Blog Entry

Schiano a surprise ... and a risk

Posted on: January 26, 2012 3:45 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2012 3:45 pm
Next Christmas, I'm giving the Tampa Bay Bucs a compass, a sextant, a GPS ... something, anything, to steer them in the right direction.

I didn't know how badly they needed one until Thursday when they hired Greg Schiano from Rutgers to replace Raheem Morris.

Now, Schiano may turn out to be the next Jim Harbaugh ... and he may not. All I know is that guys who went through the interviewing process told me the Bucs were insistent that they wouldn't go for an unproven coach again and wanted someone with experience; someone who was older, wiser and smarter to run them this time.

So they hire a guy who's never been an NFL head coach.

I know, that happens. But it wasn't supposed to happen in Tampa Bay. The Bucs wanted a strict disciplinarian in the wake of the Morris regime, one reason they ran guys like Marty Schottenheimer and Mike Sherman through there.

But then they pulled an abrupt about-face and offered the job to Oregon's Chip Kelly. And when he didn't accept they went running to Schiano. Huh? That's fine if it's a gamble you're willing to take. But the Bucs tried that three years ago, and we know how that turned out.

I thought this time the idea was to play it safe and go for someone proven.

I don't know if Schiano can coach at this level, and, frankly, I'm not sure the Bucs do, either. They like him because he had a history of success at Rutgers. But raising the Scarlet Knights is different than raising the Bucs ... especially in the always tough NFC South ... so consider this a risk, and a big one.

It's also steering the Bucs in a direction they told applicants they wouldn't go ... and for good reason: They were burned there once.

You're playing with fire again, people. 

Category: NFL
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