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 Brian Favat.
(Curious about Fancred? Check out their website, or find their app on the App Store!)
As someone who followed his career closely in college, what does the fan base think of Schiano?
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When the Bucs hired Coach Schiano from Rutgers a year and a half ago, there was a collective groan from the Bucs’ fanbase. After the disastrous Raheem Morris tenure, fans were openly wondering whether the regime had not given up too soon on Jon Gruden. Season ticket sales declined with the announcement of Schiano, which did very little to energize what can best be described as a very demanding fanbase.
Bucs fans are discerning – they really follow competitive teams and root hard for them, but the feeling over the past few years has been that ownership has not been aggressive enough in recruiting talent to field the best team possible. Unfortunately for Schiano, he suffered from not being well known in the Bay area and for his lack of NFL experience. Ticket sales and fan enthusiasm remained low last offseason.
On the field, though Schiano’s disciplinarian approach began to win believers. His team avoided a lot of the mistakes that marked the last days of the Morris regime and played tough through nearly every game. Although there was a late season slide when the Bucs lost five in a row, they had a real chance to win three of those. This offseason, Schiano has been credited with helping to bring in Darrelle Revis, which has been an extremely popular move, and the aggressive pursuit of safety Dashon Goldson has also helped to energize the fanbase.
All in all, it is safe to say in the hearts and minds of the Bucs faithful, Schiano has a lot to prove, but there is a real willingness to embrace him if his team turns the corner and improves off its decent 7-9 showing and makes a strong run for the playoffs this year. All signs point to a successful 2013 campaign that will quiet the skeptics and fill the empty seats at Raymond James and endear Schiano to the fans.