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Dispelling some half-truths about Shula's time in Tampa


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#21 2jakefansinva

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 02:02 PM

Great post P55.

all my chips are in the center of the table.

#22 Cyberjag

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 02:09 PM

So Shula stunk up the joint in Tampa Bay, but there are tons of excuses available to explain why he won't be a bad OC now.

Great fit for this coaching staff, IMHO.

#23 Raskle

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 02:11 PM

There has been a lot of discussion about Shula's time in Tampa so I think there are a couple of things that people should know to provide context to his failure in Tampa Bay.

Half Truth #1- The offense was inept despite having a Pro Bowl QB.

The Other Half- Yes Trent Dilfer was a Pro Bowler in 1997.


Fair enough about Dilfer. Good for Shula to help a player elevate his game. But how did the rest of the offense do? How were they in points, 3rd down conversions, YAC, YPC? The things an offense as a whole should be judged by, not just what the QB's TD/INT ratio is.

Half Truth #2- In response to people saying "He was hamstrung by Dungy's conservative tendencies" people have stated "He was so bad that his replacement took the same offense and jumped to #6 in the NFL in PPG"

The Other Half- Yes it is true that the year after Shula was replaced by Les Steckel Tampa Bay jumped to #6 in points per game. On paper it looks like an incredible turnaround.

He was fired. After one season.


This is a red herring. What does his replacement have to do with the fact that Shula was let go because his offense stunk? How often did Shula get beaten in the "Mind games" of being an OC? Because his replacement's philosophy and Dungy's didn't mesh well, does not change the fact that, staistically at least, the offense improved under a different coordinator. The guy could be a complete asshole for all I care... he was taking the same players and doing better with them, which is what you want from the new guy.

Half Truth #3- Schula did not use Shaun King, he had Dilfer his entire time

The Other Half- It is true that Dilfer started the majority of the games during Schula's tenure. But he did have Shaun King in 1999 and Shaun King started 5 regular season games for Shula after Dilfer got hurt. During those 5 games they only scored less than 20 points once (granted that one game was a shutout). The next season (2000), with Shaun King as the full time starting QB they continued that trend and improved offensively and were very similar to how they closed their last 5 games of the regular season in 1999. That fact begs the question, what was really holding the offense back in for most of 1999, Mike Schula or Trent Dilfer?


This is a very valid point, and a terrific question. Who was the lynch pin, and who the monkey wrench? I think a little more research needs to go into this though. Was the entire team playing at full strength? What was Tampa's opponent strength of schedule that year? What was their point of attack - run, pass, balanced? How many times were they aggressive and going for it on 4th down?

It's easy to say one or the other was the blame in the overall failing of the group, but until there's more information, you can neither approve or disqualify either side in that debate.


The point isn't that I think Schula was a great hire, or that he will be a great coordinator. My point is, if we are going to have a serious conversation about his time in Tampa and how that disqualifies or qualifies him to be a OC 12 years later, it is important that we have all the facts straight.


Exactly - we still don't have enough information to make an unbiased judgment. We may never have enough, depending on what our resident researchers can uncover. Maybe Mr. Scot, who is terrific at finding obscure things, may be able to latch onto something. Or someone else as equally qualified at digging in the dirt. Who knows?

I do know I'm not ready to condemn Shula, but neither am I ready to obliviously condone the front office's decision to hire on Shula. I'm in a "holding pattern" at the moment. This could either be what ultimately saves Ron's job for the long haul, or forces a quick exit on him sometime next year.

Until such time though, I'll just sit back, relax, and wait for what cards may fall. Anything else is frivolous and anxiety-riddled tripe. Why bother putting forth so much energy? I just don't get it.

#24 CRA

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 02:14 PM

So Shula stunk up the joint in Tampa Bay, but there are tons of excuses available to explain why he won't be a bad OC now.

Great fit for this coaching staff, IMHO.

Players matter.....it is why coaches who don't have lots of success can get jobs. Why guys like Caldwell cam win a ring and struggle to find employment after

#25 Cyberjag

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 02:16 PM

Players matter.....it is why coaches who don't have lots of success can get jobs. Why guys like Caldwell cam win a ring and struggle to find employment after

So when coaches are replaced, and the new ones come in and do much better than previous staffs with essentially the same set of players, it's all luck?

Coaching matters a lot. The only time it doesn't is when people are forced to defend mediocre ones, apparently.

#26 CRA

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 02:32 PM

So when coaches are replaced, and the new ones come in and do much better than previous staffs with essentially the same set of players, it's all luck?

Coaching matters a lot. The only time it doesn't is when people are forced to defend mediocre ones, apparently.


Give an example of such then...

Why does Caldwell have a ring and not Dungy in Indy? If Caldwell is a Superbowl caliber coach and that is so important....why doesn't he have a job

#27 fieryprophet

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 02:54 PM

Give an example of such then...

Why does Caldwell have a ring and not Dungy in Indy? If Caldwell is a Superbowl caliber coach and that is so important....why doesn't he have a job


Dungy has the ring, not Caldwell. . .

#28 Cyberjag

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 03:00 PM

Give an example of such then...

Why does Caldwell have a ring and not Dungy in Indy? If Caldwell is a Superbowl caliber coach and that is so important....why doesn't he have a job

Going 2-14 doesn't do wonders for the job search, does it?

Just think about the position you're taking here for a minute. Do you seriously mean to say that coaches are plug-and-play? Are you sure that given the same team, any given coach would have the same result as any other?

I don't think you mean that, but maybe in your haste to defend the Shula pick you didn't take as much care with what you wrote as you otherwise may have. Frankly, Shula has a bad history. If there were indeed a ton of valid excuses to explain it away, it's likely he would have gotten an OC offer before this. Right now, the ONLY qualification he has for the job that speaks in his favor is a close relationship to our quarterback.

The trouble is, despite that qualification he comes with a lot of red flags. And that's getting old.

#29 CRA

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 03:02 PM

Dungy has the ring, not Caldwell. . .

You are right, Caldwell lead his team to the Superbowl as a first year HC. I knew there was some bogus bragging right Caldwell had thanks to the Indy roster. Just got it confused.

#30 rodeo

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 03:14 PM

If the OP is correct and he wasn't really bad in Tampa, why did it take 13 years for an NFL team to give him another shot?


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