Ok … the Bucs started the season with a terrible 0-8 record. Coach Greg Schiano’s job was in jeopardy and a local radio station even had billboards put up calling for his dismissal. Problems??? The team had a million starting with the serious MRCA outbreak at the start of the season. From there it was downhill with former number one pick and starting quarterback Josh Freeman being outright released after numerous run-ins with teammates and Coach Schiano. He was replaced by a rookie, 3rd round pick out of North Carolina State named Mike Glennon.
Numerous players were injured including starting running back Doug Martin, his replacement Mike James and his replacement Brian Leonard. The team found Bobby Rainey on the scrap-heap and he’s been starting the past three games. At the time of this article, linebacker Jonathan Casillas became the 14th player placed on the injured reserve list. Yes, it looked like a wasted season … the coach would be fired and the team was taking a giant step backwards from last year.
Then, out of the blue, they shocked everybody and won three games in a row! Say what … are you kidding me??? They defeated the Miami Dolphins 22-19 on November 11, the Atlanta Falcons 41-28 on November 17 and the Detroit Lions 24-12 on November 24. Wow !!! Was Coach Schiano’s job saved? Is Mike Glennon the long term answer at the quarterback position? What is going on in Tampa Bay?
Well, last Sunday (December 1) the team (and us fans) got slapped in the face by reality! The “Pewter Pirates” traveled to Carolina and were trounced by a superior team by a 27-6 score. The Carolina Panthers are solid on both sides of the ball and proved that our Bucs still have a long way to go. That said, there is light at the end of the Buccaneer tunnel.
With those three wins, the team proved they were still playing hard for their coach. It would have been much easier to roll over, not play hard and watch Coach Schiano get his ass kicked out the door. But, they didn’t do that! They continue to play hard and I think they have a chance to be much better next season. Schiano has the respect of his team and they know his style and playbook … Glennon knows what it’s like to be an NFL starting QB … Martin-James-Leonard should all be back … the play of Gerald McCoy, Lavonte David and Vincent Jackson has been solid … Darrelle Revis will be 100% healthy next year and there won’t (hopefully) be 14 guys injured. They do have to cut back on the stupid penalties (they are the most penalized team in the NFL) and they need to improve their pass rush.
I’m asking Buc Fans not to jump ship! I know it’s easy to give up on a 3-9 team, but you have to admit there has been improvement since Freeman was shown the door. Give Schiano one more year … if he doesn’t win at least ten games next year, fire him! I think Glennon is for real and I would like to see this team play at 100%. Am I crazy??? Maybe, but like it or not … I’m a Buc Fan!
By Paul Allen