When a head coach finishes his second season in charge with a 4-12 record, his job is usually on the line. And in the case of Greg Schiano and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it may be poor excuses and a disconnect from reality which save his job, thanks to an inept ownership group focusing on the wrong things.
Here is a tweet that sums up the mentality likely shared by those at One Buc Place.
— Chip Carter (@ChipCarterFox13) December 30, 2013
Let’s address the main reasons why this is a total joke.
Rebuilding Teams Don’t Spend Money Like the Buccaneers Have
Carl Nicks, Vincent Jackson, Eric Wright, Dashon Goldson, Darrelle Revis. These are franchise players at their positions that the Buccaneers spent big money on since Schiano was hired, and apart from Wright’s off-the-field antics and the unfortunate injuries to Nicks, they’ll be around for a few more years on big contracts in the primes of their careers.
So tell me again about how the team is rebuilding after a failed head coaching tenure by Raheem Morris?
Rebuilding teams don’t spend heavily over the offseason and tie up their books with high-priced veterans. They keep cap space open to ensure that there’s room to add key free agents when the team has returned to a competitive level.
But the truth is that the Buccaneers are not a rebuilding team. Much like the Kansas City Chiefs, who turned around their fate in a season with the right head coach, the Buccaneers have talent that has simply been misused all season. If there’s a “mess” from Raheem Morris from a talent standpoint, it has been more than cleaned up by now.
Teams Can Win With New Head Coaches in Tough Situations
Chuck Pagano and the Indianapolis Colts saw almost half of their roster change when he took over, trying to clean up the mess left in the post-Peyton Manning era. There was a roster lacking in talent on both sides of the ball that revolved around the greatest quarterback of all time lining up under center.
So what did Pagano do?
He beat cancer while leading his team to the playoffs twice in his first two years.
Andy Reid followed a joke of a head coach in Kansas City. He clinched a playoff berth and rested his starters during Week 17 of his first year in charge.
Chip Kelly installed totally new systems in Philadelphia and made the playoffs in his first season with the Eagles.
The Buccaneer are not a hopeless cause. They lost a ton of games under Raheem Morris in 2011, but then spent money and drafted well to help solve those problems.
Raheem Morris Left “Headcases” on the Roster
Aqib Talib and LeGarrette Blount are playing very well in New England.
Kellen Winslow had a decent season in New York.
Eric Wright saw playing time in San Francisco.
So apart from these functional NFL players that Greg Schiano is apparently not good enough to manage, what mess did Raheem Morris leave behind?
The bigger mess was the one caused by Greg Schiano when he questioned his starting quarterback all summer after a somewhat successful 2012 campaign. Or the handling of the MRSA situation, and the awful treatment given to Lawrence Tynes.
But if a guy is one of Schiano’s favorites, he gets different treatment. Like quarterback Mike Glennon, who has already been named as “our quarterback” by the head coach.
In Bucs team meeting, Greg Schiano said "we have our quarterback," according to Mike Williams and Tiquan Underwood.
— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) December 30, 2013
Those are bold comments about a quarterback who ranks 21st in passer rating and dead last in yards per attempt in the NFL.
Disconnected from Reality
If the Buccaneers were a rebuilding team, the past two offseasons should have been handled differently. Fans were excited by the big name additions to the offense and defense, and expected a winning franchise.
Bad teams in the middle of rebuilds don’t add All-Pro corners to 16 million dollar contracts. Especially not players like Darrelle Revis, who has a history of being tough to deal with when things aren’t going his way.
Nothing about the team’s actions over the past two seasons make sense. If Schiano needed more time to clean up the mess of the previous regime, the player personnel decisions should have reflected that. But from all indications, that was never the reality.
The Buccaneers could and should have been contenders in 2013. Instead, the Glazers and delusional fans and media types now have “The Raheem Morris Mess” as a convenient excuse to forgive an incompetent head coach for a failed 2013 season.
Simply seeing the players not give up on a coach shouldn’t be the benchmark for success. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers cannot tolerate losing anymore. It’s too engrained in the culture of the team to accept this poor play and excuse away incompetence.
Fire Greg Schiano.