Offensive Struggles And Second Half Collapses are Nothing New for Greg Schiano


Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Greg Schiano has been a head coach for quite a long time. He took over the Rutgers football program in 2001, and has been in charge of a football team ever since.

That means he has a long track record, and that there are plenty of opinions on his coaching and his style out there for fans to read and consider. So while considering the future of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers under their current head coach and his staff which includes his former offensive coordinator from Rutgers, reader of the site Kyle M. came across this article from Bleacher Report:

Greg Schiano, OC John McNulty Not Helping Rutgers’ Cause

Within this article is the following passage of text:

  • The opening day loss to Fresno State on national television does not help the cause.  The Scarlet Knights looked unprepared and seemed lifeless on the sidelines as the Bulldogs showed why they are a BCS contender.
  • Schiano and offensive coordinator John McNulty looked like they had pre-determined the first few drives for Rutgers.  The Knights, led by QB Mike Teel, showed different schemes and formations which resembled a well put-together offense.
  • Once McNulty had full control of the play calling in the second half, Rutgers went back to its conservative play calling and head scratching decisions.  First down meant run the ball up the middle, second down and short meant throw the ball, and third down was a failure because Rutgers did not want to run the ball on second and short.

It’s the same sort of predictability and failure to adapt and adjust that plagues the current Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ offense, which features Schiano and head coach and McNulty at quarterbacks coach.

Dec 8, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano reacts against the Buffalo Bills during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

So for the many Buccaneer fans who believe Greg Schiano is the best coach for this team moving forward, the question you must ask yourself is how will he improve this team to once again contend for the playoffs and a Super Bowl.

His leadership has seen the offense sink to 32nd in the NFL. That means the offense is worse than the Jaguars, worse than Geno Smith’s Jets, and worse than Matt McGloin and Terrelle Pryor’s Raiders.

And this isn’t the first time that fans and writers about his teams have expressed this concern. Just two years after his best season at Rutgers (when the Scarlet Knights finished 12th in the AP Poll, their only season-ending AP ranking during Schiano’s tenure), the article written above questioned his game management skills and his offensive schemes and playcalling.

And the author of the article then took to the comments to defend himself, and pointed out the following second-half collapses for RU in 2007 (one year after the 12th place finish).

  • Loss to Maryland after leading 17-14 at the half.
  • Loss to Cincinnati after leading 17-7 at the half.
  • Loss to UConn while scoring only three points in the second half.
  • Loss to Louisville after leading 21-3 in the first quarter and 28-17 at the half.

So keeping these results in mind, it should not come as a surprise that Schiano has struggled in the second half as an NFL head coach, and lost a handful of games during the final two quarters or overtime during his first 30 games in charge.

He’s proven to be a fine defensive coach and he’s absolutely a talented leader of men. But he’s not capable of managing an offense and he struggles to adjust and adapt as the game goes on.

What will change if Schiano is given another season in charge of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?

He’s yet to show much change at all, and simply changing coordinators next year means John McNulty (the coordinator ripped in the article above) will take over as offensive coordinator of the worst statistical offense in the NFL this season.

In other words, nothing will change. Because over more than a decade, one thing has remained true about Greg Schiano: He doesn’t change.