There’s nothing outwardly surprising about the Bucs blowing a 21 point second half lead and allowing the completely overrated Seahawks to get back in the game, except for the fact that despite Schiano patently being a jackass, the Bucs players don’t seem to be too concerned with him and put on a good show versus a team that’ll surely make it to the second round of the playoffs before getting bounced out by a better team.
I don’t think they’re fighting for Schiano or anything. At 0-8, and with his playoff hopes squashed, it’ll be surprising if he makes it through the rest of the season, much less turns it around. But for all the talk of how players “quit” on teams, the Bucs players seem to have enough faith in themselves, if not their coaches, that they can play pretty damn well. They’re professionals. I dig that.
It was weird watching the Bucs-Seahawks game, as I seemed to both want Schiano to get blown out and the Seahawks to actually lose so I can stop hearing how awesome they are. But the Bucs lost, despite a decent game. And that decent game probably saved Schiano for another week.
The thing gets me is that we’re constantly told that playing in the NFL is a privilege, that shouldn’t be taken for granted by the players, and you’re lucky to even be there, blah blah blah…but what the fuck did Schiano ever do to earn an NFL head coaching job? Sort of kind of making Rutgets okay-ish?
Schiano had a record of 68 wins and 67 losses as Rutgers head coach. The team never finished in the top 25. In Big East play, he had a record of 24-48, including going 8-13 in Big East play in his last three years there. His greatest feat was getting graduation rates amongst his athletes up and getting better facilities for the team, and while those are commendable things, none of them have fuck all to do with being and NFL coach and dealing with grown men.
The Bucs interviewed the entire planet before they settled on Schiano. They tried to drag Marty Schotteheimer back into the NFL. They tried to woo Chip Kelly away from Oregon. They tried to give Brad Childress another head coaching job. BRAD CHILDRESS! Joe Philbin, Tom Clements, Rod Chudzinsky, Mike Sherman, and Jerry Gray, and Mike Zimmer and Wade Phillips. They went through all those guys, and somehow, someway, the guy the settled on was Greg fuggin’ Schiano, a head coach one game over .500 overall, with a losing record in his conference, and who’s only bowl wins came against 7-6 Kansas State, (ironically enough, with Josh Freeman as the quarterback), 7-6 Ball State (BALL FUCKING STATE!?), 6-7 NC State, 8-5 UCF, and 6-7 Iowa State. The Bucs picked THAT guy.
Media types are quick to point out that Schiano’s at a natural disadvantage because of the mess he inherited from Raheem Morris. But Raheem Morris took the youngest team in the league, with a bunch of names you’ve never heard of, and guide that team to a 10-6 record. Raheem Morris did not have Vincent Jackson or Darelle Revis or Dashon Goldson or anyone else. Not to mention Raheem had zero organizational support, as the Bucs (allegedly) spent WAY beneath the cap floor in free agency, in what was then called an effort to be “YOUNGRY”, but in reality was just an effort by the Glazer family to be cheap and buy a soccer team.
Of the 53-men that were on the Buccaneers final roster in 2011, there are only 15 currently on the Schiano-led Bucs team. He got rid of guys like Josh Freeman and Aqib Talib and Legarette Blount and Dezmon Briscoe and Arrelious Benn and Kellen Winslow, Jr, and he got rid of all of them in loud and sometimes messy ways. There are 38 other players on the Bucs that have just been added since Schiano got there. It’s time to quit classifying the Bucs as a remnant of Raheem Morris’ mess. The mess has been cleaned up. And disinfected. And then cleaned and disinfected again, and the floor has been waxed, buffed, mopped, cleaned and disinfected time again just for good measure.
It was good to say that even though the Bucs have a underqualified prick as their head coach, and even though they have assistants who will bitch out Pro Bowl players for simple acts like helping a guy off the field after he just kicked their ass, that they’re still playing hard, if not for him, than for themselves. Hopefully they’ll continue to play this hard when they get a new coach.