By Max Luckan
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano knows his job is still on the line. But after a horrific start to this season, things may start to look up for the second-year coach and the Bucs.
If nothing else, Schiano knows that his players still believe in him, and that they will not give up on him as many have suggested. At least, that’s according to veteran leader Davin Joseph.
Joseph says Bucs believe in Schiano
Earlier in the season, there were rumors that Schiano had lost the locker room. However, according to some players, that was never really the case.
While Schiano has certainly underperformed and his job still should not be secure, Joseph told reporters that things are starting to look up for the entire team.
“There was a time there a few weeks ago when it could not have gotten any worse at One Buc [Place],” Joseph said. “I mean, it was the worst it’s ever been, and I’ve been here for eight seasons.”“It was coming down hard on [Schiano]. After we lost to Carolina on that Thursday night, you would have thought it couldn’t get any worse for him. But he stuck with it. He stuck with what he believes and now it’s starting to pan out.”“All of a sudden, it’s like a light’s been turned on. But that’s what he said. He said we all just need to keep pushing hard, keep working hard and now we see it. He stayed tough, but now it’s just different. It’s starting to feel like we have something here.”Joseph added, “Today is a good day to be Buccaneer, but next week we have another stiff challenge [at Detroit] and we know [Schiano]’s going to push us this week.”“But it’s different when you see that hard work turn into something. Now we believe.”
The core of what Joseph said is accurate. Now that the Bucs know what it feels like to win, it will be much easier for the players to buy into Schiano’s ways and his system. And the momentum that they currently have can be very powerful if it is harnessed.
But Schiano’s image has changed around the league, not just in the eyes of the players. Just three weeks ago, Schiano was labeled a bully, someone who could never succeed in the NFL as a head coach. Now, people are beginning to praise Schiano for sticking to his guns.
However, we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves. Schiano has still failed. The Bucs have defeated two bad football teams, and that’s it. The team’s record is 2-8 and the playoffs are just a dream.
The story could be different at the end of the season, but right now, we should certainly hold off on praising Schiano.
Rainey could be valuable in the future
Some called him undersized, which he is. Some said he would never play in a regular season NFL game. But Bobby Rainey has proved those people wrong already.
On national television, Rainey ran for 45 yards against the Miami Dolphins and scored the winning touchdown. Against the Atlanta Falcons, all Rainey did was rush for 163 yards and score three total touchdowns. Not bad right?
Standing at only 5-foot-8, Rainey said he always tries to take advantage of his smaller stature.
“I actually think it’s a blessing,” Rainey said. “It’s something I try to take advantage of.”
Rainey hails from Western Kentucky University and definitely didn’t have an easy path to the NFL coming from such a small school. But he does have a Super Bowl ring after spending last season on the Ravens roster.
And now, Rainey has played extremely well for the Bucs and has been a valuable asset for the team’s offense.
The Bucs have recently gained some momentum and Rainey has had a lot to do with that.
He hopes that he’s finally found a home in Tampa, and Rainey’s first real test will come this Sunday against a stout Detroit Lions defense.
For more Bucs news and updates, visit Bucs Central.
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.