The Tampa Bay Buccaneers grabbed plenty of national attention Thursday night, but unfortunately, it was for all the wrong reasons.
The Bucs went into Thursday’s nationally televised game against Carolina already under scrutiny, between questions about Coach Greg Schiano’s leadership, quarterback Josh Freeman’s release, players contracting MRSA, and the team’s 0-6 record.
That scrutiny blew up overnight after the Bucs’ 31-13 loss to the Panthers. While fans vented on social media, the national media turned their attention to Schiano, questioning how much longer the team could go with a coach who now has lost seven consecutive games at Raymond James Stadium.
Here’s a sampling from national columnists:
Does Schiano even make it through Friday? I don’t know. The only people who do are the Glazer family that owns the team, and they’re not talking. But the Glazers don’t like getting embarrassed, and this game was on national television.
My guess is the Glazers don’t want to fire Schiano because he’s the guy they brought in to clean up Raheem Morris’ mess. Schiano has righted the ship off the field by getting rid of problem players, but the results on the field can’t be sitting well with the ownership.
— Pat Yasinskas, ESPN.com. | More
With an 0-7 record in 2013 and 12 defeats in his past 13 games dating back to last November, Schiano is underperforming in an unforgiving industry, which is reason enough for the Glazer family to fire him. Yet this coaching faceplant transcends losing.
As the Bucs stew in the aftermath of a 31-13 loss to the Carolina Panthers on NFL Network’s “Thursday Night Football,” it’s abundantly clear that Schiano and the NFL are as poor a fit as Yasiel Puig and the NLCS, on so many levels. Most glaringly, the autocratic Schiano operates with an inherent deficit of respect, both for America’s preeminent sports league and for the men he’s trying to lead.
— Michael Silver, NFL.com | More
It’s been embarrassing for a while. Schiano has mishandled just about everything this season, beginning with the tone-deaf way he addressed the seriousness of a MRSA outbreak, escalating with the cold manner in which he cut ties with quarterback Josh Freeman, and culminating with his cringe-worthy comments about fans who need to hang in there when he’s given them little reason to do so. There’s debate over whether Schiano has lost his team, but there’s no need for debate about whether he’s lost his direction. The Bucs don’t play like a Schiano team, and it’s getting hard to remember what a Schiano team is supposed to play like.
— Eric Adelson, Yahoo Sports | More
Whatever the reason, the messages preached by the coaching staff don’t seem to be getting across to the players. If losses continue to mount – and the way the Buccaneers are performing right now, it’s seems likely they will – Schiano may not have much longer to pilot the Buccaneers’ ship.
— Curtis Crabtree, Pro Football Talk | More
In the interim, the Buccaneers travel to Seattle. Yes, Seattle. Barring what would be at this point a major upset, they’ll return to Tampa to host the Dolphins with a record of 0-8. And the scene that will be broadcast from sea to shining sea, and beyond, will not be a pretty one.
While there’s now a mini-bye before the game against the Seahawks, the question becomes whether ownership would want to throw an interim coach to the wolves by making the change before the next game. Either way, failure to make a change before the next home game could set the stage for one of the more memorable Monday nights in recent history, for reasons other than the game on the field.
— Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk | More
It must be tempting to hang on to Schiano for the time being, let the season play out poorly and grab a high draft pick. This is wrong, though. Schiano needs to go now.
The season is lost and he’s lost the team…but the organization can’t afford to lose the players, and they can’t afford to turn off the fans completely. Tampa Bay is quickly becoming a laughing stock, a place no free agents would ever want to go.
— Nate Scott, USA Today | More
Reports have surfaced that Schiano and his coaching staff have lost the locker room. What’s worse is no player has really come to Schiano’s defense. The team has lost its last 12 of 13 games dating back to last season and the clock is firmly ticking on Schiano. Unless the Buccaneers string together a couple of wins in a hurry and some veteran players stand up for him, the Rutgers former head coach will be hitting the unemployment line.
— Ross Jones, FoxSports.com | More
Shawshank Schiano and his inmates have concocted the perfect turkey. Take a season covered in expectations, stuff it with a quarter-billion dollars in signings, add losses, a quarterback dump and stories and rumors about players under the head coach’s thumb, sprinkle with MRSA, bake for seven games, 5,000 degrees.
This coach is cooked.
— Martin Fennelly, The Tampa Tribune | More