Greg Schiano keeps his job when this season is over. He deserves it.
Schiano's team has won four out of their last five games. Almost pulled out the upset in Seattle, losing in overtime. His defense leads in the league in interceptions with 21 -- that's a staggering number.
Schiano's defense has 34 sacks this season. With three games to go, that has been a weak spot. Remember last year, the Bucs defense had a total of 26.
Schiano is winning with a rookie quarterback, he is winning with 13 players on injured reserve, he is winning without names like Doug Martin, Mike James, Carl Nicks, Mike Williams and Connor Barth.
Without those names, his offense has racked up 124 points in their last six games, 100 yards rushing or more in four out of their last six -- and remember teams are stacking up against the run every game to face the rookie QB to beat them.
The Bucs have made it work four out of the last five games. In their last six games, this team made up of offensive no-names and spare parts is averaging 20 points per game. Those are just the facts and figures -- but the numbers aren't the real reason he keeps his job.
Schiano hangs onto his job because he has hung on to the locker room. The players are backing the boss, and the fans, for the most part, are falling in line. Now, I'm sure ownership will back Schiano as well.
After the pounding on national television by Carolina, the heat was at its highest and Schiano didn't deflect it, he directed it at himself. Fans weren't just calling for his head, they were screaming for it. Schiano was under a full blitz and he just took the shots, soaked up the criticism and kept his team, his players, out of that glare.
That's what made an impression on players like Gerald McCoy, Lavonte David, Darrelle Revis. If Schiano has lost the locker room, the first step would have been to lose the leadership of those three and it didn't happen.
There is still work, a lot of work needed. Buccaneer running backs are short on touchdowns -- only five rushing touchdowns, one of the worst in the league.
The offense evaporates in the third quarter and that offense is still one of the lowest ranked in the league.
But at this point, Schiano's job doesn't depend on stats and style points -- it depends on his leadership in the locker room. Clearly, the players believe in their boss, as the head coach Schiano never lost the locker room, and that might be his biggest win of the season.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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