It’s not as unforeseeable as some predict for first year head coach Raheem Morris, to actually duplicate the success the Buccaneers have had the
last few seasons if not better it within a very short time period. When looking over the NFC teams currently in the south since the coaching hire’s of John Fox, Jim Haslett, Sean Payton, Jon Gruden, Dan Reeves, Jim Mora, Mike Smith, Jon Gruden and Bobby Petrino who took over clubs with a combined record of 35 – 93 all had a huge impact within there first two years on the job with the lone exception of Petrino.
We all know the impact Gruden had on the Bucs leading them to a Superbowl victory in his first season at the helm. Payton & Mora guided the Saints and Falcons respectively to the NFC Championship games and one win away from a Superbowl birth in year one. Jim Haslett and Mike Smith made the playoffs their first year with there clubs. Dan Reeves along with John Fox got to the Superbowl in there second seasons with the Falcons and the Panthers.
Bobby Petrino, of course is the only black spot on an otherwise impressive coaching carousal, which tends to find instant success.
While all the situations had a host of different and unique challenges the coaches had to adapt too and over come during there first few seasons. It’s with in reason to think that the Bucs and Morris could continue to replicate the successes of former coaches who have roamed the sidelines in the south in their first few seasons of being given the keys.
Breaking down the NFC South franchises:
When looking back throughout the history over the collective years of the Saints, Falcons, Buccaneers & Panthers one can gain a sense that the Bucs are not as horrible as some portray them out to be as a franchise.
New Orleans Saints – have been around since 1967 – played 642 regular season games with 262 wins, 375 loses and 5 ties with a winning percentage of .408, average wins per season of 6.2, have played winning football 19% of the time, 500 football 36% of the time and have had back to back winning seasons on 3 occasions’.
Atlanta Falcons – have been around since 1966 – played 656 regular season games with 267 wins, 383 loses and 6 ties with a winning percentage of .407, average wins per season of 6.2, have played winning football 19% of the time, 500 football 26% of the time and have never had back to back winning seasons.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – have been around since 1976 – played 516 regular season games with 205 wins, 310 loses and 1 tie with a winning percentage of .397, average wins per season of 6.2, have played winning football 30% of the time, 500 football 33% of the time and have had back to back winning seasons on 4 occasions’.
Carolina Panthers – have been around since 1995 – played 224 regular season games with 109 wins, 115 loses and 0 ties with a winning percentage of .487, average wins per season of 9.1, have played winning football 33% of the time, 500 football 50% of the time and have never had back to back winning seasons.
It’s safe to say when looking at the three longest tenured franchises in the south and looking at there average wins per season of 6.2, along with the percentage of time they have played winning football or 500 football the Bucs are clearly not the cellar dwellers that some envision them to be.
The Panthers who were born after the adaptation of free agency have had a somewhat easier road of building a franchise based on player acquisitions and extra picks in multiple years of the draft to build quickly.
Why the Panthers do in fact have a greater average of wins per season, they still rank tied with the Bucs, with a winning football being played percentage of33%.
There have only been two teams to have any sustained success as far as winning in back to back seasons. The Saints have done it on 3 occasions & the Bucs have done it on 4 occasions.
It’s easy to ridicule the Bucs as being one of the worst teams when they started off there infantile stages with an 0-26 record before securing their first win (over the Saints). But truth be told, they rank favorable to other teams in the South if not better when you factor in the Bucs are the only team to have a Superbowl ring.
In Other News:
The NFL Draft will kick off in prime time for the first time in 2010, it was announced today. The first round of the 2010 NFL Draft will start on Thursday, April 22 at 7:30 PM ET with the second and third rounds on Friday, April 23at 6:30 PM ET followed by rounds 4-7on Saturday, April 24 at 10:00 AM ET.
The draft will continue to be televised by ESPN and NFL Network. The 2010 NFL Draft – the 75thdraft in NFL history – will again be held at Radio City Music Hall in New York.
“We continue to look for ways to make the draft more accessible to more fans,” said Commissioner Roger Goodell. “Moving the first round to prime time on Thursday night will make the first round of the draft available to fans on what is typically the most-watched night of television.”
The 2009 NFL Draft(Saturday, April 25-Sunday, April 26) drew a record 39 million viewers on NFL Network, ESPN and ESPN2. Total NFL Draft viewership increased 66 percent from 2001 to 2009 (from 23.5 million to 39million).
The first round of last year’s draft on ESPN and NFL Network drew a combined average of 6.3 million viewers, topping all basketball, hockey and baseball games that weekend.
The NFL Draft was a Saturday-Sunday event from 1995-2009. It took place on Sunday-Monday from 1988-94 and prior to 1988 was held on one or two weekdays.
Following is a date and time breakdown of the 2010 NFL Draft:
2010 NFL Draft Date Time*
Round 1 Thursday, April 22 7:30-11:00 PM ET
Rounds 2-3 Friday, April 23 6:30-11:00 PM ET
Rounds 4-7 Saturday, April 24 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM ET
* end times approximate