It’s time for another question from the Pewter Plank mailbag, and this time I took to Fancred to ask the loyal fans on the app about the Buccaneers, and got some great questions. This one comes from Landon Howell.
(Curious about Fancred? Check out their website, or find their app on the App Store!)
How many more years does Greg Schiano get to turn around the franchise? Raheem Morris got 3 seasons.
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Greg Schiano’s hiring was met with plenty of opinions, both positive and negative. A college coach from a smaller program doesn’t seem like the best choice for building up an NFL dynasty, but the discipline and accountability that Schiano promised were needed following the borderline anarchy of the Raheem Morris era.
Schiano was quoted after being hired as saying he wasn’t sure how long it would take to get his system and culture in place, but he did say that when his team is at its best, they’re going to be winning a Super Bowl. So there has to be a happy medium in terms of having time to set up his culture, while still expecting results.
One could argue that the franchise was already turned around in 2012, and it was thanks to a shift in attitude and culture from higher than the head coach position. The ownership and front office had the motivation and money to sign big name free agents and begin a new marketing campaign to reach out to a community that had felt alienated after years of mediocre football and a failure to bring in new, exciting talent. Schiano fit in with the new message that the Buccaneers were more than just a team, and that being a fan is being a part of the team, and that the team is accountable to the fans as well as to the management and coaches.
So the increase in wins, the flashes of promise, the high-profile talent additions, and the obvious change in culture help give Schiano time heading forward. But the negative publicity and continuing mistakes and miscommunications are black marks on what was a slightly inspiring 2012. And while the NFL is a wins and losses league, there is also a financial aspect that factors into most decisions made by front offices, and that leads to the biggest concern for Schiano’s long-term future in Tampa Bay.
Mark Dominik is nearing the end of his rope in Tampa Bay as the General Manager, as he has had as many hits as he has misses during his stint as GM. He has been handed an open checkbook over the past two seasons, and with Josh Freeman nearing the end of his contract, Dominik might be judged alongside his starting quarterback following this season. A change in GM would almost certainly call for a change in coach, so Schiano may see his reign ended prematurely should Dominik lose his job after the end of another failed season in Tampa Bay.
I personally would like to see Dominik and Schiano survive this season together and either start over with a new signal caller, or carry on with Josh Freeman at QB. But I suspect if Freeman deserves an extension, we won’t be worried about the future of the GM or Coach heading into 2014.
What do you think, Bucs’ fans? Tell us how long you think Schiano has left in the comments below.