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November 8, 2013 @ 10:34 am
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SR's Fab 5 - 11-8

Written by Scott
Reynolds
Scott Reynolds

Scott
Reynolds

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What are the reasons why the Buccaneers haven't fired head coach Greg Schiano? Why is there a chance that Schiano may remain as the head coach in 2014? How many wins could the Bucs finish with this season? Get the answer to these questions plus inside scoop on Tampa Bay and Miami's offensive and defensive lines in this edition of SR's Fab 5.
SR's Fab 5 is a collection of inside scoop, analysis and insight from yours truly, Pewter Report publisher and Bucs beat writer Scott Reynolds. Here are a few things that caught my attention this week at One Buc Place:

FAB 1. WHY HASN’T SCHIANO BEEN FIRED?

Why haven’t the Buccaneers fired Greg Schiano yet? Why haven’t the Glazers publicly addressed the head coach’s fate and the team’s winless record yet?

Tampa Bay fans have lots questions – with those two being the most pressing – and after weeks of digging, PewterReport.com has some answers.

Whether the team is winning or losing, the Glazers have consistently not talked publicly or done interviews with the media until the end of the season. The Glazers typically don’t make rash decisions and are very methodical in their evaluation of the team, choosing to examine the season as a whole rather than at the midway point.

That approach is one of the reasons why the Glazers haven’t fired Schiano yet, and why he still has a chance to keep his job after the season if the team can win a significant amount of games down the stretch. Sources have told PewterReport.com that Schiano needs six wins to have a chance of coaching in Tampa Bay in 2014, but if the Bucs continue to battle and keep games close and finish 4-4 down the stretch that would weigh favorably in Schiano’s favor.

PewterReport.com has learned that the Glazers do not necessarily want to fire Schiano for several reasons, which are listed below.

The Crazy Circumstances
The Buccaneers’ 2013 season seems like it was doomed before it even started. Connor Barth, a Pro Bowl-caliber kicker who once had the franchise-tag designation, tore his Achilles tendon prior to training camp in a charity basketball game in North Carolina and was abruptly lost for the season.

Then came the onset of MRSA that affected the team and One Buccaneer Place. Right guard Davin Joseph contracted a staph infection in late May, as did a member of the Buccaneers support staff. Then in August, not only did kicker Lawrence Tynes and left guard Carl Nicks get staph infections, the strain they contracted was MRSA.

In October, a third member of the Buccaneers contracted MRSA, which is believed to be cornerback Johnthan Banks. The mini-MRSA outbreak has proven to be a huge distraction for the players and the entire organization.

Sometimes NFL teams have seasons where everything goes haywire. Last year, Kansas City hired its interim head coach from 2011, Romeo Crennel, to become its head coach, and the team finished 2-14, which resulted in his firing. During the season, Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher killed the mother of his baby and then committed suicide at the team’s facilities at Arrowhead Stadium during the season.

In 2008, in Rod Marinelli’s only season as head coach of the Detroit Lions, the team started off 0-4 and general manager and team CEO Matt Millen was fired during the team’s bye week. Starting quarterback Jon Kitna was placed on injured reserve after a 0-6 start, and backup quarterback Dan Orlovsky infamously ran out of the back of the end zone for a safety in a 12-10 loss at Minnesota. The Lions would finish the season 0-16.

In 2007, the Falcons had gone 3-10 under Bobby Petrino before he abruptly left in December for the head coaching position at Arkansas. He left the players a letter in the locker room and didn’t even have a final meeting to address his departure with the team. Petrino was hired in 2007 to work with quarterback Michael Vick, but Vick was suspended after his arrest for participating in an illegal dog-fighting ring and later spent time in a federal prison.

Sometimes stuff happens in the NFL, and the Glazers may be inclined chalk up this disappointing season as one of those years when nothing seems to go right and the ball doesn’t bounce the Bucs’ way.

The Challenging Bucs’ 2013 Schedule
The Buccaneers are a woeful 0-8 this season and that is ultimately quite damning for Schiano, who has also lost 12 of his last 13 games in Tampa Bay. While the Bucs have struggled mightily in close games, going 0-7 in games decided by three points or less over the past year and a half, the Bucs have lost all eight games this season by a combined 66 points. The 8.5-point margin of defeat average isn’t terribly impressive, but the Bucs lost games against the Jets, Saints, Cardinals and Seahawks by a combined nine points, and had a fourth quarter lead in each of those games.

Looking at the glass half full, Tampa Bay could easily be 4-4 this season if it hung on to win those games in the fourth quarter. Looking at the glass half empty, the Bucs’ failure to close out games is a symptomatic problem of Schiano and his staff that has yet to be corrected.

One more interesting caveat is the strength of schedule regarding Tampa Bay’s 2013 opponents. Several teams that were once viewed as possible “easy wins” for the Buccaneers prior to the start of the season, such as New York, Arizona and Carolina, have turned out to be formidable foes this year.

Here is a current look at all eight opponents the Bucs have faced:

New York Jets – 5-4
New Orleans Saints – 6-2
New England Patriots – 7-2
Arizona Cardinals – 4-4
Philadelphia Eagles – 4-5
Atlanta Falcons – 2-6
Carolina Panthers – 5-3
Seattle Seahawks – 8-1


Tampa Bay’s strength of schedule is actually one of the toughest in the NFL as the Bucs’ opponents are a combined 41-27. The Bucs have only played two teams – Philadelphia and Atlanta – with a losing record. Of the five teams that have a winning record that have played Tampa Bay, three of those teams – Seattle, New Orleans and New England – are division leaders and have a combined record of 21-5.

The Sudden Quarterback Switch
It has been previously suggested by PewterReport.com and others that former starting quarterback Josh Freeman was run out of town by Schiano, who was never really on board with the former Kansas State star. But sources tell PewterReport.com that Schiano and his assistants actually gave Freeman, who is in a contract year, multiple opportunities in the offseason, during training camp and at the start of the regular season to solidify himself as Tampa Bay’s quarterback for the long haul.

Instead of focusing hard on having a successful season, Freeman apparently missed a slew of meetings from the voluntary ones during the OTAs (organized team activities) to mandatory meetings, including the team photo, and then missed the mandatory team meal prior to the season opener against the Jets. Freeman nearly missed the bus to the Jets game, and that, combined with a preseason in which he didn’t complete more than 47 percent of his passes, led to a disastrous 0-3 start for the quarterback and the team.

As it turns out, Glennon was given more reps in the preseason for a reason. PewterReport.com has learned that the team was worried about Freeman for a multitude of reasons, and anticipated having to make a switch at some point during the season. When two prominent offensive players went to the Bucs’ brass after the 23-3 loss and New England and demanded a quarterback change due to Freeman’s inaccuracy, the team finally pulled the trigger and made the switch to Glennon.

The quarterback switch speaks volumes, as Bucs general manager Mark Dominik, who was Freeman’s biggest ally in the building as the QB was his first-ever draft pick in 2009 when he took over for Bruce Allen, was fully on board with not only benching the quarterback, but also cutting him. Starting a rookie quarterback, especially one drafted in the third round, in Week 4 of the season, is never ideal for a head coach, especially one like Schiano, who is feeling the heat.

As it turns out, Schiano made the right move in benching and parting ways with Freeman and starting Glennon. The fact that the rookie has started off completing 60.3 percent of his passes for 1,165 yards with eight touchdowns and only three interceptions and is poised to break all of Freeman’s franchise records for rookie quarterbacks could help Schiano buy more time in the eyes of the Glazers.

The Glazers Believe Schiano – And Still Believe In Him
Behind the scenes, the Glazers firmly believe that the leaks about Freeman came from Freeman’s camp rather than Schiano. The team is confident that an NFLPA investigation into the claims that Schiano and the Bucs may have leaked confidential health information about the QB to the media will lead back to Freeman’s agent, whom it believes planted several stories in the media.

While there have been some disparaging stories about Schiano from NFL.com’s Michael Silver, Bucs blogger Steve White and yours truly on PewterReport.com, the team believes that Schiano isn’t the bully or tyrant he’s made out to be. There’s no denying that Schiano was extreme and overbearing in his first season with the Bucs as the team desperately needed discipline and strict structure following Raheem Morris’ loose tenure in Tampa Bay.

But several players have told PewterReport.com that Schiano has loosened up from a year ago. One instance is that every team meal used to be mandatory and players had to check in. Now the only mandatory meal that players are required to check in for is the pre-game meal on Sundays.

Schiano has also lightened up even more over the past three weeks. It’s been most noticeable on the sidelines in Tampa Bay’s last two games against Carolina and Seattle. Schiano is a tightly wound coach and teams typically take on the personality of their head coach. As a result, the Bucs play tight, especially at the end of games where Tampa Bay is 3-9 in games decided by a touchdown or less.

Changing his coaching style to adapt to the players has helped bridge some of the disconnect between the coaches and the players. It’s clear from the comments of team captains Gerald McCoy and Dashon Goldson, who have publicly supported him over the past week that he hasn't lost the locker room.

The Bucs Are Still Playing Hard
Despite not having won a regular season game in the past 10 months, the Buccaneers continue to play hard for Schiano, evidenced by a 27-24 defeat in overtime on the road at Seattle, which at 8-1 has the best record in the NFC. Schiano has not lost the locker room despite a 0-8 record and the fact that Tampa Bay has won just once in the last 13 games.

One of the main reasons why the Glazers fired former head coach Raheem Morris is because the Bucs were getting blown out down the stretch of his final season in 2011. There was a 37-9 loss to Houston, a 38-19 defeat and a 48-16 loss against Carolina, a 41-14 drubbing at the hands of Jacksonville, a 31-15 beatdown on national TV by Dallas and a 45-24 blowout at Atlanta to end the 2011 campaign.

The worst losses by the Bucs this year have come at the hands of New England (23-3 in Week 3) and Carolina (31-13), and the largest margin has been 20 points. Tampa Bay has had half of its games decided by three points or less – all favoring the opponent, unfortunately.

The fact that the Buccaneers are still playing hard for Schiano despite the atrocious record tells the Glazers that they are still responding to his message and still believing in him as a head coach. Yet if Tampa Bay doesn’t win soon that all could change.

FAB 2. REASONS WHY SCHIANO MAY STAY IN 2014
Despite a 0-8 record to start the 2013 season, Bucs head coach Greg Schiano may still coach in Tampa Bay in 2014. Sources tell PewterReport.com if the Bucs go 5-3 or perhaps even 4-4 down the stretch, the Glazers may decide to keep Schiano on as head coach – despite a 5-11 or 4-12 record.

Why? Here are a couple of reasons.

Drafts Have Been Great With Schiano
The Buccaneers have acquired the best group of talent in over a decade with Schiano working with general manager Mark Dominik. Prior to Schiano’s arrival, Dominik’s drafts were only so-so. Maybe that’s because Dominik was learning on the job in the Raheem Morris era from 2009-11, and has learned from his mistakes. Or maybe the drafts improved in part because of Schiano’s influence.

In two years, the Buccaneers have drafted the following players:

2012 Bucs Draft
Round 1 – SS Mark Barron
Round 1 – RB Doug Martin
Round 2 – LB Lavonte David
Round 5 – LB Najee Goode
Round 6 – FS Keith Tandy
Round 6 – RB Michael Smith
Round 7 – TE Drake Dunsmore


2013 Bucs Draft
Round 2 – CB Johnthan Banks
Round 3 – QB Mike Glennon
Round 4 – DT Akeem Spence
Round 4 – DE William Gholston
Round 5 – DE Steven Means
Round 6 – RB Mike James


Out of the last two drafts under Schiano and Dominik, the Bucs have selected six starters (Barron, Martin, David, Banks, Glennon and Spence) and had two other players get starts due to injuries (Tandy and James). That’s eight quality players out of 14 draft picks.

Of the Buccaneers drafted over the past two years, only two are no longer with the team – Goode, who is now in Philadelphia, and Dunsmore, who has retired from the NFL after his heart was no longer in it.

In addition to adding talent in the offseason through the draft, Schiano has also helped Dominik recruit the likes of three Pro Bowlers in guard Carl Nicks, wide receiver Vincent Jackson and free safety Dashon Goldson. Having Schiano around for another offseason wouldn’t be a bad thing given how his presence in Tampa Bay has helped bolster the talent of the Bucs’ roster.

Firing Some Assistant Coaches Might Help
If Schiano survives the 2013 season he will almost assuredly have to shake up his coaching staff to get better results next year. Schiano is likely spending the rest of this season evaluating his assistants and coordinators and will likely have to part ways with some of his staffers if he is to get a chance from the Glazers to lead the team again next year.

Offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan and defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan are both in jeopardy of losing their respective jobs due to the sub-standard play of Tampa Bay’s offense and defense. Both coordinators have been feeling the heat this year – primarily due to the fact that both are slow to make adjustments in the second half where the Bucs have now been outscored 92-36 after halftime, including 62-26 in the fourth quarter.

Both assistant to the head coach Butch Davis and special teams coordinator Dave Wannstedt have experience as a defensive coordinator at both the college and NFL levels, and could replace Sheridan if Schiano feels like a change there is warranted. However, a potential replacement for Sullivan may not be found in-house and may prompt Schiano to look outside the organization if he wants to go in a different direction at offensive coordinator.

Schiano’s Salary Is Hefty
Two years ago Schiano signed a five-year, $15-million contract that averaged $3 million per season. If Schiano were to be fired after the 2013 season it is believed that he would still be owed $9 million over the next three years, which is the remainder of his contract.

The Glazers have fired the last three coaches – Tony Dungy, Jon Gruden and Raheem Morris – before with years left on their deal. But after Gruden was fired he was still owed $10.5 million over three years (2009-11). The difference is that Morris made less than $1 million per year while the Glazers were paying Gruden over three times that amount.

Yet if Schiano were to be fired at season’s end, the Glazers would likely have to go out and hire a big-name coach to make a splash within the Tampa Bay community in an attempt to win the fan base back. Paying Schiano $3 million per season and then a new, high-priced coach at least that much – if not more – may be more than the Glazers want to shell out. Paying the head coaching position over $6 million per season, including $3 million per season to a man that would no longer be earning his keep, is something the Glazers want to avoid.

Keep in mind that it’s not just Schiano that the Glazers would have to keep paying. Schiano has a larger staff of assistants than Morris had, and a lot of them are still under contract for the 2014 season. That means the Glazers might have to fork over a combined $1-2 million in assistant coaches’ salaries, in addition to the $9 million over three years that would be owed to Schiano if he were fired.

In order to even consider keeping him around for 2014 the Glazers want to see Schiano win in 2013. The Glazers believe that if the Bucs start winning that the fans will forgive Schiano and perhaps even embrace him next year if he wins enough and gets Tampa Bay into the postseason in 2014. But at 0-8 … that’s a big if.

FAB 3. BUCS COULD FINISH WITH 4 WINS
Last week, the Buccaneers fought hard in Seattle against an 8-1 Seahawks team that is the class of the NFC, falling 27-24 on the road in overtime. With that same type of effort, Tampa Bay should have a good chance of earning its first victory of the season as the team hosts the Miami Dolphins (4-4) on Monday Night Football.

Miami is coming off an impressive 22-20 overtime win against current AFC North leader Cincinnati (6-3). The Dolphins had lost four straight games prior to last Thursday’s victory over the Bengals and will have had 10 days to prepare for the Buccaneers.

Here’s a look at Tampa Bay’s remaining opponents – beginning with Miami – and the chances the Bucs have of winning each game down the stretch.

11/11 vs. Miami (4-4) – The Dolphins have won four games by a combined 25 points, an average of 6.25 points. Miami’s four losses have been by a combined 36 points, an average of nine points. In other words, expect a close game on Monday night, but the home crowd and Warren Sapp’s induction into the Bucs Ring of Honor should lift Tampa Bay to its first win of the year. Projected outcome: Win

11/17 vs. Atlanta (2-6) – The Bucs lost to Atlanta 31-23 on the road as the Falcons played without wide receiver Julio Jones and Roddy White and running back Steven Jackson. Tampa Bay gets the chance for revenge by facing the Falcons at home, but this time it is down its starting running back in Doug Martin and wide receiver in Mike Williams. The fact that this game is at Raymond James Stadium could give the Bucs two wins in a row and some much needed momentum. Projected outcome: Win

11/24 at Detroit (5-3) – Detroit is currently tied for the NFC North division lead with Chicago and Green Bay. The Lions seem to be leading a charmed life this season after some improbable wins, and are tough at home with a 3-1 record thus far. The Bucs defense will have a hard time containing quarterback Matthew Stafford, wide receiver Calvin Johnson and running back Reggie Bush, and a victory in Detroit is unlikely. Projected outcome: Loss

12/1 at Carolina (5-3) – The Panthers gave the Bucs their worst loss of the season in a 31-13 defeat on a nationally televised Thursday Night Football contest three weeks ago. Carolina is 3-1 at home and the Panthers appear poised to make a playoff run with the way quarterback Cam Newton is playing right now. The Bucs were overwhelmed on offense and defense against the Panthers in the first meeting and expect more of the same against a red-hot Carolina team in the rematch. Projected outcome: Loss

12/8 vs. Buffalo (3-6) – Led by defensive end Mario Williams and rookie linebacker Kiko Alonso, Buffalo has a reasonably stout defense. The Bills’ problems this year have been on offense where the team has had to start three different quarterbacks this season due to injuries. Tampa Bay should be facing rookie starter E.J. Manuel in December, and the combination of Manuel, running back C.J. Spiller and wide receiver Stevie Johnson will be difficult to stop, but the fact that this is a home game makes this a winnable contest for the Buccaneers. Projected outcome: Win

12/15 vs. San Francisco (6-2) – The 49ers are one of the toughest, most physical teams in the NFL and may be the most difficult opponent on the Bucs’ schedule over the final eight games. The Bucs have had trouble defending mobile quarterbacks and Colin Kaepernick can beat teams with his arm and his legs. The best chance the Bucs have of getting an unlikely victory over the 49ers is if San Francisco comes in jetlagged from the cross-country trip and overlooks Tampa Bay. Projected outcome: Loss

12/22 at St. Louis (3-6) – St. Louis’ playoff hopes went down the drain after starting quarterback Sam Bradford was lost for the season with a torn ACL. The Rams still have a potent defense that features top-notch pass rushers in Robert Quinn and Chris Long, and that will present a point-scoring challenge for the Bucs, especially on the road. This game is winnable for Tampa Bay if it can stop running back Zac Stacy and win the turnover battle. Projected outcome: Win

12/29 at New Orleans (6-2) – The Buccaneers could have four wins coming into the season finale, and an upset over the likely NFC South champions would give them a 5-3 record down the stretch and significantly increase the chances of head coach Greg Schiano keeping his job. There is a chance the Saints may have already locked up a home playoff game by Week 17 and not have as much to play for. That was the scenario last year when the Bucs upset the Falcons in Atlanta to end the season with a victory. Projected outcome: Loss

A 4-12 record might be enough for Schiano to keep his job if the Bucs remain competitive down the stretch and get at least four quality wins. And with a 4-12 record the Bucs would be assured of having a top 10 – and likely a top 5 – draft pick in 2014.

FAB 4. ROUGH WAKE AHEAD FOR BUCS O-LINE
The Buccaneers seem to be catching the Dolphins at the right time. With all of the distractions surrounding the alleged bullying and harassment of offensive tackle Jonathan Martin by teammate Richie Incognito, Miami has been making national news for all the wrong reasons.  Any good vibes from Miami’s 22-20 upset over Cincinnati in overtime have vanished with the huge distraction the Martin-Incognito situation has become to the Dolphins.

Miami defensive ends Cameron Wake (5.5), Olivier Vernon (4.5) Jared Odrick (3.5), Derrick Shelby (2.5) and Dion Jordan (one) account for all but four of the impressive 21 sacks put up by the Dolphins defensive line through eight games, although Odrick sees more time at defensive tackle. Tampa Bay’s offensive line has allowed 20 sacks this season, including 13 of rookie starting quarterback Mike Glennon.

But out of all the pass rushers Miami has assembled, Wake is the most feared by the Buccaneers. Coming off a game in which he recorded three sacks against the Bengals, including the game-winning safety, Wake is finally healthy and full of confidence. After recording 2.5 sacks in the season opening win at Cleveland, Wake had gone sackless until he recorded three against Cincinnati in a 22-20 overtime win.

“I’ve never seen a game end on a safety before,” Bucs left tackle Donald Penn said. “I’ve got a lot of respect for that guy. He’s real talented.”

The powerful, 6-foot-3, 258-pound Wake typically lines up on the left side of the defense against opposing teams’ right tackles, which presents Tampa Bay’s Demar Dotson with a big challenge.

“That guy is good,” Dotson said. “He’s got a high motor. He doesn’t stop. That’s a guy you have to fight for four quarters because he will wear on you and wear on you and wear on you and then in the fourth quarter he’ll kill you. Just like he killed that guy in overtime to win the ball game. You have to keep fighting him because he’s real talented.”

What makes Wake and the Dolphins defensive line dangerous is the fact that they stunt and slant so often. Against Cincinnati on the final play of the game, Wake lined up over right tackle Andre Smith, but slanted inside to the right and beat right guard Kevin Zeitler inside for the sack and game-winning safety of quarterback Andy Dalton.

“I have not seen a game end on a safety before but that’s the type of player he is,” Dotson said. “It was third down and he knew he had to have it and he went out and made a play for his team and won the game.”

Because the Dolphins play a scheme that calls for so much slanting and stunting, Dotson and right guard Davin Joseph must be in sync on every play to avoid surrendering a sack to Wake or his teammates.

“We have to be on the same page, especially against teams like that,” Dotson said. “They run a lot of twists and games. You have to be on the same page. I have to pass a guy off to Davin and then pick up his guy. That’s the thing Davin and I are in the process of doing. We are learning how to play off each other. He and Jeremy Trueblood played together for six years. Those guys had a special bond that Davin and I don’t have yet. But as the season goes on were learning about each other and getting better and better.”

Dotson has surrendered a sack in each of the last two games, and will have his hands full against Wake, who has 48.5 career sacks, including a career-high 15 last year in a season where he also forced a career-high three fumbles. Thankfully for Dotson, he has a very good pass rusher to go against in practice to help him prepare for a player like Wake.

“Adrian Clayborn is a good pass rusher,” Dotson said. “He’s real similar to Wake. Anytime you go up against a guy in practice that has both speed and power it only helps your game. I get a chance to go up against him in one-on-ones in practice and I don’t take that for granted. That’s a special time. When we line up in one-on-ones that’s my time to get a live rush against a quality defensive end. I take pride in that, and that helps me when I go up against guys like Wake.”

FAB 5. Here are a few things to hold you over until the next edition of SR’s Fab 5:

• The last team the Buccaneers tasted victory was actually against the Dolphins as Tampa Bay beat Miami 17-16 in its only preseason win on August 24. Mike Glennon led the come-from-behind victory as he found wide receiver David Douglas in the end zone with a 12-yard pass in the closing moments of the preseason clash. Glennon was only 3-of-9 for 44 yards in the victory as Miami raced out to an early 13-10 lead at halftime as Ryan Tannehill completed 17-of-27 passes with one touchdown and no interceptions.

• While Tampa Bay has had its issue with pass protection this year, surrendering 20 sacks, including three last week against Seattle, the Bucs have fared much better when it comes to protecting their quarterback than Miami has. Last year, quarterback Ryan Tannehill was sacked 35 times in 16 starts. Through the first eight games of the 2013 season, Tannehill has already been dropped 35 times.

That could bode well for a Buccaneers team that has struggled to get to the quarterback this year, and has failed to register a sack in two of its last three games. Journeyman Tyson Clabo will start at right tackle in place of Jonathan Martin, who has left the team after being bullied and harassed by teammate Richie Incognito. Six-year veteran Nate Garner is slated to replace Incognito at left guard for the Dolphins.

With two replacements filling in for Martin and Incognito, the Bucs’ pass rush could come alive against the Dolphins. Expect Tampa Bay to blitz Miami and for linebacker Lavonte David to continue continuing to the quarterback and look for the Bucs defensive line to come to life against a depleted Dolphins offensive line.

• Bucs head coach Greg Schiano deserves some credit for not revealing the truth about the physical limitations regarding the health of cornerback Darrelle Revis earlier in the season. Revis finally revealed on his radio show last week that he was not in condition to play man coverage for an entire game until recently since coming back from a torn ACL that cost him much of the 2012 campaign.

 “It’s a process you have to go through,” Revis said. “ACLs take a while. It’s a process. I’m not all the way there yet, but you have to change your game up and that’s what I had to do.

“I’m getting back to my old self. In the [Panthers] game I pressed Steve Smith every chance I got. I’m getting there. It’s a process. I just have to keep on strengthening my leg and getting it stronger.”

The Bucs would play zone about 45 percent of the time to give Revis a break and help his stamina, which was lacking after missing the entire preseason while he rehabbed his knee.

“No [I didn’t have any explosion], and it’s just like I said on radio, it’s the plays that if a guy is running you off four or five times [that wear you out],” Revis said. “You need those reps. You need that build up. I wasn’t getting that or I wasn’t even feeling comfortable running press coverage from the get-go. It was just something that was going to take some time.”

During that time, Schiano and defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan took an awful lot of heat from fans and the media while covering up the fact that Revis was far from 100 percent in the first four to six weeks of the season. Their reasoning was to protect Revis’ pride and also from a tactical standpoint. If they publicly admitted that Revis couldn’t press early in the season or wasn’t healthy enough to play man coverage more than 65 percent of the snaps opposing teams could have targeted him in ways that would have exposed the four-time Pro Bowler as he recovers.

Schiano and Sheridan took the heat for the player and that’s a big reason why the head coach is still backed by the players and why he hasn’t lost the locker room and why the players continue to play hard for him. Against Carolina and Seattle, Revis played man coverage about 85 percent of the time and he is getting stronger from a physical standpoint and a conditioning standpoint as the season goes on.

• And finally, yours truly, PewterReport.com publisher and Bucs beat writer Scott Reynolds, will be on 98.7 The Fan today (Friday) from 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. ET talking Bucs football and previewing Monday night's Tampa Bay vs. Miami game with Booger McFarland and Rich Hererra on the Booger and Rich Show. I will also be on 98.7 The Fan on Monday morning from 8:00 - 9:00 a.m. doing a full-hour game preview with Kirk McEwen and Chris Dingman and the Kirk and Dinger Morning Show. PewterReport.com listeners are encouraged to listen and call in to the program by calling 1-888-9-987-987 Be sure to mention you're a PewterReport.com fan!
Last modified on Sunday, 10 November 2013 08:00
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COMMENTS

  • avatar

    I fully agree with with burke757 and both of buc1932´s posts.. The Bucsnation article kills this one here - weak performance by Scott. Why give Shiano a 3rd chance? He has got his coaches, running his sheme and they went the win-now-mode this season, to the outcome that he orchastrated. Therefore: HC;GM; have to go. I am also not sold on the "great" drafts.. Glennon looks like the perfect, realy perfect, back-up that came with a high prize in the 3rd..
  • avatar


    {rtf1ansiansicpg1252 {fonttblf0fnilfcharset0 ArialMT;} {colortbl;red255green255blue255;red0green0blue0;red221green221blue221;} deftab720 pardpardeftab720sl540partightenfactor0 f0fs22 cf2 cb3 expnd0expndtw0kerning0 outl0strokewidth0 strokec2 They can't let him continue coaching this team. All of the reasons (excuses) pr gives are weak at best and truthfully can be traced back to schiano. The financial aspect is foolish the glazers will pay him if he stays or goes and our franchise will further plummet, plus I find it hard to believe that a few million will stop multibillionaires from firing him nor do I feel sympathy in that regard. Do the right thing by your fans glazers, schiano simply is not good enough to coach in the nfl. And winning 4 games should NEVER be enough to justify keeping him on.}
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    "Drafts have been great with Schiano!" "Out of the last two drafts under Schiano and Dominik, the Bucs have selected six starters (Barron, Martin, David, Banks, Glennon and Spence) and had two other players get starts due to injuries (Tandy and James). That’s eight quality players out of 14 draft picks." "Having Schiano around for another offseason wouldn’t be a bad thing given how his presence in Tampa Bay has helped bolster the talent of the Bucs’ roster." Surely you jest SR. This is borderline ridiculous. Let's look at the '12 draft...only 4 players are left out of the 7 a year later. Tandy is mediocre. Martin played well last year, but you expect 1st round RB's to play well initially. Most do. Now he is injured and we will see what his longevity will be in this league, especially considering Schiano's propensity for only playing one RB in a game. Barron had been mediocre for the #7 overall pick. You cannot tell me the team would not be better off with Kuechly, which was the no brainer pick. David was the lone pick that may save this draft. He was outstanding value and a great player that is still able to show through despite the teams scheme's on the field. Everyone gets lucky once in awhile. Moving on to the '13 draft. Well, they traded the first round pick and next year's #3 for an injured man CB that cannot play man because he is injured. Not to mention they paid him 16 million a year. Brilliant! They could have signed him this offseason for that amount without giving up any pics! How many teams do you think were ready to spend over 10% of their cap space on a CB? Now, the rest of the draft...Banks in the second. He has looked absolutely terrible this year. The only time you notice him is when he is getting beat deep or badly misses a tackle. How many good plays has he made this year? Glennon has looked serviceable...possibly a decent pick at QB. time will tell on Glennon. Spence: they traded up to get him because apparently he was a superstar waiting in the wings. What has he done this year? Just about nothing. They could have got that kind of play out of the players they already had on the roster. Gholston and Steven Means were reaches IMO. They have done nothing. Mike James has looked good. He has a nice wiggle and seems to be a 3 down back. Overall, I would say the last two drafts have been decidedly mediocre. Saying that they were great because they produced 6 starters on an 0-8 team is nothing to brag about. So SR...why the sudden shift of seemingly the entire PR organization on Schiano? You were calling for his head two weeks ago and now you are defending him after they blew in Seattle? I, for one, don't get it.
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    @burke757: Excellent analysis on the most recent draft...and previous years' drafts were even worse...Stocker, Bowers, Price just to mention a few of the busts. GM must go...and so must this coach.
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    Not good enough in my opinion the bottom line is winning and with the talent on this team the truly pathetic coaching proves schiano is over his head and seems way too stubborn to adapt and change schemes. Come on SR! Why the switch? Sander at bucsnation has a great counterpoint article to these arguments.
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    Solid article Scott. It was fair and I believe very accurate as to how things stand between the Glazers and Coach Schiano today. When asked whether Coach will be fired yesterday, Boomer Esiason made the distinction between should be fired and will be fired. Will be depends so much on what the Glazers perceive to be the will of the fans. Season ticket sales, etc. Should be? That depends on the record from here to the need of the season. Both wins and losses and the team effort. ALL of the negatives you mentioned in the article are valid and certainly most were out of the control of Schiano. I want to see ownership do what's right for the Buccaneers, what will turn them around quickest and what will be a maintainable winning effort for years to come. DESPITE what the fans may want and DESPITE local sports talk jibberish that just might be keeping Coach on. Monday night's game presents a great opportunity to move forward. To win at home. Great for the fans, players......our Buccaneers. Again, I think this is fair and right and I applaud Scott for this fabulous Fab Five!
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    My hearty congratulations, Scott, for showing that you are a journalist and not a hack sensationalist like much of the local media especially our local sports talk radio. I said ten weeks ago that Schiano would not be fired, and if he were look out, because that would mean the Glazer's would be due an outrageous sum, paying Schiano and some new, high priced guy. That is not going to happen unless he wins fewer than 3 games in my opinion, and I'm glad. There will definitely be a new defensive coordinator, thank goodness for that. Josh Freeman was largely responsible for poisoning the well and turning the whole community against Schiano. Truth is, Schiano handled it poorly. Instead of starting 2-0 with wins over a better than advertised Jets team and a very good New Orleans team, we started 0-2 and that laid the groundwork for what has followed. Most observers don't realize that the Buccaneers have played the number two ranked schedule in the NFL to date and the teams with the number 1 (NY Giants) and number 3 schedules have a combined 2 wins (data source FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS). Now in terms of Glennon, I believe every Tampa Bay (true) fan should be rooting for him to do well. He's shown poise and accuracy (except for the long throws). I don't get the urge to throw everything at one of the College guys currently being touted. Sure Andrew Luck has panned out; he's a fabulous talent, but he's once in a generation and he was the consensus number one pick. RG III looks very ordinary this year with only one first half touchdown the entire season. Teams have scouted him and he's got a lot to prove. Cam Newton has a world of talent but he makes many, many boneheaded plays, has a poor temperment, and does not have the look of a leader. Kaepernick was a 2nd round pick and Wilson, a third round pick. On the other hand, Locker, Gabbert, Freeman, Sanchez, Bradford--they were all first round picks. I don't buy all the hype regarding how first year quarterbacks can now be successful. There are exceptions, but most need time and experience to develop. Case in point Alex Smith. Drew Brees, E. Manning, A. Rodgers (sat on the bench for more than two years). Glennon appears to have savvy and football intelligence, which is the biggest prerequisite to success.
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    @buc-up..... I hear you, good idea but there is no guarantee we get Winston.
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    Sorry PR, I'm not buying it. Don't change course now, it's not like things have changed since you called for his firing. Its interesting how you mention the team is still playing hard and that Morris' team didn't. Well guess what? They're highly paid PROFESSIONAL players they're supposed to play hard. The reason they're playing hard shows more dedication to their craft and not necessarily the coach. That excuse doesn't make sense. Morris had a team full of backups basically, and how many of them are playing for other teams? Look, you can't sprinkle sugar on poo and pass it off as some wonderful dessert. The facts are very simple. This team is 0-8. 0-8! Think about that. They can't muster one win. One? No adjustments. No changes in philosophy to get different results. Flippant attitude toward fans regarding scheme. Playing scared in the second half. The list goes on. No one cares about the excuses. There are injuries and adversity facing every team in the league. You get paid to win. And this guy has only won once in 14 games. Would you have a job if you had one decent article dating back to December of last year? And no, close losses don't count. Its still an L. I don't get it, what does he have to do to get fired? Go 0-32? And do you seriously trust this regime to with a top 5 pick in the draft? Really? Geez, the thought of him staying is making me nauseous. The GM, HC, OC, DC and all their friends need to pack their bags and go be someone else's burden. I don't like to see people lose their jobs, but they aren't getting the job done. Honestly PR, do you really want to sit through another year of this?
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    They pass on drafting a QB this year and draft DL or OL. Keep Schiano to go "Winless for Winston" next year!
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    To keep Schiano and his ship of fools would be a HUGE mistake!. To allow Schiano to go another year and have a say in the draft is another HUGE mistake! It is time to get a new GM, HC and QB IN 2014. I for one will not renew my four club seats and watch a team go down the drain year after year after year with the same people. The few die hard fans that the Buc's have IMO, would not be at RJS next year. The Glazers made another mistake when they hired this loser so if they are stuck for the tab to pay him, it's to bad. If you are going to be stupid you have to be tough ! It's time to pay this guy and move on. The GM also needs to go because he cannot be allowed to pick your next QB. He missed on Freeman you cannot let him have another chance to set this team back another five years.
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    I'm sick to my stomach after reading this article. That the Bucs might keep THIS COACH & THIS GM if the Bucs get 4 wins...4 wins...after a 7-9 season makes me want to upchuck. (BTW, what were Gruden's record and Dungy's record when they were fired?). I'll forever be a Bucs fan (as I have been since '76, but does anyone SERIOUSLY think this coach can take this team to the SuperBowl in the future??!! The only bright spot is that perhaps the OC & DC may not be back next year.
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    I'D DIDN'T SEE THE GAME ON TV. BUT I THINK THE COACH DIDN'T PUT THE NAIL IN THE COFFIN WHEN HE HAD A CHANCE. IF PASSING GOT US THERE MORE PASSING SHOULD OCCURRED. IAM LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING THE DBLE HB FORMATION WITH JAMES AND MARTIN IN THE BACKFIELD AT THE SAME TIME. EVERY TIME ONE OF THEM IS A BLOCKER OR DECOY. IAM LOOKING FORWARD TO THE BUCS FIRST VICTORY. GO BUCS
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    I'm glad to see so many others disagree with Scott's reasoning. Pinkstob is SPOT ON re: Schiano's game management skills! We couldn't believe he tanked it at the end of the first half in Seattle! WHY? WHY? WHY? It doesn't matter what personnel moves are made, if they keep Schiano, we're never going to even be able to post a winning season! I'm sure he's not the scoundrel so many in the media have tried to make him, but it's obvious he's not a gameday coach. This was a great article, but it didn't point out the severe lacking game management witnessed in every single game this season. There's a reason we haven't won a close game sine he arrived (I'm not talking preseason)......SCHIANO'S the reason. I can't believe the Glazers would take us fans for such fools by keeping this guy after 2013.
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    PR makes valid points that suggest Schiano may get another year. I too think it is all together possible, but I for one will be sorely disappointed. To the points brought out by PR, I will add Glennon as a reason - perhaps the most determining reason and it could also be something as simple as a promise made and a promise kept by the Glazers. Schiano goes as Glennon goes! If Glennon looks like the one in these remaining games, meaning we win some games, Schiano may be given the chance to finish what he started. If it’s abundantly clear that Glennon is not and we don’t win a reasonable number of games, then Schiano won’t be allowed to pick his successor. I like Glennon’s progress to date, but I’m not optimistic that either will happen! I don’t know this for a fact, but in the meeting where the decision was made to move on from Freeman, the Glazers may have promised Schiano a reasonable amount of time to put his stamp on the offense regardless of the losses - a promise kept. Roy Cummings believes he will get another year, as do some other analysts who report on the Bucs. See the Yahoo article below that supports a similar opinion. In this weird and wacky world of football and finance, anything can happen and I’ve learned to never say never! http://sports.yahoo.com/news/tampa-bay-buccaneers-three-reasons-why-greg-schiano-173900574--nfl.html
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    Scott putting a different spin on it today. First of all, I don't see them winning 4 games down the stretch. They might beat Miami, but I don't see them winning 3 more after that. But even if they do, so what? If these owners think they are going to generate a lot of interest in a team coached by a guy who went 7-9 in his first year and then followed it up with a 4-12 record in the second, they are smoking some top shelf green. I don't care about the "season being doomed" from the start theory either. Competent coaches don't lose 13 of 14 in the regular season. Competent coaches don't start off a season 0 and 8 and I don't care who they have been playing. I've been a fan since this team came in to the league in 1976, and if the owners don't remove this guy at season's end, I'm am abadoning this ship and leaving the jack asses that run it and coach it behind. I hope many fans feel the same way. 0 and 8....13 out of 14.......it doesn't sell...unless you of course like losing. Give me a break.
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    Ironic. When Miami runs stunts and slants, it's considered great coaching tactics and difficult to defend. But when the Bucs do the same, the message board light up with gruesome defamation of Schiano & Sheridan's ability to coach. Hmm.
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    @nmkinley - There's only something wrong with stunts when you don't have the right personnel to run them and the right DC to know when to call them...and how often. We have none of those three.
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    Let's not congratulate ourselves just yet, gentlemen. So are we now supposed to glance over your 2012 & 2013 draft list and pass out cigars? Is that what we're doing? No. It's far, far too early to consider those classes to be a success. I respectfully reserve judgement. Let's consider our recent history (2009 anyone?). Furthermore, these "excellent" classes cannot put the brakes on our awful losing skid. How good can they be? Heck, most of them can't start even on our team.
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    WOW SR, that's quite an about face.
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    This was a juicy article. Really juicy. Great insight and analysis SR. Here are my thoughts: Fab 1 - I could buy in to all of that stuff the Glazers would try and sell us on why they kept Schiano if it weren't for two things: my eyes and my brain. They both trump whatever the Glazers would try and sell me and they are both telling me that Schiano can't manage a game properly. Nothing can overcome that even if everything else was perfect this season. Schiano's decision to fold up the tent before the end of the first half in Seattle when he had a ton of timeouts and over a 1:30 left to play says it all. Why did you even bother flying out to Seattle if you don't feel comfortable running a 2-minute drill? What message do you think that sends to your players and their players about who is afraid of who? We will never have a winning season with that mentality, let alone win a Super Bowl. Fab 2 through 4 - Nothing else matters...see response to Fab 1. Fab 5 - Actually I think it's backwards. I think Revis not being 100% is the perfect excuse for Schiano to have for balancing between man and zone. I guarantee we'll still see a health dose of both the rest of the season, along with those loveable stunts.
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    Mr. Reynolds what's this about two players going to the coach? First I ever read about this. My bet, if it's true, would be Jackson and Williams. What is your source for this, please? Schiano is still a loser, a bully, and a terrible coach, and he is worse at handling people.
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    Scott is obviously not going to reveal who it was, but this is a HUGE revelation if you ask me and puts a whole new perspective on the issue.
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    I agree, this is a laundry list of excuses probably many of which apply to any team that has experienced an 0-9 start. However the quarterback issue, the injury issue and all the distraction (MRSA ect) in part have credibility. We have picked up 8 winners in the draft and maybe it does take 9 Pro-bowlers a couple of seasons to gel. There are a lot of holes in Schiano's system and I by no means am drinking his Kool-aid, but a few wins and the presumed trust the Glazers have in him could go a long way. Most important the team appears to be playing hard which trumps a lot of negatives. Go Bucs........
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    Good Article Scott. Yeah, most big contract players would be saying they support the coach in order to keep getting paid rather than being traded or released. I just don't see this scheme working, but if we are forced to live with it next season then we need the following: LDE, WR, TE, OL. I don't see any top QB's to warrant drafting before the 10th spot at this time.
  • avatar

    I'm sorry Scott but these are all excuses. the guy has won one game in the last 14 games. And that 1 game was meaningless to Atlanta. The Glazers will have a serious problem selling Tickets next year if Schiano is still coaching this team after Black Monday. There is one aspect that you haven't mentioned. There is a CASH COW market that is going to need to be filled in Los Angeles soon. You'd be hard pressed convincing me that the Greedy Glazerhouse Boys aren't positioning themselves for that move.
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