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November 25, 2013 @ 1:35 pm
Current rating: 3.67 Stars/3 Votes

Schiano Winning With Plenty Of Unsung Heroes

Written by Scott
Reynolds
Scott Reynolds

Scott
Reynolds

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During a 0-8 start to the 2013 season, Bucs head coach Greg Schiano was accused of squandering away a talented roster. But Schiano and the Buccaneers have reeled off three straight wins with a host of reserve players filling in for injured starters.
When the Buccaneers were mired in an eight-game losing streak to start the 2013 season, one of the biggest arguments against head coach Greg Schiano was that he was squandering away a lot of Pro Bowl talent in Tampa Bay. The fact that cornerback Darrelle Revis wasn’t being used in man coverage enough and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy was being used on too many stunts and not enough straight ahead rushes were among the chief complaints.

But as injuries and circumstance mounted in Tampa Bay, something bizarre happened. A host of reserve players have stepped in and stepped up, and all of a sudden, Schiano and his assistant coaches are getting the most of their talent and playing better and winning games despite being without some of the Buccaneers’ big guns.

Several key Bucs have been lost for the year due to injury, including kicker Connor Barth, Pro Bowl running backs Doug Martin, Mike James and Jeff Demps, wide receiver Mike Williams, tight end Nate Byham and cornerback Michael Adams among others. Yet Schiano has been able to win three games in a row with former role players stepping up into the starting lineup, as well as some recently signed free agents off the street.

That speaks not only to the coaching job Schiano and his assistants have been doing over the past month, but also to general manager Mark Dominik, director of player personnel Dennis Hickey and director of pro personnel Shelton Quarles for finding quality depth before and during the season.

“Last night, we talked about this – don’t tell me who we don’t have, tell me who we have,” Schiano screamed to his players in his fiery, post-game locker room address to the team after beating Detroit, 24-21. “That was one of the most gutsy performances I’ve seen by a football team. Start going down the list and saying, he’s out, he’s out and he’s out. And all I get is one guy after another stepping in and saying, ‘Bring it on, bring it on and bring it on!’ That’s what team is about. That’s what family is about. That’s how you stick together.”

Since the Seattle game alone, when Tampa Bay went toe-to-toe with the 10-1 Seahawks before falling in overtime, 27-24, there have been several unsung heroes on the Buccaneers over the past four games in which the team is 3-1 during that span. Here is a list of a dozen of those players:

QB Mike Glennon
Over the past four games Glennon has completed 62-of-88 passes (70.4 percent) for 785 yards with seven touchdowns and one interception to help guide the Bucs to three straight wins with QB ratings of 137.5 and 138.4 in his last two contests.

RB Bobby Rainey
After his debut on Monday Night Football in which he had eight carries for 45 yards and a touchdown, Rainey had 163 yards rushing and three total touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving) and is averaging 5.2 yards per carry through the last three games.

RB Mike James
James had a breakout game versus the Seahawks, rushing for a career-high 158 yards on 28 carries (5.6 avg.), in addition to throwing a touchdown pass at Seattle prior to rushing for 41 yards on five carries (8.2 avg.) before breaking his ankle against Miami.

WR Tiquan Underwood
Underwood has nine of his 13 catches this season for 221 yards and three touchdowns in the past four games, including a career-high three-catch, 108-yard effort at Detroit in which he caught a personal-best two touchdowns.

TE Tim Wright
Wright has stepped in as the team’s starting tight end and has caught 14 passes for 165 yards and a touchdown, including a career-high eight-catch, 75-yard day against Detroit.

LG Jamon Meredith
Tampa Bay’s offense has scored the most points – an average of 25.5 – over the past four games with Meredith, who has a severely sprained ankle, in the lineup for ailing Pro Bowler Carl Nicks, and the running game has been averaging 137.5 yards per game during that span, too.

LB Dekoda Watson
After losing his starting strongside linebacker role to Jonathan Casillas, Watson has been seeing time at defensive end where he pressured Matt Ryan into a pick-six against Atlanta in addition to blocking a punt against the Falcons, and got a sack against Detroit.

CB Danny Gorrer
Since coming back from groin surgery, Gorrer has played in a reserve role and has five tackles, forced a fumble, had a blocked punt at Detroit and a pass breakup. 

CB Leonard Johnson
In his second season, Johnson has 14 tackles, a huge, 48-yard interception return for a touchdown at Detroit, and a team-high four passes defensed over the past four games.

CB Johnthan Banks
Banks, a rookie, has five pass breakups this season, but three of them have come in the last two games, and Tampa Bay’s second-round pick has 17 tackles over the past four contests and a clutch interception in the Detroit game.

FS Keith Tandy
Playing in dime coverage as a reserve and as a starter against Detroit in place of the suspended Dashon Goldson, Tandy, a second-year safety, has come up with seven tackles, two key interceptions at the goal line (at Seattle and Detroit) and two pass breakups.

SS Kelcie McCray
While only posting two tackles in the last five games as a seldom-used safety, McCray came up big against Detroit, recovering a fumble and hitting Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson at the Tampa Bay 5-yard line and forcing an interception.

Last modified on Monday, 25 November 2013 14:16
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COMMENTS

  • avatar

    I'm happy to see some unsung players stepping up. For years, it seemed like other teams would lose a starter and the next man up would do a great job vs the Bucs. Tampa Bay would get gashed by third string RBs or WRs. It never seemed like the Bucs would get the same return from their bench. This year it is more noticeable and fun to watch the contributions.
  • avatar


    Nice rundown Scott. I would also add the two rookies inside, Spence and Goldstien. I'd like to commend you on your fair journalism. You were hard on the Coach a few weeks ago, and although I'm a fan of Coach Schiano, I could not argue with one syllable of your criticism. Now that the coaches are doing a better job, you are accurately and fairly reporting as well. Thank you. Now lets snap that win streak vs. Ham Newton and the Panthers.
  • avatar

    pinkstob, I wanted to comment about the playoffs. Fun Fact: There is a really small chance we will make it. First we must win all our games. Lets face it, Carolina is playing some pretty good football, defense wise. Then, we will need Arizona, Philly, Greenbay and somehow SanFran to all go 8-8. Plus they have to lose to specific teams with one another. But the chances of playoffs is slim to none. lol... After losing 8 in a row, I was really so over football this year, I was looking toward Orlando Magic winning games. But now 3 in a row, I am happy, but I am also still shaking my head on the first 8 loses. Do I want this coach gone? Absolutely!!! Will he be gone? If he doesnt win anymore... Then if he's gone, which direction would we go for as for as coach and draft pick?
  • avatar


    Gee loudenobnoxious, I thought this was a football fan site. Here's my take on Economics (minored in college). Don't take what I earn by getting an education and give it to someone who is a social parasite by choice or their own irresponsible lifestyle. Back to football. That's why elite players make more than the guy on the bench.
  • avatar


    Right on Scubug. The guy has exposed himself. I am an economics professor so I know something about the subject as well and he talks complete anti-american nonsence. I don't think he should be allowed to subject us to non-football opinions.
  • avatar

    @1sparkybuc: That´s right, I got it. It´s just so hard to accept NFL as entertainment instead of real competition.. it makes all the discussions here unnecessary and (sorry PR) there is no need to pay for any extra Infos, since it´s no honest sport because of sports-gambling and so on.. it makes me sad, but i understand it´s not everything. I will leave it at that. Thanks anyway, you somehow helped me get over it :-) take care - also the rest of you posters, there were always good points made by you and it was a plessure reading the different views on topics and good ideas and stuff. louden out.GoBucs!!Peace.
  • avatar


    louden, football is supposed to take your mind off everything that is wrong with America just for a few hours each week. Let it.
  • avatar

    just another but different thing: MONSANTO (the company that, in short, brings so much chemicals into food, that if you feed pigs with it, they tend to get Tschernobyl-type-like hogs.. unbelievable? yet true.. and goverment lets them do this, why?? money, greed.. There is no conspirancy about it^^ its just the way it is.. That´s why in europe they start riots against that.. spread the word - and love..
  • avatar

    Why do you think there is such strong patriotism, when the economics is that bad (and the richer still getting richer, more and more people becoming poor; WallStreet gambling on FOOD PRICES etc..). The big picture is not even too hard to understand, but they (media also; since most are private constitiutions; therefore a private person has it in charge and his main objective is, guess what, money) paint a false picture, make the people believe certain things and that politics and economics are way to complicated for the average joe, when in reality it COULD all be explained pretty simple... But if they would say it in a different/understandable way, we the people, would be on a riot and wouldn´t let all those dirty things let happen... What part do you think is conspiracy: i´m guessing the sports part - the economy/political part should be obvious and is much easier to follow; the sports part includes the economy part, since the NFL is not about sports; its about business, a money printing machine - much like WWE wrestling, its simply sports entertainment, but even most of the players don´t know (i am not about NWO and stuff, i just recall what is happening in the world, maybe i could explain it too you)
  • avatar

    @76Bucs: I know, most of the people will just think it´s BS, but heck, i can´t help it´s the truth. I hate that fact, because I truly love this sports and it´s a damn shame, that "Americas Game" is manipulated like that.. It happens in (alsmost if not) every sports; but it´s especially bad influenced in Football... I hate it too, but hey, it´s still good entertainment... Most (if not every) country has also it´s corruption problems. In America, it´s realy hard. There is a growing percentage of people, who won´t be able to get proper education.. Therefore, they won´t understand what is happening on a economics and political level.. (it´s not even so hard to understand; but the "leaders" just don´t want YOU to understand, because like said: People who don´t know, are easier made to follow..). That´s why over there in europe, people often make fun about the "stupid average american joe". The video i have linked to in the previous post, is just a small sample about the US "handling things in foreign countrys" in a way.. that we just have to be ashamed of us and shouldn´t wonder about "terrorism". Crop what you seed.. And the stuff said in the video is all history, it´s all facts, you can read it up.. the guy is talking just happens to report all that dark BS, but in a let´s say funny way... have a nice day
  • avatar

    Laughable at best - i really wanna cry, shout, smack some heads, isn´t it obvious? Tell me guys, suddenly, after all the BS calls, after almost the whole freaking fan community just couldn´t handle the situation anymore, the Bucs are rising like a Phoenix from the ashes (sounds like a WWE-fight, doesn´t it?). Suddenly, Keith Tandy gets some passes thrown right at him - some games in a row? Suddenly, Jonthan Banks who couldn´t cover my grandma (yeah i think he actually could), has a great game against the best WR in quite some time??(he put up Revis like numbers against Megatron - Revis also isn´t that good as he is made to be by the media - teams don´t throw much at him.. despite his not healed knee, he was shutting down WR´s?? Comon guys, this is all is just to make us believe, that the trade wasn´t complete BS.. Which in reality it was). Do you realy believe that stuff?? That the Lions wanted to win this game?? (i dont say every player is being influenced - or every NFL ref..well not in every game every time.. but they are "special refferees" just like WWE). Lavonte David getting a INT handed by Lions not challenging it, and refs/the booth didn´t think that the catch should be reviewed (this was made, in order to boost his stats, to make him our next Brooks - which he deserves, he is realy good/great, but c´mon..) It´s so sad, America is such a corrupt country, everything is about money and making more of it and keeping the people stupid (stupid people are easier to getting fooled). I don´t call everyone stupid and stuff, and i know, it´s not their fault (people become who they are, by many factors, DNA and their surroundings..). Please people, we got to take the glasses off and accepting the truth and to make a movement together. Through evolution we the human species won by his brain - thinking and communication were critical. We are better and don´t deserve to be USED by the RICH ELITE. They (the economy leaders) rule America, not the President.. his just a puppet. Please people, open your eyes, educate the others too, here comes the truth: A video you should give a chance. After the first chapter (9Min - trust me, it´s eye opening) there should be the "wow - i didn´t thought that" effect.. Help the world to be a better place.. It´s what we all want, it´s how it should be.. For the sake of liberty: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdIkTNnnBFo
  • avatar


    Louden, in the immortal words of the greatest of all the conspiracist, bugs bunny;;you're a maroon.
  • avatar

    pinkstob...I think he wasted some time too. But let's not underestimate the impact of Freeman giving up on this team cost us. That was a major obstacle.
  • avatar


    That was a great post game speech; I saw it after the game. It's amazing how well these players are playing when you put them in the best position to win games. That's what being a HC in the NFL is all about. I'm happy Schiano is doing it now but I'm super pissed that he squandered so many wins before he conceded to the player requests so it's a bittersweet feeling.
  • avatar

    Wow Arizona...is that twisted. It is the coach that gets these undrafted guys to play beyond what anyone expected. What did the GM have to do with that? The GM had horrible drafts until the last year or two. BTW...I like Rainey...but did you see the Detroit game? He isn't Doug Martin...he is just playing his heart out.
  • avatar


    Wow mark2001, by that logic, it is Schiano's fault then that Rainey only had 35 yards on 18 carries. I think Dominik is doing a much better job than Schiano. Why do you think Dominik's drafts are so bad? What is Schiano doing? Finding players that "play their hearts out" is the GM not Schiano.
  • avatar


    I think it says more about Mark Dominik than Coach Schiano. The Glazers would do well to uncouple Dominik and Schiano. I think Mark has proved to be a valuable GM and getting talent is what is setting him apart. Who heard of Rainey? I don't think Schiano's coaching for one week made Bobby Rainey a good pick up....
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