Josh Freeman

Bill Muir Blames The Defense

January 27, 2009 at 10:32am by Scott   •  4 Comments »

Next we're going to work on how to get false starts at the most devastatingly critical times.
With Super Bowl week happening in Tampa now, a lot of Buccaneer people are going to get extra exposure just by proximity. One of those guys is Bill Muir, who Mike Francesa interviewed for 34 minutes yesterday. the interview covered Jon Gruden‘s firing, the reasons behind it, his conversation with Gruden about it, and a bunch of other stuff. The WFAN website has the entire interview uncut and without commercial interruption streaming here. There is also a link to download the whole thing at once if that’s how you roll. I listened to it and basically just typed up notes, which I have barely edited and leave for you to go over if you don’t feel like listening to Muir for a half-hour of your life. My thoughts after the notes.

  • 34-minute interview.
  • Says you can’t lay the blame at Monte Kiffin’s feet, then proceeds to lay the blame at Monte’s feet.
  • Calls it a “confidence erosion”.
  • Nobody can ever say that [Monte’s leaving] wasn’t a distraction.
  • Says that they never saw Oakland play as well as they played against the Bucs.
  • He really spends a lot of time talking about how the Bucs were run over by Carolina and Oakland. I have yet to hear him take any responsibility — or even mention any offensive weaknesses.
  • Muir says Gruden was completely shocked.
  • Gruden had a 3.5 hour lunch with the Glazers the day before the firings and Gruden left the meeting confident.
  • Spends a lot of time debunking the idea that Gruden won the Super Bowl with Tony Dungy‘s players (even though they say they’re not going to re-hash it.)
  • Muir thinks he was fired because he’s a “Gruden guy”. Says he’s glad to be a Gruden guy.
  • No one worked as hard or was more thorough than Gruden. Muir has never seen offenses better prepared than Gruden’s.
  • Muir says one reason that they had problems is that Gruden didn’t have high drafted players because of draft pick compensation in the Gruden trade.
  • Calls it a kneejerk reaction. Unfair to put the season at Gruden’s feet.
  • Said they did a lot with the talent they were given.
  • Thinks the NFL is “upside-down” in the way they currently select head coaches.
  • Gruden and Raheem Morris got along fine and didn’t have a difference in philosophy.
  • “Remember when you were young, and you wanted the girl that everyone else wanted?” — Muir describing the Glazers’ reaction to Morris’s interview in Denver
  • “I think their vision is, he’s Mike Tomlin.”
  • He thinks the more “interesting” hire is Mark Dominik — doesn’t really expand on why.
  • How many Master Sergeants in the Army have an ROTC lieutenant?
  • Calls out players who say they didn’t like Gruden. Says they’re getting paid to do a job regardless of who they like.
  • Muir plans to coach again.
  • Why was Gruden always tied to college coaching jobs? “Maybe because he’s one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world and that face can recruit.” Nice.
  • Did success change Gruden? Muir says no, but the system did get more sophisticated over time and players coming in late may have had a harder time getting it. System is “not for everybody.”
  • “It’s proven that his system works.”
  • “Some quarterbacks fought it.” They had a reluctance to buy into the system and that sometimes stalled the offense.

The thing that annoys me about this interview is that he accepts absolutely no responsibility for the downfall of Gruden’s teams. Of course, we all know that the defense collapsed in December and that’s the main reason for the culling of One Buc. But he said nothing about how sacks more than tripled over that span. He never talked about his offensive line’s underachieving or how Davin Joseph is his first Pro Bowler despite all the turnover he’s had on the line for seven years. He never explained why, despite all the draft picks and the relentless efforts of an offensive guru, the offense never really improved over what the previous coaching regime did.

AND FRANCESA DIDN’T ASK! The only reason why we got anything juicy was because Muir volunteered it. Everything he was asked was a softball intended to make Muir feel good about himself. Fuck that. If Francesa is so eager to blow Muir, let him do it off the air. I want accountability, damnit.

4 Comments to “Bill Muir Blames The Defense”

Slow Joe

Slow Joe (January 27, 2009 at 11:44am:

Good post. The only thing I disagree with is:

“…despite all the draft picks and the relentless efforts of an offensive guru, the offense never really improved over what the previous coaching regime did.”

Do you not remember the Dungy-helmed offense? It was absolutely pathetic. Two yards a carry, QBs with single-digit passer ratings? Gruden’s offenses were never “The Greatest Show of Turf”, but they were at least competent NFL offenses. Offenses that, if partnered with a dominant defense, would win a Super Bowl. Dungy’s offenses were so bad that the team had one of the best defenses in modern history in 1999 and still couldn’t get to the Super Bowl.

That Bucs-Rams NFC Championship still rankles me.


Scott (January 27, 2009 at 11:57am:

I’m wording it harshly in the post, but the fact is that if you’re going by points scored, Dungy and Gruden were almost identical for their respective tenures in Tampa. Here’s something I wrote before the 2007 season. And things didn’t change a whole lot in the two subsequent years. That’s my point.

Matt Price

Matt Price (January 27, 2009 at 02:46pm:

Now we see why Gruden never fired this turd. Talk about a suck up!

You’re right Scott, Muir never takes responsibility for anything! Everything is everyone else’s fault. He and Gruden struggled, surrounded by idiots.

He also doesn’t seem to understand that Gruden got canned for many reasons (player discontent, repeated failures, lack of long term progress) not just because of the last four games.

Also, on his asshole point about not having any good players, that’s bullshit. He makes it sound like he’s coaching the 76 Bucs. Bull. He had talent, he just turned them into the 76 Bucs.

I despise this idiot and am glad he’s gone, even if it means we struggle this year.


campyone (January 28, 2009 at 05:55pm:

All this interview tells me is that Muir figures Gruden will be a HC somewhere and Muir wants to be there with him. Muir was one of the all-time big Bucs disappointments. He came here with a reputation as a guy who could really build a line and he never lived up to that reputation. Our offensive lines were about the same under him as they’ve always been – mediocre.

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