Ticket sales are up, and people are looking forward to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers under head coach Greg Schiano's 2nd year at the helm, and the question arrises, whats to look forward to in a second year?
Remember, Raheem Morris took the Bucs to 10-6 and a tie-breaker away from a playoff birth. No telling how far those Bucs would have gone in that years playoffs.
Typically there is improvement in a coaches sophomore season, the team is a year removed from the disorientation of a new head coach, and said coach has had a chance to put his stamp on the team somewhat. A lot more can be said based on the state of the team in relation to the coach.
Jon Gruden took over a team that was playoff ready, so he took them to a Super Bowl in his first year. The 2nd would see the Bucs fall to 7-9 with at least 2 games that were heartbreaking losses for the record books. The Monday Night Football greatest comeback ever by the Colts while the Bucs were up by 21 with 4 min to play, and a missed Extra Point that would have ended the game with a win over Carolina, and instead became a loss in overtime.
That Playoff ready team was the result of Tony Dungy who had an ultimate 2nd season. With his rookie year going 6-10, he left his imprint on the Bucs, who came back the next year with a new attitude, new uniforms, and a winning season for the first time in 15 years. Everything points to that kind of a year from the 2013 Bucs. But what if?
Several coaches left their imprint on the team, but it was the wrong print! Leeman Bennet went 2-14 in his rookie year, and followed that up with little to no change. The record followed suite. Another 2-14 season and Bennet was gone. Ray Perkins had another losing season, the 2nd of 5 of them before getting the axe. His successor Sam Wyche did little to fare better.
The only other improvement was the Bucs original coach, John McKay, whose Bucs started to form a serious core on defense, and at the end of the 2nd year, the Bucs won their first games.
But that was 1977, and coaches dont get 5 year plans anymore. Another 7-9 season like last, and Schiano will start the 2014 season on a bit of a hot seat. And Tony Dungy was 8-8 in his 3rd year, not the best season for a coach in Tampa Bay.