Commentary | Even the jokes at One Buc Place are bad these days

adell@bradenton.comOctober 20, 2013 

TAMPA

The defensive coordinator can't tell the difference between a bad joke and an insult.

So should we be surprised that he is confused about how to use Darrelle Revis, his most expensive piece of merchandise?

But confusion is infectious, and maybe we should just write this off; bad teams do bad things like tell bad jokes.

These guys don't know when to leave well enough alone.

Just when things were expected to calm down with quarterback Josh Freeman jettisoned out of town, Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan does his Jay Leno imitation and fans fume.

Former NFL players on and off the airwaves have been saying the Bucs are using Revis wrong, especially for a guy getting paid $1 million per game.

They note the elite cornerback is playing too much zone and too little man to man.

Would you buy a Ferrari and use it only to buy groceries?

Sheridan, who was seen sleeping in the back of the room during his Leno-Jimmy Kimmel classes, blurts out a sarcastic barrage aimed at the nincompoops he apparently believes masquerade as Bucs' fans, inviting them to come help the coaches put together the game plan.

With the empty-seat crowd growing at Raymond James Stadium, his remarks couldn't sit well the Glazer family that owns the Bucs. You have to believe head coach Greg Schiano, who is living on an NFL respirator, couldn't have been pleased either.

Unfortunately, this is life over at One Buc Place these days. The people in charge act as if they are testing out fire alarms.

Sheridan couldn't see the absurdity of his remarks, which maybe tells us why he cannot see how to use Revis.

OK, the Bucs these days could use a laugh that doesn't describe the team.

Sigmund Freud would probably pay to sit in on a Bucs staff meeting to finish his work on psychopathology. But, oh, he is dead like a lot of things around this franchise.

If Sheridan is not tough enough to take criticism without slamming the fans, how can he ask his players to risk their well-being for him?

NFL Films guru Greg Cosell said on local radio that he charted every play during the Bucs' loss to Philadelphia last week and counted only two where Revis played man to man.

Schiano jumped on the remarks to portray himself as a genius who has everybody fooled. It might have worked, except he is 0-5.

Sheridan used the word "chirping" to describe those disloyal Buc fans who support his critics.

Cosell said in part: "They hardly played any man. Revis only lines up on the left side of the defense, which makes the defense fairly predictable from a coverage standpoint."

But Schiano has a shot at redemption.

The Bucs play two games within five days (Atlanta on Sunday and Carolina on Thursday) and if he can win both, he can tell those chirpers to go bleep.

The Falcons are wounded beyond recognition and will be minus Julio Jones, Roddy White and Steven Jackson when the teams meet Sunday in the Georgia Dome.

Schiano's adopted quarterback, Mike Glennon, still hasn't shown he can pass with a crowd in his face, earning a 11.9 QB rating against the Eagles when under pressure.

For the third game in a row, the Bucs are in a matchup that features two desperate teams.

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan operates behind one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL and only has tight end Tony Gonzalez and a bunch of guys off the street at his disposal.

On the other hand, if you can't score it's hard to win, and the Bucs are last in the NFL with 64 points.

It's why Schiano might believe his best chance to save his job is not beating Atlanta. It's Freeman looking bad against the New York Giants on Monday night when he makes his debut for the Minnesota Vikings.

Now that would fit right into Jay Leno's monologue.

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

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