Commentary | Schiano can only hope Santa Claus knows how to fix Buccaneers

adell@bradenton.comDecember 22, 2013 

NORTH POLE

Spending time with Santa.

Mr. Claus is an NFL guy.

He's got some inside info on what's going to happen on Black Monday.

Its only eight days away, and Santa assures me some NFL owners will chop the heads off the coaches they once showered with dollar bills.

Santa says Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano has been sending so many requests to the North Pole his sleds are buried under an avalanche of mail and immovable, not unlike the Bucs' offense.

"The guy is relentless. We need an extra team of sleds to send out all his gifts," Santa told me.

Schiano has asked Santa to send Josh Freeman winter clothes and a battery to charge his car at night so he can enjoy a long stay in Minneapolis.

"Josh, want to thank you for making it easier for me to keep my job. I have a built-in excuse that everything that went wrong this season is your fault. ... Forever grateful," wrote Greg.

Bucs GM Mark Dominik added his signature along with quarterback Mike Glennon's.

"My family and I thank you, Josh, will always be indebted to you for oversleeping ... Mike."

Bucs safety Dashon Goldson asked Santa to send Dominik and Schiano a few extra-large stockings so they can continue stuffing them with dollar bills.

"You paid me more than any NFL team would, and I just want to say thanks and keep the money coming," Goldson wrote.

"I know I haven't lived up to your expectations. I am ranked 84th among NFL safeties by Pro Football Focus, which is the MIT of football statisticians. Quarterbacks have a 120.7 rating throwing into my area, which is pretty bad for me, and quarterbacks have completed 64 percent of their passes thrown into my coverage area, which stinks.

"But you knew I was playing with three All-Pro linebackers at San Francisco, and they made me look good. And anyway, look at the cash you threw at Eric Wright. It's not my fault you don't have enough money to acquire more talented free agents ... Love always, Dashon."

Scalps flew on Black Monday 2012, with nearly a fourth of NFL head coaches getting axed. Andy Reid, Lovie Smith, Norv Turner and Ken Whisenhunt were among those sent to the guillotine.

Santa has his Black Monday List, but says the final copy has yet to be written.

Schiano asked Santa to give New Orleans a victory over Carolina on Sunday. It would guarantee the Saints the No. 2 seed for the playoffs, and they wouldn't have anything to play for against the Bucs in the regular season finale next week.

"I gave him that gift last year with Atlanta," Santa said. "And he is playing St. Louis without Sam Bradford, so what more does he want? We can't take out Robert Quinn."

Schiano's Christmas wishes are simple: Help on how to convert third downs, directions on how to resurrect an offense that is comatose and a cessation of missed tackles that reached epidemic proportion with 15 against San Francisco.

The Bucs now have 129 missed tackles, which exceeds the 122 they registered last year. That expensive secondary missed seven.

The offensive line has been underproductive, inconsistent and overpaid.

"We could've put that money to better use. There are kids out there who can tackle better, and you should see my elves go at it," Santa lamented.

Long-suffering Bucs' fans can expect the following in their stockings on Christmas Day:

A vacuum to remove all the excuses at One Buc Place.

An offer to Bucs offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan to take over the head job at Army.

A requirement Bucs defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan attend The Etiquette Outreach Center of Antarctica for his bogus invitation to fans to help him and scorning those who came.

A tight end.

A quarterback to give Mike Glennon competition next year.

No more wait-until-next-year signs.

Alan Dell, Herald sports writer, can be reached at 941-745-8056. Follow him on Twitter at@ADellSports.

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