It’s easy to spot the true Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans this season.
These fans have been sending a strong message — fire Bucs coach Greg Schiano.
From signs at games that are advertising websites dedicated to firing the head coach, it is apparent that Bucs fans do not support him. It’s what needs to be done so that Tampa Bay can have a decent NFL football team to support again.
Local radio station, 102.5 “The Bone,” made its message clear with a billboard that included nothing but the station’s logo and “fire Schiano” in large bold letters with flames in the background. According to ESPN, Michael Sharkey, the program director for the station, said the purpose of the billboard was to let listeners know the station agrees with them that the losing team is a disappointment.
“The Bone” and its listeners have a valid opinion considering the statistics of the team. The Bucs have lost all seven games so far this season and 12 of their last 13 games that Schiano coached. This is despite the statistically strong team, with players such as linebacker Lavonte David who is tied for 17th in the NFL in tackles, proving the issue is not the players, but the coaching. If Schiano doesn’t know how to utilize the talent he has in the most efficient way, it results in the losing season the Bucs are currently facing.
There was a light of hope in the first two games this season, when the Bucs lost by just one point to the New York Jets and two points to the New Orleans Saints. Rather than improving, the team has only gone downhill with losses such as the 31-13 game against the Carolina Panthers last Thursday.
Schiano’s losing record is killing the franchise. With continuous losses, it is unlikely that there is any desire for valuable players to sign a contract with the Bucs. An added bonus is the loss of his support from his current players. Without support in the locker room, Schiano can’t expect to have a team willing to perform.
In a report from ESPN, cornerback Darrelle Revis reportedly said, “I don’t know,” when asked if players still supported their head coach. An “I don’t know” may be a vague response, but it is definitely far from a resounding “yes” to back up his coach.
Schiano was known as a bully in 2012, and it doesn’t appear that stigma is going away. According to a Sports Illustrated article, it is believed that Schiano leaked the confidential information involving the Josh Freeman scandal earlier this month, even though Schiano denies it completely. If Schiano doesn’t have his players’ backs, there is no way his team will have his.
One poor season is understandable; two in a row with the same head coach presents a problem.
When employees do not perform, they get fired. There should not be any exception for Schiano or any other professional sport coach or player.
Ali Leist is a junior majoring in mass communications.