Sep 15, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano during the first quarter against the New Orleans Saints at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
It’s now official, the Buccaneers have completely lost all control over the situation surrounding Josh Freeman. Yesterday’s PR disaster was the final straw that sent what was an ugly situation into a full-blown disaster zone. And while many will attempt to uncover the leak that led to ESPN printing the story, that’s not where we should all be looking at a time like this.
Josh Freeman and his team won the most recent PR battle, but the war has had many more losers than winners. From the second the 2012 season concluded, the Freeman/Schiano tiff was underway. And while many of us, myself included, didn’t buy too much into it, it was right in front of our faces and it kept blowing up into what it has come to now.
No matter where the most recent story came from, and no matter why it ended up in the hands of a reporter is not the important factor moving forward. So what is? The fact that all of this has happened under Greg Schiano’s watch, and while the Buccaneers have a football team with enough talent to compete in the NFL, they are sitting here at 0-4 and have become the laughingstock of the NFL after the most recent PR debacle.
Sep 22, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick during the second half of a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
Since Schiano’s time began here in Tampa there have nothing but problems. Most of which are personality traits of the head coach. The man does things his own way, whether you, or I, or anyone else like it or not. But there’s a major problem with that philosophy, people have to believe you have the answers. This is why Bill Belichick is headed to the Hall of Fame and why Greg Schiano’s coaching career should be headed into the dumpster fire he created.
He’s asserted himself as a staunch disciplinarian that is prepared for anything football throws his or his team’s way. He’s always been “in charge” in his own mind, while seemingly not really in the minds of the people he’s supposed to be in charge of. And now, the “it” has hit the fan. And guess what, whether he had anything to do with the leak, he’s the man on top, and he needs to take the fall for it.
Schiano let it happen. He began the feud, and now he’s the kingpin. I honestly believe he didn’t have as much to do with the most recent story as many do. But I haven’t done much digging because the fact is, it doesn’t matter. However it happened, it happened on his watch.
Earlier on The Pewter Plank we had a nice long piece explaining why Schiano should be fired at the end of the year. And while every single point in that article is spot on, waiting that long should simply not be an option anymore. What’s been created in Tampa must be cleaned up.
The mess started with Schiano and it needs to end with Schiano. He must go now. Not tomorrow, not after they lose a fifth straight game, but right this second. It’s not about this season, or even the next, it’s about the future of the franchise. Schiano led this organization on a very narrow path into what we’ve now realized was the completely wrong direction. Let someone else lead, and let the guy who got us here, stay here, because I don’t even want to imagine what’s one more step in this direction.