When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were 0-8, it seemed like Greg Schiano’s fate was already sealed. Considering that his team had only won one of its previous 14 games, and was the subject of multiple scandals and negative stories in the national media, there was seemingly no hope that the former Rutgers head coach would lead the Bucs for another season.
Fast forward just a month later, and a quartet of wins over similar struggling teams (the bullied Dolphins, awful Falcons, imploding Lions and young and learning Bills) have Schiano seemingly safe, with the national media convinced that the head coach will return with his newfound quarterback, Mike Glennon.
But where does Schiano truly stand? Peter King of MMQB has chimed in on Twitter and elsewhere saying that he thinks Schiano will be safe, but no other media members seem to have a grasp on what the Glazer family plans to do.
On Friday, former Buc Booger McFarland (who is a radio host in the area) tweeted a bit of information he gathered from Pewter Report’s Scott Reynolds during his afternoon show, and it may reveal the problem with the Buccaneers’ franchise.
Let’s address the three biggest problems with the idea of only firing Schiano if the Buccaneers are blown out:
- Why is any loss something worth being rewarded for? That only breeds a culture of acceptable losing.
- Why have two whole years boiled down to one game’s final result? 5-11 with this roster is still not acceptable.
- What dictates a blowout? How much does he have to lose by? What is the topping point?
But it’s really the first bullet point that causes the most concern.
Are these the same Glazers who fired Tony Dungy and Jon Gruden? Are these the same Glazers who fired Raheem Morris?
Have they caved in to an authoritarian coach and believe in his baseless press conference quotes so much to believe that being competitive against the New Orleans Saints to end a double-digit loss season is enough to say “I can win a Super Bowl with this team?”
The Buccaneers came within minutes of defeating the Saints earlier this season, shutting down the New Orleans offense and surrendering a late game-winning drive to lose in heartbreaking fashion. What makes a non-blowout loss to them later in the season a job-saving accomplishment?
The Glazer Family must fire Greg Schiano if they believe he hasn’t done a good job over his first two seasons.
Schiano has received improved talent during his time in Tampa Bay, and has turned it into a less impressive record during his second season in charge.
The thought of losing 30-17 to the Saints being good enough to save his job goes against the standards the Glazers set by firing Tony Dungy and Jon Gruden.
The objective of a head coach in the NFL is to win games, and eventually bring a Super Bowl trophy to the fans of the team. Greg Schiano has shown no signs of doing that in Tampa Bay. Keeping a game close against the Saints won’t change that.
He should be fired, or he should be kept. But not based on the point differential in a final game of the season. His future must be evaluated based on the likelihood of bringing a Super Bowl to Tampa Bay. He has the talent to win plenty of games in the NFL, and he has failed to do so.
The results speak for themselves.
But if reports are true, the Glazers don’t care about results. They care about “competitiveness” and “not losing the locker room.” Which will lead the Buccaneers to years of participation ribbons and disappointments rather than competitive games in January and tense championship runs.
Firing Greg Schiano would send a strong statement: “Losing is unacceptable.”
Keeping Greg Schiano because he lost a “close game” to the Saints does the opposite: “Losing is okay, as long as it’s close, and against a good team. We have a rookie QB, ya know?”
And based on the previous decisions the Glazers have made, that would be an incredible disappointment, and would likely set the franchise back another year in its pursuit of a second NFL championship.