It’s been a dismal season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but the team and its fans did have one big thing to celebrate. Monday night, the Bucs added the coach who led them to their one and only Super Bowl win to their Ring of Honor. That would be Jon Gruden.
Gruden came to Tampa Bay in 2002 following a successful stint leading the Oakland Raiders. In four seasons with the Silver and Black, Gruden compiled a record of 40-28, with three playoff appearances and a trip to the AFC Championship Game. His arrival in Tampa Bay came under unusual circumstances for a head coach. The Bucs actually traded to get Gruden, giving up several draft picks and $8 million in cash. The deal paid off, as Gruden changed up the offense and led them to a 12-4 regular season record. He reached the conference championship game again, this time winning it over the Philadelphia Eagles, whom Gruden worked with for three seasons as offensive coordinator. Tampa Bay went on to Super Bowl 37, with Gruden facing his old team, the Raiders. The game turned out to be a one-sided affair, with the Bucs winning it 48-21.Your text to link…
Gruden said he was “overwhelmed,” “appreciative,” and “humbled” at going into the Tampa Bay Ring of Honor. Buccaneers linebacker Kwon Alexander even made up special cleats to honor Gruden on his big night. One shoe has a picture of Gruden’s face, the other shows the killer doll from the Child’s Play movies Chucky, Gruden’s nickname due to his intense facial expressions.
Gruden coached the Buccaneers until the 2008 season, leaving team with a 57-55 record. The year after, he was hired by ESPN as a color analyst for the Monday Night Football broadcasts. Between Oakland and Tampa Bay, Gruden’s career record as a head coach is 100-85, including the post-season.
Gruden was inducted into the Ring of Honor with late Bucs owner Malcolm Glazer. That brings the number of Ring members to eleven. Among the honorees are Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks, and John Lynch.