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Simeon Rice Becomes Latest Player to Pile on Jon Gruden

Jan 27, 2009 – 10:20 PM
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Adam Gretz

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Another day, another former Buccaneers player sounds off on Jon Gruden. Following the criticisms from MIchael Clayton and Jeff Garcia, not to mention the report that fans also played a role in the Buccaneers coaching change, former defensive end Simeon Rice sounded off on Sirius NFL radio (via Mike Florio at Pro Football Talk) and tossed Gruden under the proverbial bus. And then ran him over with it. Repeatedly.

Rice started off easy: "You get what you deserve," Rice said. "That's what Jon said. He got it now. Everybody gets what they deserve."

Honestly, that was probably the nicest thing he had to say regarding his former head coach.

After running down a lengthy list of injured players that Gruden was willing to toss aside (Chris Simms, Rice, Joey Galloway) Rice blasted him for creating this season's quarterback controversy with Garcia and Brian Griese.

Again, via PFT:
Brad Johnson, that situation was bad. Brings Jeff Garcia in here, oh, he's going to change things. I helped recruit him [and he] released me, kept Jeff and then put him in the dog house. Gets rid of Brian Greise, brings him, starts a controversy. It was chaotic. I'm giving you facts."
As if that wasn't enough, Rice turned up the heat a few degrees and took the rant in a personal direction, calling Gruden "a scumbag."
"How I feel personally? I could tell you that, too. I think he's a scumbag," Rice said. "I think he's a scumbag personally. That's when he's telling you one thing and... You know what he told me? 'Simeon you'll be here in the next five years.' I got injured [and] this man's never said one word to me. I won a Super Bowl for you. I got 13 sacks, 12, 15 every year for you. I balled. I got injured [and] you let me go like it was nothing."
Of course, this just continues the belief that several Buccaneers players felt Gruden was, for lack of a better word, a liar.

Rice spent six seasons in Tampa Bay (five of them under Gruden) and recorded 69.5 sacks, 25 forced fumbles and four interceptions for the Buccaneers. He was released by the team following the 2006 season after playing in eight games due to a shoulder injury. He spent the 2007 season with Denver and Indianapolis, and did not play this season.

For Gruden, the question now becomes, will anyone be willing to hire him for another head coaching position in the near future? He's a "big name," wears a Super Bowl ring, and at one time was a highly-regarded head coach around the league.

However, as already noted numerous times throughout this soap opera, the Buccaneers fell into run of mediocrity under Gruden's watch -- combined with a couple of late-season collapses -- while some players seemingly had no faith in him while not believing a word he said.

As teams look for the next Mike Tomlin, Ken Whisenhunt and John Harbaugh in their coaching searches, as opposed to the established "big names," I'd say that it's probably not looking good for Gruden's future as an NFL head coach.
Filed under: Sports