Reporting Kirk McEwen
Here we are three weeks into this new NFL season and what a mess the Buccaneers have on their hands. A bad situation can spiral uncontrollably out of hand and that’s exactly what seems to have happened to Greg Schiano and this year’s version of the Bucs. After besting Raheem Morris’ 2011 victory total by three last season, his first, the table was set for Schiano to better last year’s seven win tally and begin to build something solid at One Buc Place. You add talent like Dashon Goldson and Darrelle Revis to what was already in place, I’m sorry, people start to get excited. Where did Schiano go wrong and how did the situation turn so dire, so quickly? Well, it went something like this…
It’s no secret that Schiano and Freeman won’t be vacationing together in the off season, Sean Payton/Drew Brees they are not. That doesn’t mean they can’t come to some sort of mutual understanding on how to present their relationship to the media and even to curious teammates. Schiano made it clear numerous times before and after the draft that Freeman would have to compete, could lose the starting job, etc. Of course, there were no contract talks between Freeman and the Bucs further clouding his future right up to the drafting of QB Mike Glennon in the third round. Keep in mind, Tom Brady was a 6th round draft pick! Drafting a QB that high sends a negative message to the incumbent. To me the coach’s head games probably did damage to Freeman where he could’ve taken a more positive approach. Let’s face it, they need each other, but you’d never know it. And it’s not just Schiano. Freeman’s “car trouble” put him late to his own football camp. He also pulled a Rip Van Winkle and slept through team photos. Not good.
And let’s not forget Connor Barth. Had he not pulled up lame in that charity basketball game so close to the start of training camp there might not be the need to bring in Tynes, Dimke, and Lindell. The pain of watching Rian Lindell spray the ball around these past few weeks has to drain a team. That’s a huge adjustment for a team when your kicker goes from automatic to erratic. Add in the MRSA sidebar and the dysfunction starts to gather steam. Players-only team meeting, already? Talk of the coach manipulating the captaincy vote? Really? And it’s a shame because Schiano seems like a decent man. I love the whole FAMILY, Forget About Me, I Love You, thing. What team doesn’t like a little discipline? But with that type of temperament must come results. Otherwise you get what we have here. And what we have here most men don’t get too long to clean up. Get your popcorn. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. Right now, it’s a mess.
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