Commentary | Freeman's abysmal performance a hollow victory for Tampa Bay Bucs head coach Greg Schiano

October 23, 2013 


Those bold enough to sit through the Minnesota Vikings-New York Giants debacle on Monday Night Football are being treated for paramnesia.

A memory-distortion malady, it was particularly prevalent around Tampa Bay, where the last of the Josh Freeman supporters gathered for a midnight vigil to bid farewell to their favorite son.

The only person smiling was Tampa Bay Buccaneers' beleaguered head football coach Greg Schiano, who is under the impression he is now 1-6.

Someone reported seeing Schiano in the wee morning hours carrying a ladder to every sign he could reach on Dale Mabry scribbling "I told you so."

Freeman's dreadful performance against the Giants in his Vikings debut was a Schiano victory.

One small step for tyranny.

But this is fool's gold.

Schiano can bask in his glory that he was right in deporting Freeman to Roger Goodell's Siberian wasteland, though the bashing that accompanied the move was unnecessary.

Freeman stunk up the joint. Part of it might be that he never should've started after being with the Vikings for less than two weeks and was forced to use a limited playbook.

So if Schiano sees himself 1-6 or 6-6, let him rejoice. He has lied to fans, ticket holders and media members. We should not be surprised that he deceives himself.

Bucs fans have bigger things on their mind and are hoping Freeman's problems don't sway the Glazers, who own the team, to keep Schiano after this season.

Reason must prevail.

There are a lot of people screaming Schiano should be fired if the Bucs lose to Carolina on Thursday night.

That would be a mistake.

The Bucs are going no

where, and the best thing would be to get the highest possible draft choice for 2014, even if it means not winning a game.

The best way to do that is keep Schiano -- for now.

The players will recover if Schiano is fired at the end of the season.

The Bucs have to get an elite signal-caller in what will be one of the most quarterback-rich drafts in a long time.

This might infuriate the Mike Glennon mob, but it is clear their guy will probably make a nice backup during a career that will eventually label him a temporary option.

Scouting reports on Glennon are consistent; he can't throw the deep ball, which includes those to the sideline, and has problems with accuracy. He is 0-3 and in a division that has Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Cam Newton.

Glennon has had the fortune to go against two struggling defenses the past two weeks in the Philadelphia Eagles and injury-plagued Atlanta Falcons, who started two undrafted free-agent rookie linebackers. He is averaging 5.6 yards per attempt, which is among the lowest in the league.

The Bucs can't use Glennon as a reason to pass up an elite quarterback in the draft, but you get the feeling that is what Schiano wants.

There are six potential NFL-elite quarterbacks in the 2014 draft and to pass on them because of Glennon would be a mistake. The group includes Teddy Bridgewater and Johnny Manziel, who would certainly put fans in the seats at Raymond James.

But Manziel is a guy Schiano couldn't deal with. If the coach had problems with the mild-mannered Freeman, you can imagine what it would be like with Manziel.

Glennon will be tested against Carolina, ranked third in total defense.

Schiano has lost 11 of his past 12 games, and his overall win percentage is .318, which is lower than that recorded by Raheem Morris, the man he replaced. Morris was the same man Schiano infamously told luxury box holders presided over a franchise that needed Greg Schiano.

And remember Morris didn't have Darrelle Revis, Dashon Goldson, Vincent Jackson, Doug Martin or Lavonte David, who is turning into another Derrick Brooks.

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

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