Why Greg Schiano’s Recent Comments Speak to Underlying Issues for the Buccaneers’ Head Coach


Aug 29, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano during the first half against the Washington Redskins at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Greg Schiano needs to take a page from Bill Belichick’s playbook and stop talking so much. Because on Monday, Schiano made a comment during his radio show that reveals a lot about his mindset. Many thanks to our friends at JoeBucsFan for finding and relaying this incredibly misguided quote from Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano.

"“You can’t load the entire roster in a two-year period.”"

Consider what Schiano said just days earlier, when the team was 0-2 after two close losses and hadn’t been smoked by his idol and mentor Bill Belichick. (Thanks to Joe for this quote, as well!)

"We have good players, proven methods, good schemes, good coaches. So when you have all those good components and you’re doing things the right way, it’ll turn… now you’re kidding yourself if you don’t have the components, then you’re just wishing, but I know we have the components."

So which one is it, Greg? But it’s not even the change of heart and excuse-making nature of his more recent comments (the one where he said he couldn’t load the roster in two years), it’s the truths about this team that prove Schiano didn’t misspeak when he implied the Bucs’ roster wasn’t where it needed to be.

Oct 15, 2011; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights head coach Greg Schiano during the second half against the Navy Midshipmen at High Point Solutions Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

When Greg Schiano got his start at Rutgers, the program was downright awful. He had losing records for three straight seasons while he implemented his ideas and philosophies, including two years with a combined three wins. It took him two and a half years to beat a team other than Buffalo, Army, and Navy.

It took Schiano five full seasons to prepare his program for his signature sixth season, when he defeated his first ranked opponent en route to an 11-2 record.

So Schiano is now in that mindset. He’s building his program, and he’s installing his excessive coaching staff and diet programs and defensive schemes while waiting to bring in the recruits to fill all the spots on his roster.

But you’re not in college anymore, Greg.

You have one of the most talented rosters in the NFL, and your team has won as many games as the Jaguars over the last 10 months. You have Darrelle Revis, Dashon Goldson, Vincent Jackson, Doug Martin, Gerald McCoy, Lavonte David, and Davin Joseph. You have no excuses.

The NFL isn’t college. The proven processes you talk about bringing into this league don’t work the same way. You don’t get five seasons to make the entire program full of your players and your coaches and your ideals. You get a great batch of players from a GM who is fighting for his own job, and you adapt to those players and get the most of out them.

This is exactly what I was talking about when I wrote my earlier article about why Greg Schiano doesn’t get it, and it further affirms what I said in that article. There is no flexibility with this coaching staff when it comes to handling the talent they already have.

And here’s some outsiders’ perspective, courtesy of Twitter’s resident NFL guru Joe Bussell, and Sports Illustrated’s Doug Farrar.

Based on the contradictory comments coming from Greg Schiano over the past week, it’s clear that he either truly believes his roster isn’t good enough, or he’s throwing his players under the bus by making an excuse to dismiss a question or a topic during a radio show. Both speak to a mindset within Schiano that is destined to lead to failure.

Because if he believes the Buccaneers aren’t talented enough, he’s lost his mind.

Jan 6, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) throws a pass against the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Wild Card playoff game at M

Look at the Indianapolis Colts, who turned over almost half of their roster before the 2012 season, and have turned into one of the best teams in the AFC virtually overnight. Yes, Andrew Luck is a key part of that improvement, but he can’t do it on his own.

The Colts are an example of how bringing in the right players and using them properly can lead to success over the course of months, not just two years.

Need another example? Look at the Seattle Seahawks, who made a change at quarterback and added new wrinkles to their offense and defense which have seen them change from a mediocre team to an NFC juggernaut over the course of a season.

Greg Schiano has no excuse. If he believes the roster isn’t good enough to win, there are dozens of prospective head coaches out there right now who are begging to prove him wrong.

And if he does believe the roster is good enough, but he’s just making excuses for his radio show, then he needs to live up to his own ideals and be accountable for the way the team is being managed. TBA stands for Trust, Belief, and Accountability. But if Schiano refuses to own up to his mistakes and make changes to improve his team, TBA will also stand for To Be Announced, which will be written on the Buccaneers’ website next to “Head Coach.”