Time for a decision on Greg Schiano

December, 29, 2013
12/29/13
10:05
PM ET
NEW ORLEANS -- If this was an audition for the folks at Penn State or for the Glazer brothers, Greg Schiano came up very short.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost to the New Orleans Saints, 42-17, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Need we go into more detail about the game?

One detail and then we'll move on to talking more about Schiano's future: Tampa Bay's pass defense, which had been a bright spot most of the season, gave up 370 yards and Drew Brees didn't even play the entire game.

The prized secondary, which features Darrelle Revis and Dashon Goldson (a pair of very expensive players), was out of sorts all game. Even the things that were strengths in a miserable season weren't strengths against the Saints.

Schiano
How does Schiano sell that to Penn State? Or how does he sell that to the Glazer family, which owns the Bucs?

Let's start with the Penn State situation. For the moment, Bill O'Brien still holds that job. But there are rumblings that O'Brien is headed for the NFL. Schiano, a former Penn State assistant, has been mentioned in speculation about Penn State in recent days.

"I or no one connected with me has had any contact with Penn State," Schiano said. "I said it once and I'll say it again, the job I have is the job I want."

That brings us back to the job Schiano says he wants. It's more than a little debatable that he has done enough to keep it. The Buccaneers went 4-12 after going 7-9 in his first season. Three seasons remain on Schiano's contract.

After 4-12, there have to be changes. But does it start at the top with Schiano and general manager Mark Dominik?

That's where the Glazers come in. There are three Glazer brothers -- Bryan, Joel and Ed -- who run the team. The Glazers are very private. They're also unpredictable and I've found it wise to not even try to guess what they're going to do.

But the one thing I do know with certainty about the Glazers is that they despise being embarrassed. A 4-12 season is embarrassing, especially when it's capped off by a 25-point loss against a division opponent.

"I'm not satisfied with four [wins]," Schiano said. "That's an accurate statement. That's not my decision, how many is enough. I try to win the game."

But Schiano didn't come close to having his team in the game Sunday. You can bet the Glazers aren't satisfied with a four-win season. And you can bet they weren't thrilled with the first couple months of the season when the Bucs constantly were in the news for all the wrong reasons.

There was the Josh Freeman saga in which the guy the Bucs thought could be the franchise quarterback played and overslept his way out of town after three games. There was the MRSA outbreak. Lots of embarrassing things.

But, more than anything, there was the 0-8 start.

"Starting off 0-8, to be honest, that season is practically over," Revis said.

I'll take it one step further than Revis. Tampa Bay's season was over after the 0-8 start. Schiano rallied the troops for three consecutive wins after that and, by all indications, kept the team together.

"I definitely think he did a good job for us," Goldson said. "He faced a lot of criticism. A lot of people bashed him when it wasn't his fault on certain things, a lot of things. He continued to coach and do his job."

Most of the players I talked to after the game sang Schiano's praises. But there was one notable exception. Although Revis praised Schiano for keeping the team together, the star cornerback didn't exactly give a ringing endorsement when asked if his coach should keep his job.

"That's not my call," Revis said. "I don't make those big-time decisions, those management decisions. I'll leave that as that. That's really not my call."

No, it's not anybody's call except for the Glazer brothers. Unless there really is something in the works with Penn State, the Glazers need to huddle quickly and decide what a franchise that hasn't reached the playoffs since the 2007 season needs to do.

Schiano is scheduled to address the media at 2:30 p.m. ET Monday. There likely will be more Penn State questions -- unless the Glazers decide before 2:30 that Schiano no longer is their coach.

He sure didn't give any reasonable audience a good impression with his team's play on Sunday.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.


Insider

NFC SOUTH SCOREBOARD