TAMPA, FL--The calling for Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano to be fired has been going on for several weeks now, but not all due to the play on the field. Rather for multiple off-field incidents, some of which were out of his control. But after losing to the Seattle Seahawks 27-24 in overtime on Sunday, his tenure in Tampa may be coming to a close fast.
The Buccaneers are now 0-8 for the first time since 1985. Through questionable decisions and poor in-game adjustments, Schiano has now come under fire for his on-field approach. It's not because he doesn't know how to win, he just doesn't know how to win on the NFL level over the long haul. To win consistently in the NFL, you must believe and have confidence in your players to make big plays in critical moments, which Schiano lacks. Obviously NFL players can make big plays, they are in the NFL.
Two examples from the Seattle game.
#1: Late in the 2nd quarter against the Seahawks, it looked as though Tampa Bay had turned the corner. The Bucs were up 21-7, with 3 timeouts and 1:40 to play in the half. However, instead of responding to Seattle's touchdown and utilizing his timeouts to at least drive down the field and settle for a field goal, Schiano decides to run the ball and run out the clock to end the half.
"I didn't think it was prudent." Schiano said at his Monday press conference. "They had just scored. We're up 21-0, now it's 21-7; there's no reason to make it 21-10 or 21-14 by giving them the football."
Does that sound like a coach having faith in his team to make big plays in critical moments?
#2: Then with the game tied 24-24 and driving to win the game, Tampa Bay faced a 4th-and-3 with :25 seconds left in the game at midfield. The Seahawks have scored 17 unanswered points, Century Link Field is going crazy. Instead of going for the win right there, the Bucs attempted to draw the Seahawks defense offsides, but to no avail. After the game Schiano was asked if he was thinking about going for it. His response: "No. There was no thought of going for it. Zero."
Again, does that sound like a coach having faith in his team to make big plays in critical moments? And Mike Glennon is the quarterback he wanted. The Bucs would punt, force overtime, and the results were the same as the last 7 games. Another loss.
Since Greg Schiano was hired, Tampa Bay is just 3-12 in games decided by 8 points or less. Whether it's the offense not being able to battle back, or the defense giving up game-ending drives to the opponent, they have faltered at the most critical times.
Schiano had time at Rutgers. It took him 5 seasons to finally achieve his first winning season as a head coach. He is running out of time in Tampa. This isn't college where you can have the luxury of several seasons to establish a foundation of winning. The only thing people care about in the NFL is to win now. Schiano has said numerous times this season: "We're paid to win." Right now he's not winning football games, not winning over his players, and not winning over the fan base. Those results warrant a change at the helm.
It could be any day now that the Glazer's pull the plug. In order for Schiano to keep his job, he must display full confidence in his players. That will only happen if he puts them in position to win and gives them opportunities to win. If not, Schiano will be let go sooner rather than later.
What do you think? Will Greg Schiano have enough time to save his job in Tampa? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, or over the airwaves on 98.7 The Fan.
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