Wouldn’t the Bucs have been better off honestly explaining the signing of Russell? Instead, there was the smarmy “second chance” rationale of Head Coach Jon Gruden and the dismissive, hierarchical illogic of General Manager Bruce (“Bill Clinton did a lot worse things than Darrell Russell“) Allen.
Here is what the Bucs might have said, and perhaps fans might have been more accepting of the move. Well, maybe.
“The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have announced the signing of former Pro Bowl defensive tackle Darrell Russell. The 6-foot-5, 325-pound Russell, 27, signed a one-year contract worth $535,000. He is expected to compete for the nose tackle position, with Booger McFarland moving over to replace Warren Sapp at the under tackle spot.
‘It is what it is,’ explained Bucs’ General Manager Bruce Allen. ‘This is not the National Benevolent League. This is pro football. It’s a tough, often harsh, bottom-line business masquerading as a game with roots in the Pop Warner League.
‘It’s all about winning. All things being equal, we prefer, of course, to win with nice guys. But things are never equal. We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to bring in someone of dubious character who used to be very good and still is relatively young. We’d rather win with thugs or predators than lose with nice guys. We think hardcore football fans will understand that reality and applaud any effort to produce a winner. No one wants the Yucks back.
‘And one more thing. I’m not here to be a societal counterweight to Coach Gruden. I’m here to do his bidding. He wanted Russell, because he’ll do anything within the letter of the law to win. I fully support that philosophy. If you can help this team in some way and are not currently incarcerated, we are interested.'”