Fixing The BucsSeptember 25th, 2013
As Joe wrote yesterday, he has never seen Bucs fans so irate, not even in the darkest days of the Raheem Morris regime.
Naturally, Bucs fans being Bucs fans, they must have someone to hate. First it was Michael Clayton, then Gaines Adams, then Byron Leftwich, then Barrett Ruud, then Quincy Black, before loathing Myron Lewis and now Josh Freeman.
In the span of roughly the past three days, Bucs commander Greg Schiano has landed on many fans’ hate lists. And the hate is coming at Schiano from other angles, as well, first some of his players (before the season) and now prominent radio hosts.
Joe’s not sure why said fans flipped on Schiano so quickly. Before the season, the fans openly embraced the New Schiano Order. As popular sports radio and television personality Adam Schein said Monday, who expected the Bucs to compete with Bill Belicheat coming off 10 days to prepare?
Fans are acting like Schiano personally Pearl Harbored the game against the Patriots.
NFL insider Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports wrote a piece on how each of the winless teams, the Bucs among them, can mend their losing ways.
Naturally, La Canfora has his take on how to help the Bucs.
Coach Greg Schiano has a firm hand over the defense, so I don’t imagine many changes there. And quarterback Josh Freeman has already been through a steady procession of offensive coordinators. Schiano said after Sunday’s tepid 23-3 loss to New England that he hasn’t contemplated a quarterback change, but he has also never really endorsed or embraced Freeman, and he did just draft Mike Glennon. And this offense is certainly stuck in a rut.
The run game has been surprisingly average after Doug Martin carved up defenses a year ago. The return of guard Carl Nicks would figure to improve some holes over time, but right now that run game is lacking the explosion that defined it in 2012. Martin has 73 rushes for 297 yards, 4.1 yards per carry, typically the league average. Not sure a QB change would get that revved up, but I also don’t see Schiano riding out a long losing streak without trying something.
Joe doesn’t know where people get the notion that Schiano is going to bench Freeman. He had ample opportunities to do so last week and he claimed after the game such a move never crossed his mind.
Look, Schiano knows the ice beneath his feet is melting by the minute as the Bucs continue to lose week in and week out and it will only re-freeze if the Bucs go on a winning streak streak. Who would you go down with, a quarterback (albeit, struggling terribly) who less than a year ago put up over 4,000 yards and in the past has had a 10-win season, or a greenhorn rookie third-round pick who has never faced an NFL blitz package in the regular season?
For Joe, the choice would be obvious: Freeman.
How did banking on a third-round draft pick of a quarterback work out for Andy Reid last year? Schiano is in survival mode right now. One doesn’t often survive watching a guy learn on the job while losses mount.