While head coach Greg Schiano has many detractors among the fan base, including a number who have been calling for his firing, don’t count defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan among them.
During his weekly press conference on Thursday, Sheridan came to the defense of his boss against the criticism Schiano has faced over the last two months.
“It definitely is not warranted,” Sheridan said. “And it may be hard for people on the outside who don’t know Greg because of some of the criticism he apparently is receiving and I don’t follow that, it definitely isn’t warranted.
“I’ve worked for a lot of quality people in this profession, long before I ever came to the NFL and I’ve certainly worked for quality people in the National Football League. I would put Greg up against anybody I’ve worked for in regards to a guy of single-mindedness and purpose toward doing the job he’s been asked to do and doing it with complete and total integrity. In our profession, if we get criticized for that, then he should be criticized.
“All he’s ever done since I’ve been here is be the first guy in the building and the last guy to leave. (He) focuses his entire energy and concentration on what he can do on a daily basis to help the Bucs win and he’s done it with complete unadulterated integrity. If in our profession we get criticized for that, then that’s the way it is. But without expounding on that any more that’s my response and I appreciate you giving me a chance to say that.”
Over the last month the heat on Schiano has been turned up, not just locally, but nationally as well. With an 0-7 record and losing 12 of the past 13 games, a segment of fans have been vicious in their anger towards Schiano. Even former players like Warren Sapp have questioned the direction of the franchise.
Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy was not happy with some of the things screamed at his head coach after the past two home games, although he does understand the frustration.
“If you want to be angry about the game or what’s going on, be angry because we’re angry, too. But don’t disrespect him as a man,” McCoy said. “That man has a wife. He has kids at home. We have wives and kids.
“Just keep it to football. Don’t take it outside of that. If you want to be whatever in football, that’s OK. Be angry. We expect you to be angry. Nobody wants to be 0-7. But just leave everything else alone.”
Schiano himself said he understands the fans’ frustration, although he didn’t specifically address the recent ridicule and anger directed towards him.
“I think we all realize that it’s a performance-based business,” Schiano said. “Players and coaches, we’re paid to win. That’s what it’s all about. We owe it to our fans, our city, our community to win. That’s what we’re paid to do.
“When you don’t win, there’s consequence. We need to get our wins. I said it the other day; We’ll get our share of wins, and I believe we will. Right now, there are only nine left, so it’s not as many as you’d want, but we’ve got to get our share.”
Getting their first win this Sunday won’t be an easy task, as Tampa Bay travels to one of, if not the loudest stadium in the NFL, to take on the Seahawks. And until the first win happens – and then several are strung together – the anger from the fans won’t stop. Schiano has McCoy, Sheridan and for now apparently ownership in his corner. How long that lasts is anyone’s guess.
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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