Commentary | Coach Greg Schiano takes swipe at GM Mark Dominik as fires continue to brew for Tampa Bay Buccaneers

September 25, 2013 

Buccaneers Schiano Football

FILE - In this Aug. 8, 2013 file photo, Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano watches from the sideline during an NFL preseason game agianst the Baltimore Ravens in Tampa, Fla. The Buccaneers are 0-3 and haven't scored an offensive touchdown in the last seven quarters, yet coach Schiano remains confident the team has what it takes to be successful. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)

PHELAN M. EBENHACK — AP

TAMPA

You are boxed into a corner and see only one choice.

It clouds your thinking.

You don't have Ray Donovan to clean up your mess, so you don't care how much blood is spilled -- even if some is yours.

Greg Schiano is firing away indiscriminately, perhaps oblivious to his target or meticulously engaged.

On his radio show Monday night, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach hit the red button. It could ignite World War III over at One Buc Place.

Getting peppered with criticism about his 0-3 start, Schiano used a scattered-gun approach.

"You can't load an entire roster in a two-year period," he summarily responded.

The quote may spearhead his ultimate downfall.

And it brings to mind another by Lou Holtz: "The man who complains about the way the ball bounces is likely to be the one who dropped it."

Ironically, when Schiano was at Rutgers, he blurted out a line that qualifies for immortality: "There are two things every man in America thinks he can do: work a grill and coach football."

Intentionally or not, his latest remark is aimed at Bucs GM Mark Dominik, who has been in charge of putting the pieces together for the Bucs since 2009.

A coach doesn't want to swipe at a general manager unless he believes heads are going to fall and takes an either-him-or-me approach -- or unless the heat is getting too hot.

In the past two years, the Bucs have opened their wallets with high-priced acquisitions and now have eight former Pro Bowl players, including receiver Vincent Jackson and running back Doug Martin from last season.

The ironic part for Schiano is that just last

week he said the Bucs had all the components to be a winner.

Everyday, a trauma seems to erupt at One Buc Place.

The most recent report was that a players-only meeting before the season focused on Schiano's coaching. Players complained he was too rigid and too hard.

Bucs safety Dashon Goldson said he brought the complaints to Schiano. Guard Carl Nicks said it was about new players on the team not knowing the rigors of NFL football.

He didn't name the newcomers, but Goldson and Darrelle Revis are the Bucs' two high-profile offseason acquisitions.

Goldson gave the meeting credibility, saying it was productive and not just for malcontents. Schiano said it was about "little things" like practice methods and how to get more out of certain (practice) periods.

Right now, One Buc Place looks like the Vatican sending up black smoke because no one can agree on a pope.

The most condemning strike against the Bucs coaching staff is its inability to adjust on offense. Defensive coordinators spend their offseasons dissecting offenses. The Bucs are rated 31st in total offense, points per game (11.3) and passing (174.7 avg). Last year, Tampa Bay was ninth in total offense.

Quarterback Josh Freeman is mediocre, but given help he has proven to be productive though inconsistent. In Sunday's loss to the New England Patriots, he threw five off-target passes but had touchdown passes dropped by Jackson and rookie Tim Wright. Bucs tight ends have combined for four receptions for 44 yards all season.

You have to question the Bucs for allowing Dallas Clark to go elsewhere. He may not have been a lethal weapon last year, but he was their best tight end, and now they have none.

Freeman understandably has no confidence in his tight ends or any receivers not named Jackson or Mike Williams. Offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan tried to incorporate running back Doug Martin into the pass game at New England, and the experiment failed miserably.

So why would Schiano want to even appear to offend his GM?

It makes no sense. But little does these days for the Bucs.

Alan Dell, Herald sportswriter, can be reached at 941-745-7080, ext. 2112. Follow him on Twitter at @ADellSports.

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