Schiano Walking The Plank?September 27th, 2013
It has not been a good couple of weeks for Bucs commander Greg Schiano. His team lost its first three games, coughed up late lead twice, and Schiano was taken over the knee of his mentor Bill Belicheat with a drubbing in New England that, barring injury, will be the last time Bucs fans see Josh Freeman taking a snap wearing a Bucs jersey.
Soon after the game and for a full day, Schiano was adamant, bordering on angry, claiming Josh Freeman was his quarterback.
But he forgot one word: “Backup.”
Then came the news Freeman had been benched. Not a way to start the 2013 season, a season David Whitley of FoxSports.com believes will end with Schiano being asked to clean out his office.
The Bucs are winless and Freeman’s been terrible, so you can’t fault Schiano for the move. You can fault him for how Freeman’s gotten increasingly terrible since the coaching staff arrived.
Part of that is undoubtedly on Freeman. But whether he was overrated from the start or undisciplined or whatever, his relationship with Schiano was terminally ill. As bad as that has become — and Freeman wants out, according to FOX Sports sources — the real problem is nobody in uniform is connecting with Schiano.
It’s never good when players hold a private meeting and one of the topics is whether the coach rigged the vote for team captain so his quarterback would get jobbed. The other hot topic was debating whether Schiano should dress as Sgt. Hulka or Bobby Knight for Halloween.
First, off, Joe doesn’t believe Schiano wrecked Freeman. Freeman wrecked Freeman. He started off slow last year and had his career season until December approached. Historically, Freeman has been horrible in December. So if Schiano blew up Freeman, how the hell did Freeman have such a good year last season and, at one point, look like a top-5 quarterback in the NFL? People seem to have a very selective memories.
Also, look at the progress the Bucs have made defensively in the past two seasons. Joe really doesn’t understand how people can say Schiano has been a complete failure unless they are simply blinded by hate and rage.
Look, Team Glazer has never made a coaching change until a coach has had three seasons. Could they break their pattern? Sure, but history suggests, no.
Will this season be a trainwreck? It already is. “This Joe” firmly believes Team Glazer decided to pacify the freeloader fans, who screamed about why others wouldn’t spend their hard-earned money so the whiners could get games on TV free. Yesterday’s move to end blackouts quelled the unrest for many Bucs fans, who Joe has never seen this angry before. In a span of three days, Schiano went from being respected if not liked by Bucs fans, to being reviled nearly as much as Raheem Morris. It’s a stunning turnaround.
If the Bucs lose Sunday, they likely could start the season 0-7 (and who knows where the losing will end) and make a run at the first pick in the draft and begin to really fall unravel. Then who knows what Team Glazer will do with Schiano?
Right now Schiano’s best antidote is to win games. It cures all ills and is the game’s best deodorant.