Commentary | Tampa Bay Buccaneers playing reckless brand of football for Schiano, a disciplinarian

adell@bradenton.comSeptember 18, 2013 


Politicians and football coaches have one thing in common.

When they spend most of their time denying rumors, they are in trouble.

It's why Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano is walking the plank.

Schiano has had to respond to more rumors lately than those we heard from George W. and Bill Clinton.

Critics say Schiano's rap sheet is simple. He is guilty of just one crime: being a bad football coach.

Facts cannot be denied, and this is where Schiano finds himself in dire straits for a guy who sells himself as a disciplinarian.

The Bucs have committed 23 penalties for 130 yards in two games. The penalties include four unnecessary roughness calls, two personal fouls and one for unsportsmanlike conduct. The league average per team for the first two weeks is 0.94 unnecessary roughness calls per game, 0.31 personal fouls and 0.22 for personal fouls.

There have been four false starts and two illegal formation penalties, both nearly double the league average.

Anyway you spin it, that does not look like a disciplined team.

Schiano is a Type A personality, a micro manager, rigid to the point of being stubborn and obsessed with time management.

That was needed last year. It appears to be wearing thin this season, and he appears to be losing his sense of direction.

Schiano hasn't used his iron fist where needed. He should have slammed down on safety Dashon Goldson for the illegal hits that has him suspended for this Sunday's game at New England, pending an appeal.

For a guy who discarded a bunch of players because they weren't his version of Buccaneers men, it looks as if Schiano handed out a very light slap on the wrist to Goldson. He is the most penalized player in the NFL since 2010, which

is probably one reason the 49ers didn't put up a fight to keep him.

What Goldson should do Sunday is sit in a room and read about what is going on with the NFL and concussions.

By his actions and words, he doesn't get it. But Schiano is his biggest apologist.

These bad habits have become contagious. After Adrian Clayborn and Goldson were hit with unnecessary roughness calls, two possessions later Ahmad Black, on what has to be the dumbest play of the year, was flagged for a late helmet-to-helmet hit.

Black is fortunate he is even in the NFL and to commit such an egregious act is unacceptable. He appeared unrepentant after the game, giving the impression he was just happy to pull off a Goldson imitation.

"I don't think that anybody is trying to intentionally do that (hit illegally), so we have to be more and more aware of that situation and make sure we avoid that as much as we can," Schiano said.

After the loss to New Orleans on Sunday, the Bucs' $16 million-dollar man, cornerback Darrelle Revis, claimed he wasn't being used right. He wants to play man to man and was unhappy the Bucs were playing a lot of zone, especially on the Saints' game-winning drive. He later backtracked and tweeted he loves being a Buc.

You hear enough rumors and complaints, and you know some are true.

Schiano spent a week in perpetual denial, claiming he has a good relationship with Josh Freeman, that he didn't rig a vote to deny him the team captaincy and that he doesn't know anything about his quarterback wanting a trade.

The most credible rumor is that Schiano and Freeman do not have a good relationship.

The Bucs are 0-2, and since 1990 only 11.6 percent of the teams that lost their first two games made the playoffs.

This organization spent a lot of money the past two years to give Schiano weapons, and he has misused them or put them in his unhappy toy closet.

He needs to redirect himself or he will be directed out of the building.

Alan Dell, Herald sports writer, can be reached at 941-745-7056. Follow him on Twitter at @ADellSports.

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