While the future of beleaguered Tampa Bay head coach Greg Schiano remains unknown as of Sunday night, Schiano did take time to address the Penn State rumors in his post-game press conference and state that the Buccaneers coaching job is the only one he wants.
The Buccaneers concluded their disappointing 2013 season with a 4-12 record after a 42-17 thrashing by the New Orleans Saints in the Superdome.
Tampa Bay head coach Greg Schiano has dealt with plenty of adversity this season from an NFL-high 16 players on injured reserve to the benching and ultimate release of the team’s starting quarterback in Josh Freeman to a MRSA outbreak at One Buccaneer Place during training camp. All that turmoil and some close losses to the New York Jets, New Orleans Saints and Arizona Cardinals by a combined score of six points fueled a 0-8 start to the season and calls for Schiano to be fired.
With a combined record of 11-21 in his two seasons with the Buccaneers, the Glazers would be justified in making a coaching change, and possibly even cleaning house with the front office that would include the firing of general manager Mark Dominik, who has complied a record of 31-48 in the five years he has presided over the team.
Schiano spent much of Sunday’s post-game press conference talking about the team’s loss to the Saints rather than his future, but did acknowledge that a 4-12 mark at the end of a season full of higher expectations wasn’t good enough.
“I’m not satisfied with four,” Schiano said. “That’s not my decision [in terms of] how many is enough. I try to win the games.”
Schiano did address reports from NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport that Penn State athletic director Dave Joyner is considering flying to Tampa to make a push to hire Schiano, a former Nittany Lions assistant coach under the legendary Joe Paterno, should Bill O’Brien leave the school for the head coaching job of the Houston Texans as expected.
“I made the comment on Wednesday and I will reiterate it,” Schiano said. “I or no one connected with me has had any contact with Penn State. I said it Wednesday and I’ll say it again. The job I have is the job I want.”
Schiano was asked what he would say to those who would ask if he’s done enough to keep his job after the dismal 2013 campaign.
“I don’t think I need to do that,” Schiano said. “I don’t think I have to say anything. That’s not being smug in any way. I just come to do my job the best I can. That’s other people’s decisions to make. That’s how I’ve always approached it and that’s not going to change.”
The Glazers did not make any statement following Sunday’s loss to the Saints and the team’s public relations staff sent out a media release stating that Schiano’s season-ending press conference would be held at One Buccaneer Place at 2:30 p.m.
However, history shows that former Bucs head coach Tony Dungy held his season-ending press conference in 2001 and then was fired hours later. Former Tampa Bay head coach Jon Gruden also addressed the media for a season-ending session at the end of the 2008 campaign, but was fired nearly three weeks later.
On Sunday night, NFL Network insider Michael Silver tweeted on his Twitter account: “I’m told it’s all quiet on the Bucs coach/GM front … for now.”
When asked what Schiano said when he addressed the team, he declined to elaborate and decided to keep his post-game comments to the players private.
“I would rather not,” Schiano said. “It’s a really tough time in that locker room right now for players and coaches because of the amount of physical and emotional energy that has been invested in this season. I’ll talk about it tomorrow. I’ll just say it’s been one of the most demanding seasons that I’ve ever [had]. Things kept coming and coming and coming. That’s why this group of men – and why I feel about them [the way I do] – is a great group of people. They stuck together and worked hard and that’s what I’ve asked them to do.”
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