I’d love to sit here and write, “I told you it was coming.” But with the Glazers, you can never tell.
On Monday, “it” did happen. The Buccaneers fired head coach Greg Schiano, who went 4-12 in his second season and 11-21 during his two-year tenure. The axe didn’t stop there; Mark Dominik is also out after five seasons as general manager. During those years, the Bucs were 28-52.
Yes, it was time for a change.
Remember back to last year, when the Bucs were 6-4 after ten games and right in the middle of the playoff hunt? Since then, they’ve gone 5-17. Schiano will be more remembered for incidents like telling his team to rush Eli Manning during a victory formation. Then there was the ugly saga involving former quarterback Josh Freeman. The Bucs got off to an 0-8 start, and never recovered.
Then there’s this: Tampa Bay hasn’t made the playoffs in six years. The Bucs haven’t won a playoff game since they won the Super Bowl.
So who are the potential candidates for the head coaching job? One name I see mentioned a lot online is former Bucs’ assistant coach Lovie Smith, who also has head coaching experience with the Bears. I wouldn’t mind seeing him get the job. But who knows; the Schiano hire came from out of nowhere.
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Thank goodness this debacle of a season is over.
In the season finale against the Saints, the Buccaneers got clobbered in the Superdome, 42-17. I had a hunch this would happen; New Orleans needed to win to get in, and the Saints are darn near perfect when playing at home. It seemed every time I saw a highlight, it was a Saints’ receiver breaking free behind the Bucs’ secondary. Once again, the Bucs couldn’t muster 300 yards of total offense. And once again, they had too many penalties.
So Tampa Bay’s final record is 4-12. Was this the end of the line for Greg Schiano? I hope so. He’s had two years to work his magic, and his record is 11-21. The Bucs were the third-most penalized team in the league. Wasn’t Schiano supposed to be a disciplinarian when he arrived? And he never did a good job making adjustments after halftime.
While we’re at it, let’s get rid of offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan as well. The Bucs were dead-last in the league in total offense. They were third from the bottom in total points. Yes, I know they had some key injuries. Here’s a news flash for you: there isn’t a team in the league that doesn’t have to deal with injured players.
The jury is still out on rookie QB Mike Glennon. At times, he played well. At other times, he looked like a rookie quarterback. Given the offensive line’s inconsistent (and subpar) performance, it’s hard to make a judgment on Glennon. Still, it wouldn’t surprise me if Tampa Bay drafts a quarterback next year.
Will Schiano be a victim of “Black Monday” in the NFL? Stay tuned.
Photo Courtesy: AP
There isn’t much more to be said about Sunday’s game that hasn’t been said all season.
The Bucs lost again. They didn’t look good in the process. They’re trying hard to improve their draft position. At this point, they need just about everything.
The final score on Sunday was Rams 23, Buccaneers 13. Mike Glennon was sacked seven times. Tampa Bay had 170 yards of total offense. They lost two more fumbles. Anyone out there who doesn’t think the Bucs need to draft a quarterback is crazy. Glennon had one nice spurt back in November, but other than that, he’s looked like….well, a rookie. The Bucs are dead-last in the league in total offense in case you haven’t noticed. Rams’ QB Kellen Clemens didn’t exactly light up the Edward Jones Dome, but it didn’t matter due to the punchless Bucs.
As for Greg Schiano: if he’s going to get fired, it won’t happen until after next week’s finale against the Saints. If he hasn’t gotten canned by now, the Glazers are obviously waiting until this torture is over before they send him packing.
Next week: the final game of the season against the Saints in the Superdome.
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This pretty much went the way I, and probably just about everyone else, expected it to go.
The 49ers are a better team than the Buccaneers. There’s no doubt about that. Colin Kaepernick is a better quarterback than Mike Glennon. There’s no doubt about that. Tampa Bay couldn’t even muster 200 yards of total offense. 33-14 was the final in the home finale.
The “Fire Schiano” folks out there got some added ammunition late in the fourth quarter. The Bucs were down by 9. They tried some chicanery on the ensuing kickoff, only to see Eric Page fumble, and one of the ‘Niners pick up the ball and take it in for a gift-wrapped touchdown. Why on earth are you trying something like that in that situation? Coming back from a nine-point deficit in less than five minutes is not impossible – maybe unlikely, but still there was at least a little hope.
That three-game winning streak by the Bucs seems like such a long time ago. In two of the last three weeks, they’ve been beaten soundly by two of the best teams in the NFC. Three of Tampa’s four wins have come against lesser competition (or one might argue, “equal”) with the lone exception coming at Ford Field against the Lions (upsets do happen every now and then.)
The last two games are on the road: against St. Louis and New Orleans. 4-10 could easily become 4-12. I hope these will be the final two games Schiano is on the sidelines.
Photo Courtesy: AP
Bobby Rainey was terrific. The defense was sensational. The Bucs won again on Sunday, beating the Bills at Ray-Jay, 27-6.
Let’s start with Rainey. On the second play of the game, he sprinted 80 yards for a touchdown. He finished with 127 yards on the day. Who would’ve thought that after losing Doug Martin and Mike James for the season, the running game would start to flourish? Aside from a tough game against a very good Carolina defense, Rainey has been amazing since taking over as Tampa Bay’s primary ball carrier.
But the defense was the real story of this game. They forced five turnovers, including picking off E.J. Manuel four times, two of them by budding star Lavonte David. They sacked him seven times. They kept the Buffalo offense out of the end zone. The Bills were held to 214 yards of total offense. It goes without saying; you’re going to win a lot of games when you do that.
Mike Glennon’s numbers were not very good: 9-of-25 for 90 yards. He did complete two long passes to Vincent Jackson, one of which went for a touchdown. He also threw a TD pass to Tim Wright. But Glennon was also intercepted twice. It was not exactly an awe-inspiring performance. The Bucs only had 246 yards of offense. Fortunately, his performance took a back seat to that of the defense.
So after an 0-8 start, the Buccaneers have won four of their last five. The 49ers visit Ray-Jay next Sunday for the final home game of the season.
Photo Courtesy: USA Today
This is what happens when you face one of the hottest teams in the league. After the Bucs had won three games in a row, the Panthers gave them a dose of reality on Sunday afternoon with a 27-6 thumping.
This game was a lot like the first one against Carolina in terms of Tampa Bay’s inability to get anything going. Yes, it was a game for much of the first half. But at the end of the day, the Panthers dominated in just about every way humanly possible. Mike Glennon looked a lot like a rookie again, losing a key fumble down by the goal line. The offense couldn’t score a touchdown; heck they only mustered 206 total yards. The defense couldn’t stop Cam Newton. Carolina had 426 total yards – more than doubled the Bucs’ output.
Carolina is simply the better team. I was not surprised that the Panthers gave them an old-fashioned butt kicking. The Bucs are once again in the running for the #1 draft pick, though they need a lot of help. I can’t even bring myself to start the “Fire Schiano!” chants again, at least for a week.
NEXT WEEK: the Buffalo Bills visit Ray-Jay.
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