ESPN Hatchet Job On Schiano

November 2nd, 2013

ESPN put one of its top feature writers, Elizabeth Merrill, on the trail of what’s wrong with the New Schiano Order. And she unearthed the typical, predictable stuff; practice is too demanding, Greg Schiano’s rules are childish, some players reject the head coach’s ways amongst themselves.

But what Joe couldn’t have predicted is that Merrill’s two featured on-the-record sources are Derrick Roberson and E.J. Wilson, two nobodies who haven’t been with the Bucs since the summer of 2012. What a joke of an effort by Merrill, who had the massive resources of ESPN behind her to flush out current, insightful sources.

In a laughingstock moment, Merrill wants us to believe Wilson, who was best known as a Buccaneer for his women-hating Tweets in the wee hours during training camp, actually quit playing professional party because Schiano was a too tough. Yeah, right.

“Everyone thinks he started losing the team recently,” former Bucs defensive end E.J. Wilson said. “He started losing the team around the middle of training camp last year. It never really came out, but there were a lot of guys who were not happy being there. A lot of the veteran guys were like, ‘We’re going to give it a chance,’ but it kind of felt like they weren’t really being treated like men.

“It was almost like being a freshman in college all over again. You were nervous of being made an example of for breaking one small rule.”

Wilson was coming back from a torn Achilles in the summer of 2012. He was hurting one day during camp, so a trainer pulled him from a workout. Wilson said Schiano spotted him on an exercise bike and insisted he practice or Schiano would find somebody else who would.

Wilson was eventually cut from the team in 2012 and said he’s finished playing football, in part, because of his experiences with Schiano. There was a weeding-out process that offseason, an effort to cast out the players who clearly weren’t Schiano guys.

Joe buys all the anti-Schiano player feelings during 2012 Bucs training camp and offseason, but the team was 6-4 and playing great football. Whatever Schiano did from the day he took over to roughly Thanksgiving of 2012 worked just fine, better than nearly everyone expected.

The real issue with Schiano is his coaching ability at the NFL level, the Xs and Os and elite decision-making and gameday leadership necessary to be successful. That was a major X-factor Joe wrote about numerous times before this season started. He hasn’t proven he can do it. That can’t be argued.

If ESPN wants to do its readers a service, it should dive into that instead of recycling tired year-and-a-half-old nonsense.

36 Responses to “ESPN Hatchet Job On Schiano”

  1. MadMax Says:


  2. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    EJ Wilson is done playing because EJ sucked.

    And players hated Schiano halfway through TC because it was the first camp without Raheem “do what you want” Morris. The players were use to having their own way and taking it easy. Schiano made them earn their paychecks.

    Wilson was a little sore huh? Probably faked it to get out of practice and Schiano saw right thru it.

    Frankly, this team acted worse than college kids before Schiano got here.

  3. Eric Says:

    Great football?

  4. Joe Says:

    Yes, winners of five straight with a 6-4 record, they were playing great football. Fans were proud to wear their Bucs t-shirts to Publix.

  5. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Winning 5 straight now would depress most of the people here 😉 lol

  6. Paul Says:

    Media is so stupid. Grasping at straws. Most of what they say about the Bucs isn’t true. Schiano should be fired for 1000 reasons, but the stupid media can’t figure it out.

  7. Skelly Says:

    Wow, that was just a total hit piece….

  8. bucsfan13 Says:

    ESPN sucks anyway unless your team is in boston, new york, or LA. Just saying……look how bad they bash the rays.

    Hey does anyone know when goldson will be back?

    hey @joe could schiano be sucking on purpose per glazer request to get the first draft choice? lol

  9. Sir P Says:

    Ya Joe he was doing something right when at one point we were 1-3 last season before we went on a run then proceeded to go back to losing.. sounds to me like he had one winning streak and beside that time we’ve been HORRIBLE..

  10. Macabee Says:

    Whether fairly or unfairly, everybody in the media wants to tar and feather Schiano. I wonder why?

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Schiano has plenty of faults that are obvious….It looks to me like the media is doing everything possible to undermine his leadership and to drive a wedge into the locker room that’s not there yet.
    Schiano is weak enough now and on the ropes that any quality experienced player could tank him….that hasn’t happened because the team as a whole is still trying to win…perhaps not for Schiano but for themselves.

  12. MadMax Says:

    Hey Schiano, a .45 and a .357 pointed at them only goes so far……Let em play Bro!!!!

  13. k_bassuka Says:

    There’s only two people at OBP that I don’t believe a word they say and that’s Schiano and Sherridan the top two losers ruining this team.

  14. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Keep Schiano!

    Gettin’ our losses on for Jadeveon.

  15. Just A Juggalo Says:

    I think I (Miguel Grande) said it first, he lost the locker room after the opening day 110 X 16 gauntlets. I once figured that they lost about 12% of the starters that day but in retrospect when you figure in the Adderal brothers and Nicks. It was a far greater hit.

    I thought “hands on hips” was ridiculous but “no conspiring in small groups” is classic Little General insanity. That’s Ray Perkins level craziness. Maybe EJ was fined more money than he made.

    I wonder why no Tampa Bay journalist had the balls to write this article or publish the list of fines and crimes?

    It’s amazing how well they played last year before the Little General really collapsed this team. I predicted 2-14 this year but they already lost the 2 games I thought they would win.

    Imagine the scenario on the last day of the regular season, if the Saints have no reason to win. They will try to lay down so the Bucs win their 1st game and lose the #1 overall pick. The Bucs will try to lay down so they preserve the #1 pick. They could fire all the coaches at halftime. Glennon could fake a concussion, Orlavski could be sick and Penn could play QB.

    If they don’t draft Clowney (JCP) they might want to trade Mariota to the Eagles for Foles, their 1st, and their 2nd or 3rd. The Eagles owner said today that they need that franchise type QB.

  16. Chef Paul Says:

    Wow this media agenda against Schiano is making me like him again, just because of spite for the lazy, inaccurate, agenda driven “reporters” at BSPN and NFL network. It’s beyond ridiculous. They might as well work for FOX news or MNSBC talking politics. Pathetic weasels is what they are. It’s so bad, I’m not even sure I believe he’s a hard ass anymore. That could all be lies too.

  17. Macabee Says:

    That was a serious question about Schiano and media bias. Let me be clear before I type another word – I do not want Schiano as coach for one reason and one reason only – I don’t think he’s a competent NFL coach. Now back to my question.

    I understand the blowback from fans because we’re 0-7. But why is the national media on all TV networks and Sports talk radio so biased towards Schiano? Why don’t the Bucs seem to get a break from NFL refs? Why do players, former or at large, talk negatively about Schiano? Is it the way he treated NFL scouts and media at Rutgers? Is it the stringent rules imposed on players and his supposedly “Schiano Way”? Is it the short, uninformative, and abrupt way he handles press conferences? Or is it something less ominous like “I can’t put my finger on it, but there’s something about this guy that I just don’t like”? or is it as conservatives would say – a liberal media conspiracy?

    Whatever it is, it is something that I’ve never seen at the Bucs or any other team that comes to memory and I’ve been following the NFL since Moby Dick was a sardine. Suffice to say this is a different kind of criticism that a coach with a losing record would normally get. This borders on hate! And for me, as a diehard Buc fan, this is truly difficult to see or hear!

  18. Eric S Says:

    I am glad I am not the only one who had no clue who those two were. It did give me a chuckle.

    It does seem like people are piling on now. Sure most of the bad stuff is probably true, but other material seems to come from thin air. And people want to believe everything.

  19. Surf Buc Says:

    It’s obvious EJW is disgruntled. Using him as a sole source of information on what’s going on in the Bucs locker room is a steaming pile. Why not ask my man R Barber or D Penn what’s up? They have integrity and can give a realistic assessment.

    History will be the judge. This is not over. I hate to say it but we are in the middle of a total restructuring. When the Buccaneers start winning and dominating, the Shiano haters will dissapear.

  20. Rich Says:

    Joe, you’re kind of losing your integrity as a journalist. I understand that during a miserable season web traffic is down so you feel a responsibility to defend Schiano to keep business coming back. But seriously, man, stop bashing all these other media types in an effort to sway public opinion. It’s ridiculous.

    The only thing ridiculous is your comment. First, Joe’s traffic is never down. Joe grows every year. Right now, per various metrics, Joe is the most popular team-specific NFL website in the country not owned by an NFL team. Second, Joe has been critical of Schiano far more than Joe has been defending him. Feel free to search the archives. Third, Joe runs this site in a simple way. Joe writes about what Joe finds interesting. Joe read that ESPN piece today, and knowing ESPN has reporters covering every NFL team, Joe couldn’t believe the hatchet job of only quoting two guys that weren’t even around the Bucs for the 2012 regular season, let alone 2013. Joe has always been a critic — positive and negative — of Bucs media. That won’t change. Joe always welcomes the scrutiny of his own work, as well. –Joe

  21. Doc Says:

    Why would, all the player’s wanted to leave, so it must be true. 0-7 speaks for it self. The Glazer’s will continue to let coach Schiano, stink it up because they don’t like him either,because if they cared for him they would remove him. The media is not taking shots at the team only this coach. The player’s do not like him and now the media dislike this guy ” why ?” My guess is because he is a looser.

  22. NY Buc Says:

    If this guy is out of the NFL and blaming one training camp under Schiano as part of the reason he’s no longer playing (and there are 31 other NFL teams he could have found work with), I find it almost comical that ESPN used him as a named source. What’s next for ESPN, find some janitor that Schiano yelled at once and quote him on what an A’hole Schiano is? Wins and Losses, everything else is a lot of speculation and opinion.

  23. rich Says:

    I think ESPN and and NFL Network need to be careful about their constant attacks. It’s almost to the point now where Schiano-hating Bucs fans feel compelled to come to his defense just because the attacks are so baseless and obviously contrived in some cases that it’s embarrassing to agree with these buffoons. It’s like if I have something derogatory to say about my sister and someone outside the family echoes the sentiment: Hey! That’s my sister! I can say that, but you can’t! You don’t know her like I do.

    The hatchet job is so transparent now that reasonable people don’t feel comfortable riding on this anti-Schiano bandwagon.

  24. Jbeachbuc Says:

    Everything I’ve seen on ESPN about the “Schiano Situation ” has been shake your head weak and this one is particularly pathetic.

  25. Biff Barker Says:

    It’s a fair take Joe, ESPN is bottom feeding. That said, some of the blowback to Schiano is over the shabby treatment of scouts and some media types.
    Much has to do with the kneeldown play too.
    But the #1 reason is he’s a loser as a coach. The record is clear. His offense and defense simply don’t work in the NFL. Once opposing team’s adjustments were made we have had nothing to counter with.
    But Schiano is not the lone problem.
    Many Buc players are getting a free ride from the media too. Schiano has taken flack for everything from injuries, sloppy play, Dom’s ankle deep roster and busted picks to MRSA. Let’s not forget the franchise QB joke who started this year and the distraction he caused.
    And lastly, we have absentee owners.

  26. coach80m Says:

    He brings it on himself which has been well documented on this site. I have never read of so many ex players making comments on how ineffectual he is as a human being and a coach. Why would you put down a player because he is making a public comment? The man needs courses on sports psychology on how to handle people. He is an embarassment to his players and the community as a whole. I had the unfortunate experience of playing for somebody like him.

    There must be other readers out there who have played team sports who might want to comment on his traits.

  27. chris Says:

    JOE, not attacking you or anything, but at what point do you have to start questioning the players integreity and toughness? This is 2 of the past 3 years this team quit for their coach.

    NO evidence that the team quit this season. Would love to see it if you have it. –Joe

  28. Doc Says:

    The past two coaches have never been head N.F.L. coach’s in the past,maybe that answers the questions about the player’s quitting. It appears that this team is the only team that has that type of talk about quitting. Please look at this G.M. he has created this mess.

  29. Bucfan#37 Says:

    As I continue to watch the Bucs games, I can’t figure out exactly what the problem is with this team. They have not played a good complete game yet. Are they really this bad? I still hope for any given Sunday result.

  30. Chris Says:

    Yeah everyone wants to excuse Dom but no way you can. Him and schiano are tied. This gm overspends in FA bc he can’t draft well.

  31. MTM Says:

    It is apparent that Schiano has burned more than his share of bridges. The media, players and ref’s hate this guy. If the ref’s and players don’t respect you. Your screwed in the NFL. This isn’t going to get any better Schiano.

  32. MadMax Says:

    Trading our 1st to Chip has been weighing VERY heavily on my mind….could be worth it as long as we can still land Matthews or Lewan! Sharp thinking!
    And dont forget about the Browns who have two 1st’s…trust me, they would trade

  33. Evan Says:

    Blah.. ESPN is overrated. My question is, after Schiano is gone after the season, do you think the Glazers will bring in an offensive minded coach or stick to the defense? I mean, the Bears hired Marc Trestman after Lovie Smith and he seems to be doing wonders with the bears offense.

  34. Adam L. Says:

    Call me in April on Draft Day.

  35. ShutTheBucUp Says:

    Great post Joe. Its unfortunate that pro football has such idiotic fans that will swallow up anything ESPN spits out. Glad someone out there in the kindergarten playpen of sports reporting can still get it right. Thats why I come here! 🙂

  36. ShutTheBucUp Says:

    “Joe, you’re kind of losing your integrity as a journalist. ”

    You should realize that you’re visiting a BLOG. Not USA Today.