Doug Williams Leaves The Bucs
May 12, 2010 at 09:18am by Scott • 5 Comments »
For the second time in 18 years, Doug Williams is out the door of One Buc. Last time, Williams was refused a completely reasonable contract that was in-line with other starting quarterbacks in the league. He went on to become the MVP of Super Bowl XXII for the Redskins while the Bucs sank into 17 years of losing. This time, Williams is leaving his position as Director of Pro Personnel in an apparently mutual decision. So I’m guessing in five years or so, Williams will be the GM of an NFL dynasty somewhere as every one of his free agent signings makes the Pro Bowl while a sinkhole forms under Raymond James Stadium.
“Mark and I have sat down and talked about my future,” Williams said in the statement. “After a lot of thought, I felt that it was the right time for me to look at new options. I wish nothing but the best for the Buccaneers.”
This is a huge load, you know. If he was leaving of his own accord, he would have said something. “I want to spend more time with my family” or “I really want to get back into coaching” or something like that. Williams interviewed for the head coaching job with Southern University this past January; he probably knew his time was up at that point. Mark Dominik probably said that they were going to be reorganizing the front office and that Williams wasn’t in their plans. It was reported around that time that Williams was given a one-year contract extension, which was a red flag in itself since it was just for a year. It turns out even that was false.
There was a report that he had signed a contract extension with the Bucs, but a team source said that never happened. The source said Williams and Dominik hadn’t seen eye-to-eye on personnel matters for a long time.
The Times article expands on this a little:
After returning to Tampa to work under then-Bucs general manager Allen in 2004, Williams hoped he was on a path that would lead to a GM post. But he often met resistance when seeking an expanded role in the front office, causing frequent frustration. That continued under Dominik, after Allen was fired in January 2009. Williams’ role was mainly evaluating free agents and other possible acquisitions, but he did not appear to be involved in decision making.
Williams’s responsibilities were always a little unclear, at least to me. Of course, I’m terribly dumb, so I could just be missing it. But in Williams’s time as Director of Pro Personnel, the Bucs signed fewer free agents than ever. Was it a coincidence that this was the same period the Bucs determined they were going to rebuild through the draft? And before that, who was Williams really responsible for scouting and acquiring, draft or free agent? I think he gets credit for Josh Johnson, but I can’t think of anyone else.
My totally baseless theory is that Jon Gruden liked having the old veterans around, and hiring Williams to do something, anything was his idea. He was able to finagle Williams a front office job, but when it turned out that Williams either wasn’t that good at it or just didn’t fit, they didn’t want to piss off the old fans by dumping him yet again, so they kept him around as a figurehead. But just like the players, no one is sacred now and Dominik pulled the plug on Gruden’s novelty hire.
In any event, I wish Williams well in whatever he decides to do. It’s a little late in the offseason for him to get a job for 2010, but we’ll probably hear something about him in December or January. In the meantime, maybe a fan out there who owns his own business can find a job for him doing something. I’d hate to think he has enough free time on his hands to brew up another 17 year curse.