Dungy Molding Tougher Bucs

By Oehser, John | The Florida Times Union, August 25, 1996 | Go to article overview

Dungy Molding Tougher Bucs


Oehser, John, The Florida Times Union


Nothing, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers well know, provides more cause

for giddy, happy NFL preseasons than a coaching change.

Out went John McKay; in went Leeman Bennett. As with those that

followed, in came high hopes, all unfulfilled. Out went Bennett;

in went Ray Perkins. Out went Perkins; in went Richard Williamson.

Out went Williamson; in went Sam Wyche, and after a 23-41

record in four seasons, Wyche left last December.

In comes Tony Dungy.

"There are some things we miss about it [Wyche]," Buccaneers

quarterback Trent Dilfer said during training camp,

sarcastically adding, "like those four-hour naps in the

afternoon."

Which says all you need to know about the latest change --

whether or not the results are better, the attitude is. And,

players say, there is cause for optimism because of things such

as discipline and work ethic, factors missing last year and

present under Dungy.

Dungy, a longtime NFL defensive coordinator, is Wyche's

opposite, players said during a recent practice in Jacksonville.

Dungy is low-key in demeanor and demanding; Wyche mugged for

cameras with on-field results typical of the Buccaneers' dismal

history.

"Tony is a great head coach," running back Jerry Ellison said.

"When you have a coach who's under control, the team is going to

be under control."

Wyche bashing aside, when he left, he left a team with better

playoff hopes than any team in Tampa since 1982, the last season

the team had either a winning record or a playoff appearance.

The Buccaneers, if they can convince running back Errict Rhett

to sign, have a productive, young running back behind a line

that is improving, too. …

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