Commentary | Trust, belief, accountability missing along with wins for Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Schiano

adell@bradenton.comOctober 14, 2013 


Remember TBA.

Greg Schiano proclaimed it would define the Tampa Bay Buccaneers under his reign.

Trust, Belief, Accountability, he shouted out when he became the Bucs head coach last year.

He said it with so much passion, his words evoked tears from long-suffering Bucs fans.

Now they ignite anger and disbelief.

TBA was buried under the ominous cloud that hovered over the team Sunday before the Bucs game with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Reports circulated that the NFL players union charged Schiano was the person who leaked the medical information on the team's former quarterback, Josh Freeman.

The leak centered on Freeman's battle with attention deficit hyperactivty disorder (ADHD) and medication he has used to treat it.

It's something any person would want to keep private, especially an NFL quarterback.

NFL Players Association Executive Eirector DeMaurice Smith would not name Schiano, but did not deny the Bucs head coach was the source when asked earlier in the day.

After the Eagles handed the winless Bucs their fifth straight defeat, Schiano would only say he answered the question when it surfaced several weeks ago, denying he was the snitch.

"We as an organization look forward to cooperating with the NFL and the NFLPA. I've already commented on it, and we're going to leave it at that," Schiano said.

The truth will be re

vealed some day.

But it is clear that there is little to no trust, no belief and apparently very little accountability with this team.

The best way to describe the Bucs is that they do what they have to do to get beat.

Schiano was showered with boos when he left the field after the game with fans unleashing a profanity-laced tirade at him.

He said he didn't hear anything and, if true, that would be his best coaching move of the day.

The talk around Raymond James Stadium and One Buc Place is now about how long Schiano will last. The Glazer family, which owns the team, has never fired a head coach in fewer than three years of service, but that could change.

The players are trying to keep things from imploding, at least publicly, but it becomes harder with each defeat.

"It's our reality right now. We are 0-5 and there is no way you can block it away or shy away from it," prized free agent cornerback Darrelle Revis said. ... "I think getting a win will heal everything for this locker room."

Things are horrible on the field, getting worse off the field and, with reports that MRSA has infected three players, including one who has threatened to sue the Bucs, the locker room isn't any better.

Schiano has no place to hide. The only thing that cures discord in sports is winning, and he can't do that.

The Bucs never run out of ways to beat themselves.

They had eight penalties for 72 yards against the Eagles, including five for offensive holding (one was declined).

Schiano supporters (if you can find any these days) boast he is a disciplinarian, but the Bucs continue to make the same mistakes every game, including dumb penalties. The preseason's highly touted defense can't hold onto leads.

Trailing 17-14 at halftime, the Eagles scored on their first possession of the second half. The Bucs cut their deficit to 21-20 in the fourth quarter on a field goal. Philadelphia responded with a three-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a 36-yard touchdown from Nick Foles to DeSean Jackson, who lit up the Bucs for 64 yards on six catches.

LeSean McCoy rushed for 116 yards. Foles, a backup to Michael Vick, burned the Bucs for the second straight year, hitting 22 of 31 passes for 296 yards and three touchdowns. Last year, he passed for 381 yards and two touchdowns in beating the Bucs.

"We just gave up four explosive plays; we haven't done that. Balls haven't gone over our head in the first four games, and they did today," Schiano said. "What we've been able to do is make people go the long, hard way by playing sound and solid. Today, it kind of changed the whole complexion."

No one enjoys following a loser, and the most interesting thing about the Bucs these days is the off-field drama.

Lost in the defeat to the Eagles was that rookie quarterback Mike Glennon showed improvement in his second start. But nobody seems to care. Most of the media left before his postgame press conference, and it lasted less than two minutes.

"We've got to play our way and coach our way out of it one day at a time," Schiano said. "That's how you do it. There is no magical answer. You stand to your convictions without being stubborn and you move forward."

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

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