- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 17, 2009

From combined dispatches

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers fired coach Jon Gruden and general manager Bruce Allen on Friday after the team collapsed following a 9-3 start and failed to make the playoffs.

Gruden, who helped lead the Buccaneers to a victory over the Oakland Raiders in the Super Bowl after the 2002 season, was Tampa Bay’s coach for seven years. Allen was general manager for the last five seasons.

“We will be forever grateful to Jon for bringing us the Super Bowl title, and we thank Bruce for his contributions to our franchise,” Buccaneers co-chairman Joel Glazer said in a statement. “However, after careful consideration, we feel that this decision is in the best interest of our organization moving forward.”

The Buccaneers were tied for first place in the NFC South heading into December but finished with losses to Carolina and Atlanta on the road and San Diego and Oakland at home, where they had been 6-0. One more win would have landed them a NFC wild-card berth.

The 9-7 record this season gave Gruden consecutive winning records for the first time since arriving in Tampa Bay yet still left the Bucs out of the playoffs for the fourth time in six years.

The Glazer family fired Tony Dungy and used four high draft picks - two No. 1s and two No. 2s - and $8 million cash to pry Gruden away from the Raiders after the 2001 season. He led Tampa Bay to its only NFL title the following year, but the Bucs haven’t won a playoff game since.

Gruden, who had three years remaining on a contract extension he received after winning the NFC South in 2007, leaves as the most successful coach in franchise history at 60-57, including the postseason.

But since going 15-4, including the Super Bowl, in his first season with the Bucs, Gruden went 45-53 and made quick exits from the playoffs after winning division titles in 2005 and 2007.

COWBOYS: Dallas fired defensive coordinator Brian Stewart after two seasons.

Stewart coached the San Diego Chargers’ secondary for three seasons before following coach Wade Phillips to the Cowboys. Stewart also spent two seasons as a defensive assistant with Houston.

Though Stewart had the title of defensive coordinator with the Cowboys, his actual responsibilities were unclear. Phillips, a former defensive coordinator, sometimes took over playcalling duties and other times left it unclear who was making the defensive decisions.

SUPER BOWL: The NFL and Ticketmaster announced they have joined forces on a service that will enable fans to buy and resell Super Bowl tickets online.

Fans who have tickets but can’t attend the big game in Tampa, Fla., will be able to resell them through the NFL’s official ticket exchange on NFL.com and Ticketmaster.com. Similarly, fans looking to buy tickets or upgrade their seats will be able to do so.

The site will also offer, in many cases, the ability to electronically validate tickets at the time of purchase. It’s the first time fans will be able to sell or resell Super Bowl tickets through a league-endorsed Web site.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide