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November 19, 2013 @ 6:53 pm
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Players Heap Praise On Schiano For Bucs' Turnaround

Written by Mark
Cook
Mark Cook

Mark
Cook

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After an 0-8 start it was hard to find many who were willing to defend Bucs head coach Greg Schiano, PewterReport.com included. And while two wins alone won't be enough to save Schiano's job, it is at least a start. As of late, a number of Tampa Bay players have come to Schiano's defense, crediting him for keeping the team together.
While the "Fire Schiano" billboards still can be seen throughout the Tampa Bay area, the fire from a segment of Buccaneers fans, and some in the media, is starting to cool.

Putting together back-to-back wins can do that for a beleaguered Tampa Bay team and its embattled head coach.

While ultimately Bucs head coach Greg Schiano’s fate for 2014 and beyond will be determined by results on the scoreboard rather than a billboard, those inside the locker room are starting to offer up praise for Schiano.

Since Sunday afternoon, when the Buccaneers played their most complete game of the season in a 41-28 win over the Atlanta Falcons, a number of players have come to the defense of their head coach.

Offensive guard Davin Joseph, who has seen a lot in his eight seasons as a Buccaneer, offered strong words to the media later Sunday afternoon.

“I don’t think it could have got any worse for [Coach Schiano],” Joseph said. “But the guy stuck with it, [and] stayed with what he believed in. And now it’s finally paying off. It was tough for a while, new quarterback, the whole Josh Freeman thing, Doug [Martin] gets hurt. All these things. And people are ready to can us. And Coach Schiano was like, (Expletive). Keep your pads on and we’ll keep on working.’

"And you finally get the sense to where it’s like guys believe in him. You know what I mean? We’re becoming closer. It’s the first time I can actually really say that we’re a family now. I mean, it’s some tough times. All that stuff could have like broken us up and we could have been just getting blown out and not fighting and all that (expletive). But Coach Schiano, that’s a tough S.O.B.”

Joseph, a first-round pick in 2006, and who has seen three head coaches in his career, told the media this has been the most tumultuous season yet.

“Because it’s such a business, it’s so hard to say “family” in the NFL," Joseph said. "[But the] dude’s been preaching it since he walked through the door. And sometimes you don’t really know where they’re coming from when they say that, and you blow it off the first time or the second time and you don’t really know where they’re coming from. ‘Family, family, family, family.’ But it makes sense now. I can really say now that we’re like a family. Guys trust him. Guys believe in him. All [that] he’s been saying has been coming true about just keeping your head down and working. Because it couldn’t have gotten any more negative at One Buc. It’s the worst it’s ever been, and I’ve been here for eight seasons. It was the worst it’s ever been. The dude is tough, man.”

Fellow offensive lineman Demar Dotson also talked highly of Schiano following Sunday’s win.

“He is an intense coach,” Dotson said. “He is one of those coaches that grows on you. Once you get used to him you start to love him. You start to love to play for him. I think when we had that eight-game losing streak – I've said the coach and the quarterback are going to take the most heat, which is unfair. But he kept us together. He kept us believing we could win. Which we already knew, but we had to get this thing together. But he held this ship together and we kept fighting. It was just unfair that he had to take the heat for the 0-8.”

During his Monday press conference Schiano talked about what getting that first win against the Dolphins on Monday Night Football did for the team in general.

“As I said after the game, I think it does (give the team confidence)," Schiano said. "As the weeks kept going that first win is always the hardest win and you’ll love to get it opening week right because once you get it out of the way it’s not an issue. There will be a day when that’s not an issue period, you just go out and you win the game; but when you’re trying to find your stride and you have a bunch of guys coming back and there’s a little bit of uncertainty. I mean who’s kidding who – this guy had surgery, that guy had surgery, a lot of guys thinking, ‘Am I going to be my old self?’ And then you don’t win. Certainly it loosened it up, but I think our fans helped that a great deal. That Monday night crowd the energy was incredible, you don’t know what it’s going to be like and yet those fans yesterday were incredible. I thought the energy was really good in our stadium and our players sense that.”

Schiano went on to discuss the grief that the 0-8 start caused the organization.

“I understand their (fans) frustration,” Schiano said. “It’s such a fine line (between winning and losing). It could be confidence, it could be guys coming back from their surgeries starting to feel more like their old self, it could be rookies that are getting the opportunity and are now gaining confidence.”

Since Sunday, the universal theme from the players was the fact that the team stuck together through the rough start, and not placing blame on anyone.

“I think collectively we all did a good job – coaches and players – of not pointing fingers,” Revis said. “During those times it can get real ugly. It can. Players can start mouthing off and saying things about the coaches in the papers or even at work. But guys have just been sticking together and guys haven’t been pointing fingers. We are just trying to find a way to win. To just try and get out of this slump we put ourselves in and try and find a way to win.”

Safety Mark Barron said Schiano deserves a lot of the credit for keeping the players focused on the next game.

“Each week when we went out and did what we did, we played with some of the best teams in the league and came out on the wrong end of it, and that was the first thing he (Schiano) said when we would come back in was, ‘Just make sure we stay together,’” Barron said. “He preached that every week, and I think guys listened to him.”

Veteran defensive tackle Gary Gibson, who is in his second stint playing for Schiano (Rutgers and now with Tampa Bay), said his coach has a method to his sometimes perceived madness.

“I have known Coach for a long time and I know how he goes about things,” Gibson said. “I know that he has had our best interests at all times. I know he works harder than anyone in this building, stays late. He is a guy you want to work hard for and play for. Sometimes you might think he is being too tough, but he is really just pushing you to your limits. Schiano is going to work you hard no matter what you are doing.”

How many wins is good enough for Schiano to keep his job? No one but the Glazer family know the answer. But if Schiano and the Bucs keep winning, he will at least have the players in the locker room firmly behind him.
Last modified on Tuesday, 19 November 2013 20:02
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COMMENTS

  • avatar

    @pinkstop: like has been said, realy great post/analyses. I cannot help but to disagree though. History doesn´t lie(he is not a winner) and the ultimate goal is the SuperBowl. It means: It all hinges on Sully(and to be honest; i am not realy sold on Sully´s playcalling - at least so far, as said before, there is a learning curve for coaches also). With the right personal (dumping sheridan) a Defense should always be able to be good enough (in the end, the players read&react - well but there are also truely great D-Coordinators out there, that are taking alot of pride in going all out aggressive; like an Ryan). Regardless, if Sully is not up to the task (and McNulty for sure is not, again History), then i doubt Shiano will be able to find the right one. Which means Dom would have to find the one. God, in the end you guys are right, we should (foremost) just see,how the Offensive-playcalling developes.. And the Glazers, if there should be no improvement, will see what Shiano envisions. One thing i got to admit: I realy never ever thought (to be true i still doubt) that all of the locker room was/is still behind Shiano..
  • avatar


    He may be a tough SOB. He may be a family, family family man. He may be a great guy. He may not have lost the lockerroom. Don't care - just win baby - and he's done little of that in games that matter (beat CAR or NO in a game that knocks one of them out of the playoffs in a few weeks time and we can talk). My take on Schiano has always been - good from Monday to Saturday, terrible on Sunday - until I see some consistent X's and O's as @pinkstob states, I have seen nothing to change my view of his ability to coach in the NFL. Kudos to him for "cleaning-up" the lockerroom - that was not easy and he did a great job... I compiled a long list last year of Schiano (and his staff's) game blunders on this PR site - perhaps I'll add to it for 2013 and redistribute.
  • avatar


    I'm glad for the players and the fans that Schiano is turning it around. However, I'm not ready to overlook the fact that it took him until the middle of the season (including a bye week) to change his approach to the X's and O's of NFL football. There is no excuse, you hear me, no excuse for it taking that long to reduce all that stunting on the D-line. It helps the run defense, granted. How's this for an X's and O's adjustment. Go to the NFL website and look at the top 5 defenses. Then look below it at the top 5 pass defenses and below that the top 5 run defenses. Then cross-reference the teams on all 3 lists. Notice how the same 5 teams that are in the top 5 in total defense are also the top 5 in pass defense? Conclusion: who gives a rat's @$$ about the run defense? Stop the stunting and rush the passer! Schiano didn't have 5 minutes to do the same analysis over the bye week? Coach better in the 4 qtr Schiano and I'll be ready to consider keeping you.
  • avatar


    @pinkstob: Totally agree. It would seem that Schiano's first season would have been enough to learn how to coach in the NFL, but he wasted the preseason & we've only seen competitive play from the team in the last 3 games. I'll be a believer in him IF they win the rest of the games & I see some REAL half-time adjustments.
  • avatar


    Excellent analysis Pinkstob. Nobody does it better! I think you're Marshall Faulk just posing as one us regular guys. lol. Again, good job!
  • avatar


    Thanks Mac!
  • avatar


    This is starting to remind me of the 2nd half of the 1996 season. I've been a supporter of Coach Schiano on this site and the last two months have been very tough, for sure. I've always believed that a huge part of coaching in the NFL are halftime adjustments, which appears to be the coaches biggest weakness. It showed up again vs Miami but to the Bucs credit they fought through it. The coaches future will be played out in the next six weeks. Just as young players are allowed to improve with playing time, I hope it applies to coaches also. Good Luck to our Buccaneers, as always, and to the coaches too.
  • avatar


    I must say that i am impressed that he's kept the locker room but what i will be watching for in this last 6 games is coaching acumen when it comes to Xs and Os. We've been out coached several times this year and it MUST stop. If Schiano can "fix" that part of the Buc's problems and win a couple more, I'll reserve judgement until next season and give the guy the benefit of the doubt over the Josh Freeman thing which i now see I was quite wrong about. Here's to you, Coach. I'm now wishing for your success instead of your failure. I can't believe i was actually rooting for my Bucs to fail but that's how bad it had gotten. Go Bucs.
  • avatar


    If he plays the veterans and someone get injured, then coach is criticized for not playing the backups in a blow out. C'mon man.
  • avatar


    I see Trust. I see Accountability. I'm still very thin on Belief where this coaching staff is. But truth be told, I've also grown tired of blowing this thing up every few years to start rebuilding all over again. Lions, Panthers, Saints, and a healthier 9'ers team at home. It's a good test, even with the probability (how the Saints are playing football right now) they will be resting guys week 17. With that in mind, I'd like to see 3 of the 4 be wins; but I could live with 2. Buffalo in the Cold--always a test for FL boys-- and the Rams are very achievable wins. Get them both. That's winning 4 of the last 6 games. Maybe a little harsh, but Schiano's already had 8 losses this season. So heading into his 3rd season he's 14 & 20 as Bucs' HC. If he can do that, I believe he would get a 3rd season from the Glaziers. I think that is fair and realistic for expectations. It reflects what I believe this team should be capable of talent wise vs. where they are in W's & L's.
  • avatar


    No Dr T you paid to see the Bucs whip a division rival during a regular season game. How can you call yourself a Buc fan,when your team beats a team so bad, they play back ups in the fourth quarter? That's your complaint now, we won so big I had to endure watching the scruffs give up two late scores? So called fans of this team never cease to amaze me.
  • avatar


    Six more games to show the Glazers, the players and we fans if it's best to stay the course with Schiano or take a chance on someone else and start over. I must say, I have seen some positive signs. Pro football is so much a mental game with teams really being equally talented for the most part. I've never thought the players quit and in spite of being beat down, Schiano has their spirits up until we somehow found ways to lose against the Jets, Saints and Cardinals.
  • avatar


    And the Seahawks too scubog
  • avatar

    This should be a very interesting week. The team has risen above all adversity...this week, a couple more hits to the DB's. I don't know if we can win this game overcoming all the injuries. But if this team keeps fighting the way they have most the games this season, the wins should eventually come. I don't know if the Glazers will or won't keep him on....but they better have a first rate experienced previous SB winning coach if they do. And who knows that a guy like that wouldn't want to "pick his own groceries", meaning bye bye Dom. Just glad we don't have a guy like Jerry Jones at the helm that shoots from the hip.
  • avatar


    Two wins against two below average teams and all is well in Buc land. Lets see what they due with the Lions and Panthers before we put the party hats on. Two teams loking for the playoffs, something WE can forget about.
  • avatar


    Two wins. Player support. Great.BUT playing the back ups whole sale was just like a preseason game. Gave up two ridiculous touchdowns. I did not pay to attend a preseason game at week 10.
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