By Max Luckan
It’s time to make changes in Tampa, it simply is. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers finished the 2013 season by getting crushed by the New Orleans Saints. The final score was 42-17, but it wasn’t even that close. Head coach Greg Schiano’s tenure should be over after his latest debacle. It’s actually quite simple: whatever Schiano is doing is simply not working. Furthermore, whatever general manager Mark Dominik is doing is not working either.
The fans, well the ones that are left, are calling for Schiano’s firing and it’s time for the team’s ownership group to listen. Schiano had two seasons to figure it out and Dominik has had even longer than that.
Quarterback Grade: D
It looks like Bucs rookie quarterback Mike Glennon is not the answer. And since the Glazers, the team’s owners, should make major changes to the coaching staff, they might as well make another change at quarterback. Realistically, Glennon is a solid backup at best, that is his ceiling.
Against the Saints, Glennon completed 22 of 41 passes for 219 yards and two touchdowns but also threw an interception. Glennon has regressed ever since his hot streak in the middle of the year and that is not a good sign for the future. Obviously, he still has room to grow, but the franchise potential is absent.
Offense Grade: D-
Yes, the Bucs offense put up 290 yards against a very good Saints defense on Sunday, but they only managed 17 points. With a struggling defense on the other side of the ball, that simply will not get the job done.
The team’s running game has been nonexistent over the past couple of weeks. Against the Saints, the Bucs managed 75 yards on the ground, which is a little better than in recent weeks, but still actually quite dreadful. The issue is that inconsistency has been a real problem for the team on offense all season long. Yes, there have been injuries, but this late in the season, the chemistry should have been there.
Defense Grade: F
Embarrassing. That would be one way to describe the performance of the Bucs defense against the Saints. It was clear from the beginning that the Saints, with their high-powered offense, were going to put up a lot of points. But 42 points is a bit much. And on top of that, 468 total yards is also a bit excessive, considering the fact that the Bucs have actually had a decent defensive unit this season.
Basically, Sunday’s game against the Bucs was like an extended practice session for Saints quarterback Drew Brees. Brees threw four touchdowns in the first half alone and finished with 381 yards on the day, and he didn’t even play the entire game.
Special Teams Grade: C-
Quite frankly, there is not much to say about the special teams unit. Kicker Rian Lindell made one 54-yard field goal and has actually provided a lot of the points the Bucs have scored this season.
The return game has failed to impress and has not helped out the Bucs offense in any way. There were some bright moments on special teams earlier in the season, but against the Saints, the unit was fairly quiet and didn’t have much of an impact on the game at all. Special teams has never really been a game-changing factor for the Bucs this season, and that was also the case in the team’s final game of the 2013 regular season.
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Max Luckan lives in Tampa, FL and is a sports writer covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and NFL. Luckan has been covering the Buccaneers for a few years now. Max is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.