It is finally time to say it
It is the halfway point of the Bucs season, itís a heartbreaking loss you knew was going to happen one day. Itís a close loss on the road to a divisional rival in a game fought for first place half way through the season.

Itís a 5-3 record half way through the season. Itís a 2-2 record in the second quarter of 2010, following a 3-1 record in the first quarter. Itís something only a few people thought could happen.

Itís time to say the two things we have waited some time to say. The Bucs are for real. And we told you so.

No that message isnít for all of you. Some were just as optimistic that the Bucs could break even this year; in fact they can do so much more. Even I had them pegged at 8-8 and third place in the NFC South. The truth is, that would seem an underachievement from this point. The Bucs would have to go 3-5 to reach .500, not something to give kudos to our team in Pewter.

Nope, the message is for those of you who quoted and repeated all the negativity last year. You couldnít see 2009 for what it was; a time to rebuild, All you could see was the ugly foundation being built. No itís not something glamorous, ground floors arenít supposed to be. But as a fan of the team, youíre supposed to see beyond that.

You were around in 1996 to see the original blueprints put into action werenít you? Lets take a look at these 2010 Tampa Bay Buccaneers and how, if your like Paul and myself, you can stick your tongue out and shoot a raspberry at anyone whose posted in a forum in the last 12 or 13 months.

THE GLAZERS
Oh those cheap Glazers, how you loved to pick on them. They were too cheap to hire a real coach. Remember when Raheem was hired, how many Bucs fans wanted Mike Shanahan? ďThey didnít even interview anyone elseĒ!!! Thatís right, they didnít, and why should they have?

We tried to tell you Raheem Morris took over a Bucs secondary that was dismal after the absence of his and Mike Tomlinís coaching in 2006, yet Morris turned them into a formidable secondary in 2007. While he was gone, the Kansas State team showed dramatic improvement across the board in defensive statistics.

But you wanted a more experienced coach, just because YOU didnít know who Raheem was. Tom Cable didnít have any assistant coordinator experience, neither did Andy Reid. If you were around in 1996, you would have called for Dungyís job too after going 1-8. You would have preferred Jimmy Johnson or Steve Spurrier.

MARK DOMINIK and RAHEEM MORRIS
ďThey donít know what they are doingĒ, ďThey are in over their headsĒ.

Mark Dominik learned under three successful current GMs on other teams, Rich McKay, Bruce Allen, was here in the building when Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks were drafted, but you donít think he has enough experience? Raheem Morris learned under the great Monte Kiffin, as well as Mike Tomlin, but that wasnít good enough?

You saw the firing of Offensive and Defensive coordinators as signs of proof they were in over their heads, instead of looking at it for what it was; a sign they were not afraid to admit they made a mistake and move on.

Instead these are the people responsible for drafting Josh Freeman, Mike Williams, and Arrelious BennÖ.they snatch people off other teams practice squads, guys youíve never heard of before, and they produce. They pick talent better than Rich McKay ever did.

You criticized both groups for not spending any money on the Bucs, when you were too blind to see they DID spend money, it just didnít pan out well. You cannot criticize someone for not spending enough money, then at the same time pick on the front office for spending too much on Clayton, too much on Antonio Bryant, re-signing Kellen Winslow to a big contract. Sounds like YOU were the one who was cheap, not the Bucs.

We tried to tell you that there is no rule that says Ďspend more money and you will get more winsí. Go talk to the Washington Redskins. Ask Jerry Jones how many wins dollars are able to purchase.

Itís time to accept this team, this Week 9 going into Week 10 Tampa Bay Buccaneers team, for what it is. Itís a very good team, on the verge of being great in a year or two. It is a team different than the Bucs team that lost to Pittsburgh. That team did not have an emerging Benn, nor did it have a confident LeGarrette Blount.

Itís time to admit this is a team you like. Itís a Bucs team you can fall in love with all over again because you know if you buy that #5 jersey, it wont be replaced with a #7 in 2 or 3 years. Itís time to go out and buy those 19, 17, 27, 5, and 81 jerseys and retire the 55, 47, 99, and 40. (You can wait another year for 20 if you want)

But more important, its time you said you were wrong. You were wrong about the Glazers, that its obvious now they knew what they saw in Raheem Morris that you did not see because you were not there. Its time to say you were incorrect about the football knowledge of Dominik and Morris.

And its time for us to tell you, what we were trying to tell you all along: That this is nothing new; That the blueprint exists on the Glazers desk. The only difference is this time around the Bucs are putting together the offensive pieces first. Nothing wrong with that. This area has NEVER had an offense to cheer. We brought in Jon Gruden, and Sam Wyche, yet neither could overcome the Bucs offensive prowess of Ray Perkins.

On second thought, we will let bygones be bygones. Just remember what we knew, and what you had to wait eight weeks to learn. Go out and get your jerseys, get your tickets, buy your Bucs merchandise, and most of all, donít forget to pass on the news in 2022 when the Bucs build a new team all over again.

About the writer
Nick is also the editor of Bucstop.com which is a superb website described as a site where you get lost in time watching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers video clips from 1977 to 2010. He was selected to the Bucs UK Hall of Fame in 2009 and has joined myself and Phil Jones on the sideline at Buccaneer games in recent seasons as thanks for the lengths he goes to in supporting the Bucs UK. Nick writes regular daily comments on the Bucs and the NFL on the site and it is well worth adding to your list of Buccaneer bookmarks.