TAMPA, Fla. (970 WFLA) -- Nobody could’ve predicted this. The Buccaneers are 0-5. The fans are furious. The players are shocked. And the coaching staff is under fire.
The Bucs are reeling after a 31-20 home loss to the Eagles on Sunday. Not only are the Bucs winless on the season, they have dropped 10 of their last 11 games under head coach Greg Schiano. Will players start to mail it in with the losses mounting?
“This is a time when people are going to start questioning each other—start questioning offense, defense, coaches and players—that’s one thing we can’t do,” linebacker Adam Hayward said on Monday.
Players and coaches have to avoid the finger-pointing game. Because that’s when you lose the locker room.
“I think we got very strong leadership and I think the leadership will keep us locked in,” Schiano said during his Monday press conference.
Schiano understands that fans are very frustrated with the team’s 0-5 start. But he believes the tide is about to turn.
“I can imagine how frustrated [the fans] are, absolutely,” Schiano said. “I can guarantee you that they’re not more frustrated than I am. No matter how fervent a fan they are—that doesn’t make it OK. I understand that we’re disappointing a lot of people. This is a community, an area that’s very passionate about their team and had high expectations as I did.”
After the Eagles loss, some players mentioned the fact that the latest MRSA outbreak served as a distraction leading up to the game. Schiano believes it’s his responsibility to maintain focus for the rest of the team.
“Well then I need to lead better because nobody cares you know? The other 31 teams,” Schiano said. “This is the most competitive sports league in the world and we have to find a way to win. Whatever the distractions are, we collectively have to push them to the side.”
Schiano’s message to the fans: “If they can hang in there, we’re going to be good. If they can’t, we’re still going to be good and they are welcomed back.”
Many fans are not hanging in there after a 0-5 start. Here’s the problem for the head coach—he likely won’t be hanging in there or hanging around for that matter if the losses keep piling up.