It’s well documented that the Bucs have been woeful when it comes to drafting, but since 1996 – 2008, encompassing thirteen drafts with Rich McKay as general manager for eight and five under Bruce Allen, the Bucs have managed to only draft five Pro-bowlers Mike Alstott, Warrick Dunn, Ronde Barber, Martin Gramatica and Davin Joseph. Yet only one of them was drafted within the last five years in Joseph.
In an article scribed by Ira Kaufman, of the Tampa Tribune in which Kaufman enlist the help of Brian Billick and Pittsburgh Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert to profoundly point out the ineptitude of the teams drafting over the last decade.
To listen to ex-Baltimore Ravens head coach, now Fox Sports analyst Brian Billick who coached the Ravens through a rebuilding process tell it, the Buccaneers are truly starting over, but not only as far as drafting is concerned – the entire organization.
“We rebuilt a team in Baltimore – they’re rebuilding an entire organization in Tampa,” Billick said. “It’s a total repudiation of what has gone on there before with the draft and the front office. In essence, they’re saying, ‘We’re starting over.”
The Bucs lack of quality, when it comes to drafting is nothing new to fans who have bared witness to the giant cluster fudge that has been the teams practice when it comes to the evaluation of college prospects.
The more puzzling fact, still remains, while the team has changed head coaches and general mangers twice during that span, the scouting department has largely been intact. With Dennis Hickey, holding the title of Director of College Scouting for the past five years, the same time period in which the team has only managed to draft one Pro-bowler.
According to his bio on the teams official website Hickey’s responsible for the coordination and direction of a team of regional and area scouts and the compilation of information on college players.
Based on his claim to fame, which list the drafting of Davin Joseph as his cudagra. When will the team finally realize that the biggest obstacle that is holding them back is its inept scouting department.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or a parade of former head coaches or front office types from other organizations to figure out the reason the team is in it’s current state of flux is largely due to the teams failure to identify and develop college prospects.
Back in April, Hickey spoke with member’s of the media to deflect or defend blame for the lack of drafting and developing talent. During the spin fest, Hickey ventimately disagreed when asked why there hasn’t been more elite talent drafted by telling those in attendance.
“That is where I would disagree with you. Maybe they are not voted to the Pro Bowl, but we do feel like we have some elite players on this team that we’ve drafted in recent years. That we are very excited about.”
I’m sure fans would love to know which players he feels are elite. But the bottom line is that based on production, the team doesn’t have an elite player on the roster, sure there may be some slightly above average to good players, but there damn sure isn’t an All-Pro caliber player on the roster from what I have seen over the last few seasons of play.
It’s time for a shake up, but more importantly it’s time to dump Hickey and bring in someone who has a track record and eye for talent.