Has there ever been a more embattled head coach than Greg Schiano at this point in a season? Thursday -- featuring Schiano's Buccaneers against the Panthers on primetime -- was a complete dogpile on the Bucs coach. We saw billboards and Cuban references. But did we just see Schiano's last stand?
It's quite possible. Immediately following the game, NFL Network's Rich Eisen said he "felt like I just attended a wake." Warren Sapp, a Hall of Famer who did the majority of his damage as a member of the Bucs and won a Super Bowl in Tampa Bay, called Thursday's performance "an embarrassment."
"That was hard to watch," Sapp said. "That was an embarrassment to a very proud organization."
So maybe it was an embarrassment. I was thinking domination was more appropriate. But I guess that's not better. When you're 0-7 the moral victory of being dominated but not embarrassed isn't worth anything, really.
"You can sit there and cry about it and feel sorry for yourself but that ain't gonna help anything," Schiano said Thursday.
That attitude's great, but it's not going to matter with the Bucs reeling the way they are. Getting hammered in a divisional primetime game when your team is winless, the locker room is on the verge of mutiny and the fans are apathetic -- which is even worse than angry in the NFL, by the way -- is about as low as you can go.
Schiano can't admit it (and shouldn't, either, of course).
"Doesn't affect me. People are certainly entitled to their opinion," Schiano said. "Here's the thing: in my whole career you get up and fork as hard as you can. It usually puts you in bed tired and you get up and do it the next day. Our players and coaches stick together and sometimes it doesn't go your way."
But Thursday was about as bad as we've seen from the hard-nosed coach at the podium. Typically optimistic, he couldn't even find a reason to point out improvement.
"Tonight we made some critical mistakes," Schiano said. "It is hard to see any signs when you don't give yourself a chance to."
If that doesn't sound like a guy who knows the jig is up I'm not sure what does.
|Panthers 31, Buccaneers 13|
|A-||This was a trap game and the Panthers didn't flinch. They blew out another bad team in impressive fashion, winning their third-straight game. Cam Newton's playing the best football of his career, DeAngelo Williams/Mike Tolbert are running well and Charles Johnson/Greg Hardy were terrors in the backfield. This team's rolling right now.|
|D-||50 throws for Mike Glennon? Yeesh. Mike James looked good in the first half but didn't see the rock later. The defense couldn't hold up and the offense kept making mistakes as well (see: multiple third-down botched snaps). Only sympathy keeps this from being an F.|