Flexibility Helped Bucs, Greg Schiano

November 19th, 2013
Since being unleashed before the Seattle game, Gerald McCoy has transformed into a complete terror to quarterbacks.

Since being unleashed before the Seattle game, Gerald McCoy has transformed into a complete terror to quarterbacks.

Three of the loudest voices about Bucs football also happen to wield some of the most clout about football in the area. That would be Hall of Famer Warren Sapp ad his former defensive linemates with the Bucs, local and national sports radio host Booger McFarland and popular Bucs blogger and Twitter hound Steve White.

For weeks (if not years), the three have been hollering, using their respective platforms, that the constant and myriad of stunts used on the defensive front has not only taken players out of position to make plays, but renders the defensive line impotent (Joe is tired of using Connie Chung as a reference for impotency. IF you know of any other celebrities who cannot bear children, help Joe out).

And each week, until recently the Bucs’ defensive front routinely plays like powder puff players for their inability to breathe on a quarterback.

But Bucs defensive tackle Akeem Spence told Joe after the win over the Dolphins that defensive linemen have been lobbying coaches to knock off the stunts and let the linemen do what they do best: in the words of Sapp, hunt the quarterback.

During the past three weeks, seemingly more so each week, the stunts have been scaled back and the Bucs are letting D-linemen get after the quarterback, which resulted in Ryan Tannehill being buried twice at the end of the Dolphins win, and Gerald McCoy racking up three sacks Sunday to tie a franchise record.

Monday, typed Pat Yasinskas of ESPN, Schiano discussed turning the hounds loose.

Take the case of what’s been happening on the defensive line in recent weeks. Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has been dominant the last three weeks. If you’ve watched McCoy, you might have noticed that his surge coincides with the Bucs doing fewer stunts and getting McCoy more straight-on rushes.

Schiano acknowledged Monday that McCoy had some input in the changes.

“What we’ve tried to do all year is visit with Gerald and visit with the defensive line and take their ideas as a coaching staff,’’ Schiano said. “They’re the ones doing it, so they’ve got to feel good doing it. That’s my point always, you learn the most from the players.’’

Now Joe gives Schiano and his staff a standing ovation for finally letting the sackmeisters do their thing. But Joe thinks he is fair in asking, why did it take the team to go 0-8, and for the coaching staff to come to the very cusp of getting launched, to (finally) let the defensive linemen rush the quarterback?

Joe has written that there is a chance that Schiano will be given a mulligan by Team Glazer, courtesy of the sleepy, leaky Josh Freeman mess and the MRSA. Team Glazer may bring Schiano back (three more wins will go a long way for that result). But Joe is sure that at some point between now and the immediate days after the season, Schiano will have to answer to Team Glazer why it took half the season before he and his assistants allowed the linemen to rush the quarterback.

15 Responses to “Flexibility Helped Bucs, Greg Schiano”

  1. Architek Says:

    – Joe stated:
    “But Joe thinks he is fair in asking, why did it take the team to go 0-8, and for the coaching staff to come to the very cusp of getting launched, to (finally) let the defensive linemen rush the quarterback?”

    This is just damning and indicative of inexperience as a HC but the scarier piece is the plethora of coaches with coaching experience that never said – hey coach let’s listen to the players. This is arguably the main reason the staff should go if you ask my opinion.

  2. biff barker Says:

    Joe, in a word, insecurity.
    Schiano is learning that his own mantra… the trust part, is a two way street.

  3. Gary Says:


    Firstly, let me start by saying I’m a loyal reader who visits this site several times a day. Usually I dont make any comments, but today something got to me:

    Making fun of women who cannot bear children is not amusing. I know couples out there who would do anything to have children, I hope you or someone you love never knows that pain.

  4. Formerly "Brown Bag" Says:

    Joe, could you do a post that better explains the stunts you refer to?

  5. Paul Says:

    It’s a shame that Bucs fans had to get the coach that needed a “learning period”. Why can’t these fools just hire a proven coach from the get go.

  6. Paul Says:


    Cromartie got a vasectomy by choice, so I guess he wouldn’t be offensive to use.

  7. Uk_buc Says:


    Couldn’t agree more sir

  8. Bill Mahoney Says:

    In life everyone needs a mulligan IMHO Thanks

  9. SG5821 Says:

    so lets get this correct

    – A coach who gets scared and needs to rely on some assistant coach after the jumbotron shows a play that they were planning to use.
    – a coach who needs the players to tell him that his stunts are not working while the record is 0-8
    – A coach who cant play to the strength’s of his team/players…

    WHY DO WE NEED HIM? Fire Schiano….

  10. ed Says:

    I think Shiano had “a come to Jesus” moment when Warren Sapp and all those great ex-Buc defense were in Tampa for the MNF game. Warren had been blasting him about his holding back McCoy. Since that game McCoy has been a dominator. I think Shiano couldn’t look Sapp in the eye knowing what the scheme was doing to McCoy.

  11. WinterSpringsBucsFan Says:

    I am guessing it is the change from college athlete to professional athlete. At Rutgers he felt he was more of a teacher / leader and never solicited feedback or enough feedback to make adjustments. Now in the pro ranks perhaps he has learned to listen to his players and do what they have suggested more and more as the season has gone on. If he gets a mulligan from the Glazers as a learning curve then 2014 he will have to put up or shut up becuase he will be out of excuses. This all depends on how the Bucs do the rest of the season. A strong finish and he will be back.

  12. OB Says:


    I agree with Gary, use “as barren as the Gobi Desert”, you may irritate the Mongols but they would have a long way to come, pun intended.

    As to the HC, he is as stubborn as a blockhead and it took 8 games to split it open enough to get the point. Your why stop running for the last 7+ minutes, turn loose the last series and the first series of the next game but not the rest?

    Sounds like he is afraid of making a mistake and can’t make a decision until it is so glaring obvious the I could make it.

    I believe this next game will tell the tale if he stays or not, less penalties, DL line turned loose, Revis Island launched, and more than one receiver. Mark has clearly showing he can pick them from the street, so if the receivers are not performing, cut and paste until we find some, and/or change the plays so we have a chance. Just about 100 yards on two passes was great, but the other 19 went for about 150, not good.

  13. Posey99 Says:

    “But Joe thinks he is fair in asking, why did it take the team to go 0-8, and for the coaching staff to come to the very cusp of getting launched, to (finally) let the defensive linemen rush the quarterback?”

    Joe, did you forget how we started the first 4 games? – 13 sacks. why would you change at that point??

    Fair point. But blitzing repeatedly, which is how we got those sacks, was not a winning formula.–Joe

  14. Patrickbucs Says:


    We lost 3-4 of those games because we couldn’t score offensively not because of blitzing. In fact we went to stunts and prevent at the end of those games.

    It seems Schiano has changed his personality with the players and the media. Is that why he’s been given somewhat of a pass because of 2 lousy wins? We’re now 2-8 in a non rebuilding year. Lets see what we do against some good playoff bound teams on the road. I can’t forgive a coach that’s won 3 out of the last 16 or so because now they see the light

  15. Gilbert Rodriguez Says:

    Joe–I don’t know of any celebs who are not able to bear children–but I know if I were laying in bed with Rosie O’Donnell, I would be rendered impotent. Just spitballin’ here…