I will be the first to admit that I have been very negative about the Buccaneers this season. Especially head coach Greg Schiano, and quarterback Mike Glennon. To be clear, I am still not happy with the team this season. How much better is 2-8 than 1-9 or 0-10?
In reality, it isn’t that much of a difference at all.
That said, after today’s near domination of the Atlanta Falcons (who are really bad) the “Fire Schiano” sentiments will likely calm down. But is it in the best interest of the team to give Schiano another year? If I weren’t someone who covers the NFL Draft, I would say absolutely not. But if you look at the way this team is set up for the future, it actually makes a lot of sense.
As we all can see, Schiano and Glennon are pretty much married to each other. While I am still holding off on calling Glennon “the answer” the way former Buccaneer Tyoka Jackson did today on Twitter, I can admit he isn’t that bad. Let’s face it, there are far worse guys playing the position right now, and Glennon is still only seven starts into his NFL career.
More importantly, I am not enamored with many of the quarterbacks eligible for the 2014 draft. If Schiano were to be fired at year’s end, it is probable, that a new head coach would want his guy, the same way Schiano wanted Glennon over Josh Freeman. With a probable top-five selection, it’s hard to imagine a new head man not taking a very close look at the likes of Teddy Bridgewater, Marcus Mariota, Johnny Manziel, and others. However, if Schiano remains in place, we can all but guarantee things would be different.
Among the benefits of retaining the coaching staff, would be the opportunity to coach a team during this off-season’s Senior Bowl. A few of the most intriguing seniors who could be on the Bucs radar will likely be in attendance.
Gaining that familiarity with a player early on can be a huge benefit to a team in dire need of a good draft. Without the desire to draft a quarterback early on, the Buccaneers could look at other positions of need. Defensive end, linebacker, offensive tackle, and tight end are all deep with players who could interest Tampa Bay early on.
That said, a team like St. Louis or Cleveland with multiple first round picks may want to move up to get their guy early in the top-five, a place the Buccaneers will likely end up.
Wouldn’t the addition of two guys, say a defensive end and a tight end like Trent Murphy and a tight end like Eric Ebron, benefit the team more than standing pat and developing yet another rookie at quarterback? Moreover, would you mind seeing Jadeveon Clowney, Anthony Barr, or Jake Matthews in pewter and red if Tampa Bay couldn’t find a trade partner? And let’s not forget, there would still be a very early second round pick to be used.
For all the things I don’t like out of Schiano, you have to admit, he sticks to his guns, and it was the running game that has made the team more competitive. Should all that talent fans were so excited about before the season come back healthy, maybe this team can succeed with Schiano.
I still don’t think that happens, but it may be worth a shot. Worst case scenario, the team sticks with what they have, Glennon gets another full season to hopefully improve and be evaluated. If after another year the team decides he isn’t the guy, he and his coach will both be gone. And in 2015, it’s possible that Mariota, Brett Hundley, and Jameis Winston could all be available.
Things could be much worse.