Commentary | For Tampa Bay Buccaneers owners, calamitous season unacceptable

December 31, 2013 

Buccaneers-Schiano Fired

FILE - In a Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013 file photo, Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano watches from the sidelines during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game, in St. Louis. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced Monday, Dec. 30, 2013 that they have fired coach Greg Schiano and general manager Mark Dominik following a 4-12 finish. (AP Photo/Tom Gannam)

TOM GANNAM — AP

TAMPA

Close your eyes, breathe deeply and take in the sweet aroma of hope.

The Monday firing of Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano and general manager Mark Dominik is a watershed moment.

It's about the Glazers. It shows the family owners of the team are finally taking this football thing seriously.

Losing will no longer be tolerated.

Schiano and Bucs previous coach Raheem Morris were experiments gone bad.

They were reminders the Glazers really didn't care about the Bucs.

Morris came cheap. Schiano was a laboratory test that failed.

The fans cried foul and good for them.

Former players spoke out about the perpetual calamity at One Buc Place and some in the media took the Glazers to task.

The empty seat crowd at Raymond James Stadium grew.

With these firings the Glazers owned up to their mistakes and took it on the chin.

Schiano helped make it easier. At times, he was his own worst enemy.

His two years were the second-shortest stint of any Bucs head coach in franchise history. (Richard Williamson, 1990-91, 4-15, had the shortest).

But it seemed like an eternity with an endless stream of turmoil. The clubhouse ambiance was intolerable right down to the last hours of the Schiano regime with the coach telling players Mike Glennon was their quarterback.

Glennon was the only excuse Schiano could latch onto to save his job claiming he had to go with the rookie after he was forced to jettison former No. 1 draft pick Josh Freeman.

The Glazers didn't buy it.

They are not enamored with Glennon. If they were, Schiano and Dominik would still be employed.

The bottom line in the National Football League is winning. The Bucs haven't done much of that in recent years.

Schiano finishes 11-21. Dominik was 28-52 with one winning season in five years and never made the playoffs.

If Glennon is back next spring he will have to compete for the starting job, which he didn't have to do under Schiano. He didn't beat out Freeman in a story that has yet to be told in its entirety.

The Glazers like big names at quarterback.

The new coach will bring in his own guy and Glennon, if he is here, will have to beat him out.

Dominik had more misses than hits in his drafting and free agent acquisitions. In the last two years he got Schiano some quality talent, but brought in high-priced guys who let the coach down, were used incorrectly or were overpaid.

With Schiano gone, Johnny "Football" Manziel could be in play for the Bucs. They pick seventh in the 2014 draft and he should be available.

The 2012 Heisman trophy winner from Texas A&M will put a lot of fannies in the seats.

The Bucs are going to hear a lot of coaching names in the coming days. The most important thing is candidates must have NFL experience and some success in the league.

Rich McKay was the Bucs GM from 1993 to 2003, when they won a Super Bowl and reached the playoff six times. He is now president and CEO of the Atlanta Falcons.

He might be available and there is talk about joining him with Lovie Smith, the fired former Chicago Bears head coach. He is a popular candidate, but probably not the best guy for a Bucs team that needs to juice up its offense.

Just please, no college coaches.

If the Glazers spare no money to get the top GM and coach available it will pay dividends.

This is a time of hope.

Alan Dell, sports reporter, can be reached at adell@bradenton.com.

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