“It’s like being in Cuba.”
“He has small (man’s) syndrome.”
“He gathered us before we practiced and told us that if Belichick said something to us on the field, we should listen,”
These are just some of the quotes obtained by NFL.com’s Mike Silver from current and former Buccaneers (including Michael Bennett, whose name appears in the story next to his quotes, for all of you “Why don’t you put your name on your quotes?” folks) about head coach Greg Schiano.
Silver implies throughout the article that Schiano has lost the Tampa Bay locker room, and while he brings up the Josh Freeman situation (which we won’t delve into) as one of the reasons, he also mention’s Schiano’s autocratic style grinding on both players and coaches.
Consider this story:
- “According to a current Bucs player — in an account corroborated by another witness — Schiano became enraged during a practice late in the 2012 season when special teams coach Bob Ligashesky walked onto the wrong area of the practice field during a drill.”
Ligashesky would be fired after the season and replaced with Dave Wannstedt. As Silver points out in his article, it hardly seems like a coincidence.
Schiano believes that he can expect perfection from everyone beneath him, and run them out of town if they let him down too often. That would seem to be the same thing that Bill Belichick does in New England, but there’s a clear difference between Belichick and Schiano. I’ll like Michael Bennett explain:
- “He’s trying to be Belichick. Yeah, some people think Belichick’s an (expletive), but he’s a legend. When this guy (Schiano) acts that way, it’s a whole different deal.“
Belichick (and to a lesser extent, Tom Coughlin) can act the way he does because he has years of winning NFL experience. But Greg Schiano’s 7-15 career record as an NFL head coach doesn’t support his authoritarian style.
There are players who publicly support the head coach, including team captain Gerald McCoy. McCoy has spoken to the media multiple times defending the locker room and the state of the franchise.
But there have been so many more reports of current and former players reaching out to national media sources to let the world know about the way this team is being run.
And as Silver points out, setting aside the Josh Freeman situation, and really even setting aside his abrasive style altogether, Schiano has lost far too many games (11 of his last 12) to continue to be a head coach in a “win now” league with a roster loaded with talent.
Hopefully the team will do as Silver suggests and fire Schiano after what will likely be a loss on Thursday Night Football this evening.