Other 0-4 Buccaneer teams
So this winless start for the first quarter of a season is nothing new. John McKay did it three times, Jon Gruden did it twice and even Tony Dungy boasted an 0-4 start. So in fact, only Ray Perkins and Sam Wyche can claim absence from the list because they both won their first games with the Buccaneers.
Of course this 0-4 became 0-14. It had taken until the fourth game for the Bucs to score a touchdown, this coming when DB Danny Reece picked up a fumble when the Bucs were narrowly trailing the then-Baltimore Colts 42-3 in the fourth quarter. And after an onside kick, Charlie Davis scored the first offensive touchdown shortly afterwards. Game 5 - lost 0-21 in Cincinnati.
Deja vu all over again as the second-year Bucs had just 10 points through four games heading into Expansion Bowl II in Seattle. They more than doubled their points output but still came away 23-30 losers. Ultimately they would not win until their 13th game, the first actual franchise victory in New Orleans.
Without Doug Williams, the Bucs had started the season with Jerry Golsteyn and after four games, were well into the Jack "Throwin' Samoan" Thompson era. Narrow home losses to Minnesota and Cincinnati had the boo birds out heading into a road game in Lambeau Field. It was 49-7 Packers at half-time and ended 55-14 after Green Bay coach Bart Starr called off the attack dogs. The first win came in Game 10 in Minnesota.
Leeman Bennett began his Buc coaching career 0-9 before shutting out the then-St.Louis Cardinals 16-0. But after four games, the Doug Shively-defense had given up 119 points and yardage beginning to be tracked in miles as it was easier. Hugh Green wanted out of Tampa and the franchise was in serious decline.
Richard Williamson's nice guy image wasn't paying off in the locker room with LBs Broderick Thomas and Jesse Solomon running amok. Narrow losses came in the first four games and a full-blown QB controversy had begun between Vinny Testaverde and Chris Chandler. No such close affairs in Week 5 as the Bucs were hammered 31-3 in Detroit but came back the following week for their first win 14-13 over the Eagles.
Yep Tony Dungy began with four straight losses too. And outside of a fourth quarter collapse against Seattle, they really weren't in any of the other games either. Only 30,212 saw that Seahawk defeat as the stadium vote had just taken place. The Bucs were shutout by Detroit in Week 5 but then after a bye-week, Dungy got his first win over his former team, the Vikings.
The fall-out from the Super Bowl was complete and the Jon Gruden-Bucs were in free-fall. The swagger had gone, Warren Sapp and John Lynch had gone, and both got to defeat their old teams in the first month of the season. The first win came in Week 5 when Chris Simms and Brian Griese led the Bucs to a 20-17 win in New Orleans.
Another 0-4 start for Jon Gruden and the number of wins was equalled by the number of spleens Chris Simms had left after the game against Carolina. Bruce "The Polish Pop-Gun" was in at quarterback and it took a pair of fluke wins in Weeks 5 and 6 over Cincinnati and Philadelphia ("Matt Bryant, you're my hero") to save some face.
Paul Stewart, TBO.com, 6 October 2009