The recent benching of Josh Freeman prompted me to shed light on the window of opportunity that we all have. The issues surrounding the Tampa Bay Buccaneers should be one that every one of us can identify with. There is for all the parents the vision and structuring of our families. The Glazers do not have anything close to the bond that parents have for their kids, but there are some similarities as the decisions they make have an effect on things in employees families and our communities as well. For our coaches and the various managers in the business world there is the questioning of leadership. While having previous success, we will encounter numerous factors(winds) that we were previously unaware of. The delicate balance of sticking to your guns and allowing those guns to evolve into more powerful weapons, without them being lost or taken away to be turned against you takes wisdom. In the midst of taking the reins, you have to resist the urge to project the responsibilities that lie in your own lap. For the players there is a base culture that is the NFL. The players know it and have experienced it. It is largely an “either you do or you don’t league”, meaning you either get your job done or someone else will and there is very few variations from this truth about the game. This understanding applies in the mind of players to their coaches and coaches to the players. The fate of the entire outfit will be handled by the owners if mutual respect fails to manifest between the both.
Typically a radical approach such as the one Raheem Morriss brought to the buccaneers organization can be subject to the opposites, as we saw both it’s level of genius, and it’s death due to it’s idealism. It was one of the most relaxed environments that I personally have been in. This type of philosophy for most people is an easier one to grasp. After all most people want to be comfortable, even though the realities of the NFL are the exact opposite, here is where you see the contradiction that lies with the players. I wish we would have afforded Raheem the same opportunity to fine tune his philosophy. From what I have heard about Greg Schiano and his discipline, it incorporates the same level of Genius and Idealism but hasn’t been received as well. Initially players will fight tooth and nail as to how it opposes the common culture of the NFL because of what its asking of them. It asks for unwavering loyalty in the face of the harsh realities I mentioned before. It strives to bring out something that he communicates isn’t currently present. Which is to Schiano’s advantage. In contrast, Raheem just asked for you to be your best self, without employing means to truly find out where you stood. High rewards and acceptance initially but a terrible downside. We saw the effort from players at games end in Schiano’s first year that became the talk of the league. These players had undoubtedly bought in because it was not a popular thing to do, just as players bought in to the “youngry” mindset. The belief was there, however realizing that in victories was not. The Buccaneers have clearly played bad football in the last 9 or so regular season games. They have been everything but the model of discipline and consistency. Is Greg Schiano on his way to experiencing what Raheem Morriss did, but in the opposite fashion?
My intuition tells me that this outfit is going to find it’s way as all things in life strive to find their way. Josh Freeman will not be forced into leadership as he has been relieved of the starting quarterback position. From the outside looking in the current leaders have clearly been Gerald McCoy, Darelle Revis, Dashon Goldson, Vincent Jackson and I will say a quiet leadership by Davin Joseph because of what I know about him. That is what I love about this league. A team stays in a state of inertia until the powerful forces that are the NFL force a reaction. Teams pay big money for coaches, free agents and first day draft picks. Everybody and their mother has an opinion on what teams are going to be great and futile. When the fact of the matter is that these times that the buccaneers are experiencing are the initial trials that lead to greatness. Either it is weathered and Greg Schiano goes on as its leader and stamps buccaneer football with his own personality or we stay on this carousel. We continue getting excited when a new coach possesses some promise. We falsely think that the sheer acquisition of the games top cornerback’s and safeties will lead to W’s. Our quarterback’s will fall into oblivion, only to realize their talent elsewhere. There may be short-term success, as with Raheem but this is always the case when a franchise lacks continuity, which bucs fans know well. We saw what great leadership could do with Tony Dungy, which was continued in Jon Gruden.
I truly think that Schiano has the chops to be that guy. There will be new energy and focus at the quarterback position. Mike Glennon has the talent and skill set to do everything that is asked of him in this type of offense. We have a lights out defense which is tapering its play, which is not a bad place to start. We have a great pass rush! I just think we have to be patient and let things take their course. They do have the “components” as Greg Schiano stated. You have to find out who’s who, in this league to find the “what you’re about”. Great players like Darelle Revis aren’t phased by the doubt that plagues other players. Maybe, Josh has fallen into that dizzying cycle that is present in the NFL, which is unfortunate. I am sure most Bucs fans, players, and alumni are wishing him the best. That’s all you can do in this game. Great teams and players win the war of attrition that is the NFL season, and this pack I think has become lean and mean. I think this team will overcome a coach and QB that has little NFL experience and show improvement. They surely need to address their depth at certain positions in the offseason, but they have a very strong nucleus of players and character guys. Lets just place confidence in that.