Each of the teams below share one thing in common; Lombardi Trophy
They didn’t want to use the dirty R word last year, but in the end that is what it was! 2009 was a rebuilding year for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs drafted a Quarterback, brought in a play-making Tight End, and a defensive tackle. This year, the Bucs really added talent in the form of two more defensive tackles, two wide receivers, and a slew of other picks. The Bucs plan to lay down a foundation and then add free agents when the time is right. So how has the formula worked in the past? Lets look at some other teams that didn’t do too shabby by building a team. Mind you these teams are from the past, but the game of football has only added 3 things since the 1990 merger. The West Coast offense, The Tampa Two, and tighter pass interference rules. PITTSBURGH STEELERS- Started the Job in 1969 when Chuck Noll took over. He drafted Mean Joe Green, Terry Bradshaw, and Mel Blount in the first two years before adding Jack Ham and Franco Harris in the 3rd. The result was a team that started to win, but they went over the top in 1974 when they drafted 4 Hall of Famers Lynn Swann, Jack Lambert, John Stallworth and Center Mike Webster. From a one win season in 1969 the Pittsburgh Steelers went on win 4 Superbowl championships in the 70s. Chuck Noll was not a retread Coach, and the players were all drafted, no trades. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS- Started the job in 1979 when Bill Walsh was hired. Walsh instituted his west coast offense that he learned from Paul Brown in Cincinnati where he was the offensive coordinator and ran the offense with QB Sam Wyche. The 49ers had a QB dilema because they didnt know if Steve Deberg or Joe Montana was the best guy for the job. Probably the biggest guy responsible for the turnaround was owner Edward J DeBartolo Jr. He was an owner commited to winning. The Glazers had the same commitment to winning when they took over this team in the mid 90s. They havnt lost it, just because there havnt been any core players on this team worth spending the money on to resign. Dont bring up Ruud or Penn, Im talking about Sapps, Brooks, Lynch, those types of players. No one on the Bucs right now is in their level of performance. Dwight Clark, Keena Turner, were some of the guys added, but no bigger impact could have been made than the draft class of 1981. Desperate for DBs, the 49ers drafted Ronnie Lott, Eric Wright and Dwight Hicks, and all started in the Superbowl that very same year! Who says rookies can’t contribute in their first year! 4 Super Bowl Championships later, the 49ers are a model of how to build a franchise. DALLAS COWBOYS- It all started in 1989, and you talk about poor fan rep! The Fans were still getting over the firing of long time Cowboy coach Tom Landry! That makes the Derrick Brooks situation look like a sing-a-long. The Biggest factor in the building of the Cowboys of this era was the trade of Hershel Walker to Minnesota which gave the Cowboys 8 draft picks. Much like the Bucs this year, the draft picks are what Jimmy Johnson used to springboard Dallas back into contention in the NFL. Troy Aikman, Daryl Johnston, Mark Stepnoski in 1989, Emmitt Smith in ’90, Russell Maryland and Erik Williams in ’91, and and Darren Woodson in 92. Just like the Bucs have some talent left over, the Cowboys had Michael Irvin, Nate Newton, Ken Norton Jr and ohers from Tom Landry. A 1-15 record in 1989 turned into 3 SuperBowl Rings, and it was done via the draft primarily. Ok so you say ” Those teams were built via the draft because thats all they had. Well next up on the list.. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS- It started in 1995 when new owners Malcom Glazer named Rich McKay as General Manager. This is the same Rich McKay who taught Mark Dominik, who was in the building while all this was going on. The leftovers in this case were Hardy Nickerson, John Lynch and Dave Moore. The ’95 draft brought in Sapp and Brooks, as well as Melvin Johnson in the second round who played safety. Then came the 1996 draft under Dungy where Regan Upshaw and Marcus Jones were picked up first. Sound familiar? Two defensive lineman taken with the first two picks? Then Mike Alstott and Donnie Abraham along with Tackle Jason Odem. Warrick Dunn was a huge addition in 1997 as was Ronde Barber in the 3rd round although his impact wouldnt be felt until the 1998 season. WR Reidel Anthony and Tackle Jerry Wunsch, Guard Frank MIddleton and LInebacker Alshermond Singleton were fantastic picks. All of these players were taken FIRST, BEFORE the Bucs started to look into bringing in free agents. Bert Emmanuel, Keyshawn Johnson, Brad Johnson, Steve Christie, Randall McDaniel, Joe Jurivicius, Keenan McCardell, ALL taken AFTER the Bucs built their core. Can you imagine if WR Benn and Williams pan out, and you wanted to give them up for Brandon Marshall! ..just to win a couple of extra games next year. No Bucs fans, you are reading this because you are the REAL Bucs fans! You are the ones who dont care if the Bucs go 0-7, your going to watch the game and you swear the team has a chance to win each week! Well here are 4 examples of teams that built themselves dynasties (well 3 dynasties), with young coaches that had potential but no head coaching experience yet. They drafted talent, and they all started out with losing season, almost all won only a game or two the year before turning it around. Those fans were rewarded for their patience, and now you will too…soon! Only 94 days left!!!