In losing to the coach who turned them down at the last minute in January 2012, the Bucs have plunged to 0-5 in 2013, a run of futility that when considering the end of last season accounts for 10 losses in 11 games.
And with Josh Freeman no longer available to be blamed for the slide, the man who has stepped to the center of the spotlight is coach Greg Schiano.
As explained by Gary Shelton of the Tampa Bay Times, the fans who normally congregate at the southwest corner of Raymond James Stadium let Schiano have it as he left the field after Sunday’s loss to the Eagles.
Schiano, via quotes distributed by the team, downplayed the incident.
“I didn’t hear anything,” Schiano told reporters.
Schiano later was asked whether his winless team is well coached.
“I believe it is a well-coached football team, [but] not well enough,” Schiano said. “There [are] certain things that we have to get done consistently. We’ll get ‘this’ done in one game and we’ll get ‘this’ in another game, but we’re not getting it all together. That may frustrate some, but I’d tell you if I didn’t think we were doing a good job. We need to be better — It starts with me, it goes through all my assistant coaches and then through every player on the team. Again, we’ll get over this hump and we’ll get through it and we’ll start winning.”
The question now becomes whether Schiano will get the chance to get over the hump and get through it and start winning. Ownership has remained quiet on Schiano’s status — which may actually be good news since a public vote of confidence often precedes an even more public proclamation of termination.
Then again, Buccaneers ownership usually remains quiet about the status of the head coach, until the time comes to act. It typically comes swiftly and without warning or much in the way of rumor. In one fell swoop, for example, coach Jon Gruden and G.M. Bruce Allen were dumped in early 2009, replaced the next day by Raheem Morris and Mark Dominik, respectively.
From the Freeman situation to the MRSA mess to the inability to win football games, the Buccaneers have become as bumbling as they were when John McKay famously gave his views on the team’s execution by saying he’d be in favor of it. At least in the late ’70s the Bucs were lovable losers; these Bucs have become bad guys in the eyes of many, with their head coach slowly morphing into Captain Queeg.
While the Glazers likely won’t act rashly, they will act suddenly, once they’ve decided that the time has come to make a change. If that time isn’t now, it’s hard to imagine what else would have to happen to get to the point where it would be.