context almost immediately as if he just turned to Sid Hartman and said "I ONLY play when I want to play", when instead it was a response to Hartman trying to imply that all of Moss's motivation came from Cris Carter. This was a very irritatinng situation for Moss because it was Carter himself who had been pushing this line of thinking, as if all of Moss' success was due to Carter's mentoring. Also left out of the quote by mainstream media types looking to bash Moss was that Carter himself was quoted by Hartman right before Moss' quote as saying there wasn't a receiver in the league who went 100% on every play. Unsurprisingly though nobody hit Carter for his quote.

Again this isn't a commentary on whether Moss shut it down yesterday or not, but its just pointing out the context of a quote that you are likely to hear all week since people are trying to ressurrect the "Bad Randy" story. I will point out though that until last week, the "Bad Randy" was leading the league in receiving yards and second in the league in TD receptions with 9.

The second item on the agenda is this new line that the Bucs shouldn't have fired Jon Gruden because he would never ever ever have this bad of a season. Well the people saying that evidently have very short memories. I, however don't. I remember the 2006 season when the Bucs went 4-12 with a helluva lot more talent than they have this season. First they jumped out to 0-3 with Chris Simms at the helm and then after he was injured and we had to go with the rookie, Bruce Gradkowski, they finished off beating the likes of Cleveland, Cincinatti, Washington, and the Philly in their next 11 games. As a matter of fact Gruden made some of the same mistakes that year that you are seeing this year on offense in that instead of featuring the running game with his young quarterbacks, he chunked the ball around the field and put our defense in very precarious positions. That we won 4 games was a testament to Monte Kiffin, thats for damn sure.

Now just like with the Moss quote, this isn't an argument that goes beyond the point I am making. That being that Jon Gruden also had a shitty season as Buccaneers coach. That doesn't excuse what we are seeing every week from Coach Morris and his staff. And that isn't to say that they Glazer's should have hired Coach Morris in the first place. I am not taking a position on that. What I am saying is that its not like Gruden was some hall of fame coach that never had any stumbles. He did, and it was just a short 3 years ago when he too had a season to forget. People should remember that when they try to elevate him as some kind of savior who should never have been fired in the first place.

That is all.


  1. That would be Bruce Gradkowski, not Brad.

  2. Thanks for the heads up. I was still sleepy writing this post so pardon my oversight, its been corrected ;)

  3. I have had season tickets for a while now and one thing I'll say about Chucky is that he was passionate. He may have been an Ass to the players and played favorites, but he obviously worked his ass off and overachieved his way to the Superbowl. With both the Dungy & Gruden teams, I ALWAYS felt we had a chance to win. ALWAYS, and it didn't matter who the opponent was. It was probably more Monty than the Offensive side, but this year you pretty much knew we were going to lose most games ahead of time. One thing that is nice about being a Buc Fan is the long Coaching Tree of success from Tampa. The list of great coaches is a mile long. Many of them were your coaches. I think soon it would be nice to analyze the best replacement scenario here. I don't think Cowher or Shanahan is the right choice for the Bucs. If it is Raheem, he has to get some top notch help, but it even sounds like he'd rather be the DC than the HC.