December 9, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers former head coach Jon Gruden talks during a presentation celebrating the 10th anniversary of the 2002 Super Bowl Champions during halftime against the Philadelphia Eagles at Raymond James Stadium. The Eagles won 23-21. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Should Not Keep Greg Schiano for "Continuity" Reasons

One of the popular reasons why fans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers want to see Greg Schiano stay is because they believe the team will suffer by making yet another coaching change and losing “continuity.”

That’s bogus, and here’s why.

The Last Time the Buccaneers Won a Playoff Game, They Had a First-Year Head Coach

Tony Dungy is one of the most beloved coaches in Tampa Bay Buccaneers history. In fact, to most fans, he’s probably the most likable and most fondly remembered. But he seemed to be unable to get the team to the top of the NFL, tripping and falling in the postseason one too many times.

Enter Jon Gruden, who got to keep some of Dungy’s staff, but managed to install his own offense (with its ridiculous vocabulary) and spark a run to a Super Bowl title.

The Buccaneers are in a very similar situation now, where a head coach with the ability to run even an average NFL offense could help propel this team to a Super Bowl. The defense for the Buccaneers is incredibly good, and really isn’t even being coached all that well at the moment. Add in a decent offense that can score more than a field goal in the second half of games, and the Buccaneers are legitimate contenders.

Other First-Year NFL Coaches Have Proven That Things Can Change Quickly

Andy Reid, Bruce Arians, Chip Kelly, Marc Trestman, and even Mike McCoy have shown this season that it’s possible to greatly improve a team in your first season in charge, and put them right in the thick of the playoff hunt. For Reid and Arians specifically, they’ve been tasked with getting enough offense out of teams with previously good defenses. Both have done exactly that.

Thinking back to previous years, Chuck Pagano, Jim Harbaugh and Pete Carroll all made the playoffs during their first seasons in charge, with Gruden being a perfect example of a team winning a Super Bowl with a new coach on the sidelines.

And in the case of Pagano, he was able to lead the Colts to the playoffs (with the help of Bruce Arians) despite turning over nearly half of the roster! There was absolutely no continuity in Indianapolis for Pagano, yet now his team sits comfortably atop the division.

Keeping Greg Schiano for continuity reasons is better stated as being afraid of not hiring the right coach to replace him. Because the right coach can step in from day one and turn a team around. It’s happened countless times in recent season.

And if the current leadership of the Buccaneers can’t hire the right coach, the franchise has bigger problems than just Schiano. Which may be the unfortunate, troubling truth.

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  • Jayson Kaplan

    How much say does Dominik have in this? I love the guy as a drafter but if he has any control over this situation, he needs to act like he’s playing for his job too and sever the connection with Schiano before his fate and Schiano’s become inextricable. I wasn’t thrilled with the way Dominik allowed Schiano to handle the Freeman situation but I still like him as GM going forward.

    • LeoTPP

      I can almost completely guarantee that Dominik has no power over Schiano whatsoever in terms of Schiano keeping his job. Dominik is handcuffed by his owners’ in terms of what he can do with the coach.

      • Tom Weissmann

        I hate that Dominik is linked with Schiano. Most people commenting about Schiano automatically assume Dominik hired/picked him. Completely false considering the owners had their minds set on dictator toe if coach and THEY went after Schiano, not Dominik. I really hope Dominik stays on with how he’s built this team the couple years. He built a very strong foundation but he doesn’t have the right people guiding them.

  • Richard Watts

    Mark Dominik should be fired…Look at his drafts before Schiano and the Eric Wright,Carl Nicks free agent busts.

    • LeoTPP

      Nicks hasn’t been a bust. Two “injuries” (one which may have been caused by the team itself) doesn’t make someone a bust, it’s just bad luck.

      And he’s put together a very solid roster with tons of cap flexibility. His recent drafts have been better than his early drafts, which shows improvement.

      And it was the addition of a new Director of College Scouting that coincided with Schiano’s arrival that has seen an improvement in the draft. If it were up to Schiano, he’d just draft guys he recruited at Rutgers. Dominik has put together this roster, and it’s been criminally underused by the coaches.

    • Jayson Kaplan

      Pretty sure “guy contracts MRSA and misses entire season” wasn’t really on Dominik’s radar for Nicks or anyone else. If Wright is the only actual free agent “bust” you can name, how many good ones before this is a pointless exercise?
      Stop at Jackson? Goldson?
      Revis wasn’t a free agent, but don’t tell me Schiano engineered that deal or the cap space to make it work. You think with either of the picks we sent the Jets we’d draft anyone even close to Darrelle Revis?
      Are we there yet? Do any of those guys make up for Eric Wright failing?

      • LeoTPP

        The one draft pick Schiano has stuck his neck out for the most is Glennon, and he’s been mixed returns at best so far.

  • Ben Brown

    I hope all fans write to bucs mgmt. requesting to fire Schiano and get a quality nfl head coach for next year

  • Centrale

    Seriously… we’ve had enough continuity of one losing season to the next. I want to see this team have the same number of double-digit winning seasons that we’ve had losing seasons. This coaching staff isn’t going to get us there.

  • Tom Weissmann

    Leo, I thought of this scenario and wonder what you think of it. So if Schiano doesn’t get fired and Sullivan takes the Army job, he should get rid of Sheridan. The guy is coasting this year on the Revis/Goldson acquires for the pass defense while the run defense isn’t as good last year with the same bodies. Who does he hire? I’ve been keeping an eye on Detroit to see what happens with Schwartz (possibly the new DC). He’s great with the line but has never had a decent secondary. You can fill in someone for OC since I haven’t looked into that very much. Another scenario is if Schiano does get fired along with his staff, again hire Schwartz as DC BUT go after Fangio of the Niners. Same style offense but he could get a QB (if he doesn’t like Glennon) in the draft (Manziel or Lynch) to run the read option or just run first offense. He’s just more competent of running an offense but he doesn’t have a consistent passing attack or up and coming running back stable and we could still add playmakers in the draft (possibly Manziel in the first, ASJ in the second). Is it feasible and if so, do you think it would be a pretty decent staff to get the Bucs back in the playoffs?

    • LeoTPP

      Fangio and Roman from SF are two big candidates for HC jobs, along with Wisenhunt, Bevell, and others. It’s too early for me to really know which direction I would want the team to go. But with the talent they have, the “right coach” can get them to the playoffs next year. I’m just not sure letting Schiano pick new coordinators is going to change a single thing.

      • Tom Weissmann

        Agreed. With his micro managing style and several other factors, I don’t think Tampa will ever have a chance at a Super Bowl, let alone the playoffs with Schiano at the helm. The reason I mentioned Schwartz is because he runs a 4-3 and there would be no need to draft/sign/change personnel. However, the offense looks very inept and would need changes here and there but that would be to the new coach’s discretion. I would very much like Fangio as coach seeing as he’s been a part of an actual winner and not 68-67 at a mediocre program. He knows the ins and outs of getting players to win and play well for him. If Dominik makes it, I hope he’s allowed to make a run at him.