Sometime after the end of last year's disastrous season, the Glazers must have looked up from their fish and chips at Wembley Stadium and realized that their American football team had become a laughingstock once again.
Releasing the horribly incompetent Raheem Morris, the team went out and hired Greg Schiano away from Rutgers. Personally, I would have been happy if the Glazers had backed a dumptruck full of money, with "We're Sorry :-(" hand written on each bill, to Monte Kiffin's door, but this hire appears to have been a good one.
Schiano has assembled a stout collection of coaches, including the qb coach from the Giants, Mike Sullivan, to be the offensive coordinator. After working with Eli Manning in NY, Sullivan's got the pedigree to determine if the Bucs Freeman truly is the next big thing or simply the next Vinnie Testaverde -- a big kid with a big arm, but missing that "it" factor.
Also picking up Bill Sheridan formerly of both the Dolphins and the Giants, Schiano's shown the savvy to pick up coaches who know and are used to being champions. But I believe the best hire was former Browns head coach Butch Davis.
Davis was brought on board to be Schiano's special assistant, along with a defensive coach. With a background in both the pros and college -- Davis was at Miami, and recently UNC, Schiano has someone close to him to give advice on the nuance of pro football from a head coach's viewpoint. Which is quite different from college. And it shows that while Schiano is confident in his own abilities to be a head coach, he realizes he's got some unfamiliar territory ahead of him and is willing to listen to someone who's already been there.
That's a plus in my book.
The Bucs went into the free agency period a whopping $68 million under the salary cap and got their Yankees on as they bought every top free agent on the market. Stud receiver Vincent Jackson, o-line guard Carl Nicks, ball hog cornerback Eric Wright, and experienced back up qb Dan Orlovsky.
With the death penalty punishment levied against the Saints recently, the Bucs just became a serious threat in the NFC south this upcoming season. There's a lot of what ifs of course -- the d-line has to remain healthy, for one, but this is the first time I've looked forward to the start of a Buccaneer season since Jon Gruden left.