(PHOTO: Mike Stone/Reuters via yahoo.com)
True to his word, with his Buccaneers losing 16-10 to the Cowboys today in the final minutes, Tampa Bay rookie head coach Greg Schiano once again blitzed his opponent’s victory formation as Dallas ran out the clock.
In fact, this time the Bucs went after the snap three consecutive times, with Schiano calling a time out to act like a tough guy and scream at his players before the final attempt.
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Before the mics go silent, you can hear Schiano loudly shouting “I don’t give a f@ck what they think”. And since he knows the cameras (and all of his critics) are watching, Schiano then proceeds to coach harder than he had the entire game. He specifically went to extra care to make it seem as though he’s coaching technique to swipe at the snap before it reaches to the quarterback … as though this somehow would justify his “strategy”.
As expected, the Cowboys were fully prepared for Schiano’s tactics, and once again, it didn’t work. Despite the fact that the Cowboys’ center got blasted backward on each attempt (with the Bucs lining up offside on the last try), Tony Romo was able to cleanly field the snap … and Tampa Bay still lost.
Our final thoughts on all this: While Schiano is well within the rules for coaching his team to play this way (and will apparently get a lot of practice at it), no matter how you slice it, it’s still a bush league move. It’s the equivalent of getting your ass kicked in a street fight, and then when your opponent lets up and starts walking away, flailing wildly at his junk. There’s a small chance you’ll hurt the guy, but it’s definitely a cheap shot.
And regardless, you’re still a dick.
Schiano’s defenders will argue that there’s nothing wrong with playing the full 60 minutes … and there isn’t. But the entire strategy is predicated on catching the other team off guard, and with the element surprise now removed from the equation, this has become about nothing more than Schiano puffing out his chest and trying to send some sort of a message about how his team finishes. But Schiano should really focus more on how his team plays during the other 59 minutes of the game, so he doesn’t find himself in a desperate, losing situation quite so often.
As more details emerge about Schiano’s reputation as an unprecedented a-hole, the more we’ve come to believe that he truly is nothing more than a playground bully, looking to prove that he’s the tough new kid on the block. That may have worked at Rutgers, but if Schiano thinks his intimidation tactics are going to work at the NFL level, he is sorely mistaken. And now that he’s thrown sportsmanship out the window, he can expect every head coach league-wide to do the same when facing the Bucs. If that’s the way he wants to play it, fine.
We predict Schiano will find himself out of the league within 3 years. But at least he’ll be able to point back to what a tough guy he was in the final seconds of each loss … right?