The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Should Fire Head Coach Greg Schiano After the 2013 Season

Sep 29, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano reacts during the first half against the Arizona Cardinals at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Many fans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were convinced that better talent on defense would be the keys to a 7-9 team turning into a playoff contender in 2013.

So when the Buccaneers acquired Darrelle Revis and Dashon Goldson, it seemed almost certain at that point that half of the problem was solved. The Buccaneers had the defense they needed.

After all, Josh Freeman managed to set franchise records despite a shaky start and end to his season, and Doug Martin emerged as a star running back in his Pro Bowl rookie campaign. Freeman needed to improve, but being in his second season with a new offensive coordinator would help him progress.

But as the chaotic indecision of the offseason stirred the pot about the Buccaneers’ quarterback situation, it became clear that developing Josh Freeman wasn’t a priority for the Bucs’ coaching staff. And that’s fine, the team had enough talent to win with a less dynamic player at quarterback.

That player isn’t Mike Glennon. Mike Glennon was the apple of Greg Schiano’s eye. And that’s just one of the many reasons why Schiano’s time in Tampa Bay should be done by the end of the season.

The Mike Glennon Mistake

Sep 29, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon (8) sets to throw during the first half of the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

When Mike Glennon was moved into the starting quarterback position, General Manager Mark Dominik said it was because the team could win with a game manager like Glennon under center.

Head Coach Greg Schiano said that the decision to move to Glennon was “performance-based,” and that Glennon gave the team a better chance to win football games. He even referred to last year’s dynamic rookie quarterbacks in the NFC as proof that an inexperienced player could step in and help a team win games.

The problem is that Mike Glennon doesn’t have the pedigree of Andrew Luck, the athleticism of Robert Griffin III, nor does he have the savvy and efficiency of Russell Wilson. He’s an statue-like pocket passer who doesn’t handle pressure well and has streaky accuracy and decision making.

So rather than bringing in a backup to compete with Josh Freeman and truly give the Buccaneers a better chance to win, or working to adapt to and develop Josh Freeman, Greg Schiano went with the player he recruited but didn’t get coming out of high school, and who he could finally mold into the quarterback he’s always wanted.

Glennon is not ready and was not going to be ready to compete this season as the Buccaneers’ quarterback. His first game against a defense missing multiple starters shows just that. His slow drop back meant that the Cards could rush him any time they liked, and his inability to throw deep down the field meant they just had to tackle well on passes dumped off short to safety valve receivers.

I have no problem starting Glennon during the 2013 season to “see what you’ve got” and evaluate him in real NFL games rather than on the practice field. But doing so under the pretense of “giving the team a better chance to win,” is absurd.

The Raheem Morris Mess

Greg Schiano got the dreaded “vote of confidence” for all the wrong reasons this weekend, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network and NFL.com

“Clean up the mess from Raheem Morris?” Are you kidding me?

This goes hand in hand with the “can’t load a roster in two years” nonsense that Schiano spewed on local talk radio not so long ago. There is either a culture in Tampa Bay of supporting Greg Schiano’s crusade to build a college program in the NFC South, or it’s nonsense leaked to the national media to attempt to salvage Schiano’s image and keep fans on board with the franchise.

Sep 19, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) passes the ball during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Chiefs defeated the Eagles 26-16. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

There is no time for excuses in the NFL. Just look at the Kansas City Chiefs.

Romeo Crennel took over during the 2011 season, and stayed through the end of 2012. His time in Kansas City was completely underwhelming, as he misused talents like Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe en route to a disastrous record and his ultimate removal from his post as head coach.

The Chiefs would then bring in Andy Reid to be head coach, and with a sub par quarterback in Alex Smith under center, Kansas City’s ridiculous amount of talent has finally come together and they’re off to a fantastic start to the season.

So unlike the other examples of Indianapolis and Seattle, who needed a young, promising quarterback to turn things around, Kansas City showed that the right coach who uses his talented roster properly can make all the difference.

If Greg Schiano and those around him in the Tampa Bay organization truly believe that the roster he has at his disposal is simply a “mess” left over from Raheem Morris, they’re kidding themselves to serve their own purposes. No team with multiple All Pros on defense and Pro Bowlers covering the offense should be considered less than “loaded” regardless of who is under center.

The Distrust, Disbelief, and Lack of Accountability

Sep 22, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano against the New England Patriots during the second quarter of a game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

One of Greg Schiano’s tenants as a head coach, part of his “proven process,” is the concept of trust, belief, and accountability. But in recent days, there’s been nothing but distrust, and a lack of accountability in Tampa Bay.

Take for instance his comments about Josh Freeman and his benching. Despite reports that Mike Glennon was warming up on the sideline during the New England game, Greg Schiano told the media that he never gave a thought to benching Josh Freeman.

He then confirmed that Josh Freeman was his starter in his “day after the game” press conference following the New England contest. That was just two days before Freeman was benched, and Mike Glennon was named the starter.

That wasn’t the last moment of controversy surrounding Schiano and his prodigal quarterback, as Sunday’s game saw Freeman sent to the suites at Raymond James Stadium to watch his team lose, instead of joining them on the sidelines. Schiano said this was a mutual decision, Freeman’s agent claimed otherwise.

Schiano continues to tell the media that he and his staff have to do a better job of coaching, and that’s his way of fulfilling the “accountability” portion of his “proven process.” But a team that has lost 9 of 10 games clearly isn’t doing a better job of coaching or preparing. If anything, you could say the opposite is true.

Just consider Sunday’s game against the Cardinals. Mike Glennon started the game looking comfortable and completing easy passes, even without a running game to support him. Many of his best throws were short throws over the middle, which is his biggest strength as a quarterback.

But in the second half, still maintaining a 10-0 lead, the passes and routes started to get deeper. Rather than allowing the tall, quick-scanning quarterback to dump the ball off on quick routes, he was attempting to throw back shoulder throws to Vincent Jackson, or simply lobbing the ball out of bounds on attempted deep passes.

Mike Williams was not being stopped by his defender, Jerraud Powers. Why did the Buccaneers not continue to exploit this matchup?

And why did receiver Eric Page not see the field as a receiver despite showing moments of brilliance against the Patriots? Why not spread the Cardinals out and dictate the matchups, instead allowing them to stack the box and rush the passer all day?

The Buccaneers never attempted to exploit the aggression of the Kansas City defense. Instead, they stubbornly plowed on with Doug Martin running into hopeless situations, and Mike Glennon being asked to stand in the pocket longer and throw deeper down the field as the game progressed.

Sep 22, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman (5) reacts during the fourth quarter of a game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Buccaneers 23-3. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

So the same problems that have been seen and pointed out (including by national media members like Doug Farrar of Sports Illustrated) for weeks, dating back to last season, continue to happen. So if Schiano and his coaching staff “have to get better,” where are the signs of progress?

Schiano installed his system and it greatly improved the defense and the ball protection for the Buccaneers. He holds his players to a high standard when it comes to tackling, forcing turnovers, and not fumbling the football.

But other than installing those principles. he’s added very little to a team whose offense was quickly figured out by NFL coordinators, and has only scored more than two touchdowns in two of their last 12 games.

And before you blame Mike Sullivan, remember that he was a part of a top-10 offense in New York for the four years he was present, an offense that is now near the bottom of the league with extremely similar personnel. Sullivan was a head coach candidate for the Chicago Bears in the offseason, and has respect around the league.

But he, like every other player and coach, is accountable to Greg Schiano, who oversees the entire operation more than any coach in the NFL. And it’s Schiano who is looking over a team that has lost 9 of 10 with an offense that has talent many prospective NFL coaches would love to be able to use.

The time for excuses and cliches is past. Schiano has said enough without delivering to show that his words ring hollow in the halls of One Buc Place. Professional, elite athletes will not continue to trust and believe in a system that has led them to the bottom of the NFL, while sources around the national media continue to find new stories about Josh Freeman’s alarm clock and Darrelle Revis’ displeasure with Greg Schiano’s schemes.

If Greg Schiano wanted to install a system of trust and belief, he needed to do so by proving that he was trustworthy. But saying one thing and doing another is the opposite of trustworthy. And that’s what he did with the Josh Freeman situation, it’s what he did when he made excuses about his roster, and it’s what he’s doing by continuing to take responsibility for losing without changing anything about his team.

And for that reason, he should not be the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers past the 2013 season.

Topics: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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  • D-Rome

    If the Buccaneers lose to the Eagles in my opinion Greg Schiano should be relieved of his duties as soon as the game is over.

    • Kristian Colasacco

      I don’t think he should be given until the Eagles game. It’s the bye week, time to say “bye”.

  • tian Ly

    You forgot to mention the fact that if Schiano does not like you…you are gone. Talib,Blount,Winslow. All 3 guys have bitten him in the revenge butt.

    • paFootball

      That seems to be something that is being ignored by ESPN and the general media. Talib was an excellent corner and the Pats got a steal for him – he shut down the best WR the other night for the Falcons. Blount is a closer, I guess the “punch” didn’t make him a Schiano guy nor Winslow. Maybe Josh is too casual. I don’t understand how a team can release talent because the HC wants “his guys” and the GM goes along with it…

      • Tony Andrade

        …reminds me of the first thing Chucky did after our Super Bowl: Cut Sapp and Lynch. Doh!

  • Will Gibbs

    FIRE him now and save this season!!!!!!! Who wants to see another 12 weeks of misery? The weapons to win are on the team

  • Kristian Colasacco

    Let’s see how much management is behind Schiano when nobody is at the games. The place was empty this weekend. The fans are sick of this clown.

    • Tony Andrade

      Funny you should say that… We were planning a trip to Florida in December to see the Bucs but that just doesn’t seem like fun anymore.

      • Kristian Colasacco

        I was at the game last weekend and people were miserable. The most common word I overheard was “disgusted”.

  • Kristian Colasacco

    Also, this guy’s “proven process” led to a .500 winning percentage in a weak college conference which was greatly boosted by having Ray Rice on the roster for a few years. He hasn’t proven shit. He sucks!

    • Shark64

      You are so right. His success was mainly attributable to Ray Rice. The ironic part of that was that Schiano was only able to recruit Rice because none of the bigger schools wanted the diminutive back.

  • Karen Melanson Hartman

    Agree with all , His post press was a reach & just blather right now. Blame is where it’s due on the Head coach . The way the Josh sit was handled indeed makes Schiano look like his word cannot be trusted when saying one thing to the team , then behind closed doors deciding on another. Between what Dungy said & Revis ,( who being unhappy with the schematics ,) makes a BUCS fan wonder if Schiano’s way will lead himself down the highway – also why wait until Josh’s trade value is at it’s lowest . I believe it shows Schiano is impulsive & shouldn’t do any more damage

  • Tony Brown

    Agreed. This guy clearly isn’t nearly as concerned about team success as he is about having a team built his way. The Freeman fiasco is just another example of that. Right from the start of the season, he’s been on a quest to sabotage him.
    Thanks to this moron, a great CB in Talib, the best QB in Franchise history in Freeman are gone. Thanks to him, we missed out on a potential steal in Damontre Moore because he wanted to have the QB that he had a man-crush on since high school.
    Let’s not forget the horrid playcalling. Sometimes, when your running game is getting shut down, maybe consider throwing a pass? Hard to keep defenses on their toes when they know what you’re doing.

    • Michael Hunt

      …or if you’re going to pass how about not being completely predictable about it. Hey it’s 3rd and 2, lets be in a shotgun so everyone knows we’re not going to run the ball so they can jam our WRs at the line and since we don’t have a TE or any other secondary receivers everyone in the world knows the pass will be a flare to the RB so they have 2 LBs and 2 DBs waiting for him.

  • Shark64

    Schiano must feel comfortable with his job security to make the decision to start Glennon. Clearly he can’t believe Glennon gives the team a better chance of winning (if he does, he is not very bright). So that begs the question, is Schiano more interested in exerting his control over Freeman than winning games. The guy is a narcissist and needs to go now before he leaves a “mess” that will have Buc fans wishing Raheem was back. And finally, to all the Freeman haters, Josh may have not won any of his games this year but he did not lose any either. That can’t be said about Glennon because he lost Sunday’s game (a game the defense won). I don’t blame Glennon because he isn’t ready for this. Schiano knows this or should know it.

  • Ken Boehlke

    If they fired Schiano today, anyone think whoever “replaced” him would put Freeman back in charge?

    • paFootball

      Its the offensive system that is in place. Freeman has the talent, you need to put the system in place that will use it. Schiano has no idea what to do – he is a “blood and guts” guy and he has a QB more geared to a passing, west coast offense.

    • Tony Andrade

      Freeman did not suck when he came into this league! The fact that he sucks now is a direct reflection of his coach. Just get a good look at his stats before Schiano got here…

    • Tony Andrade

      Monte Kiffin… are you absolutely SURE you don’t want to be a head coach? Well, at least you know your limitations. Thanks for that.

    • Michael Hunt

      Yes, Tony Dungy and Jon Gruden would have loved to have Freeman running the offense. You’re pretty much a retard if you think Freeman is the issue. You’re probably the same shitdick that looks at the stat sheet and says Freeman lost the Jets and Saints game. Hey dummy, spend less time jacking it and more time paying attention if you want to comment on this stuff.

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  • James P. Taylor

    Maybe they should fire Schiano now and make Sullivan the interim coach. When there’s smoke there tends to be fire and it seems like an awful lot of smoke coming from Schiano: the captain vote, the insincere votes of confidence, the drug program leak, players not liking him, the 49ers tackle that just absolutely hates him. You have to stabilize this situation ASAP. Wish they would have fired Schiano when he went to management to bench Freeman. Can’t see this team winning more than 2-3 games with Glennon starting.