Current and former Bucs players: Greg Schiano is an A-hole who wants to be like Bill Belichick
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano is hardly the most popular man in the National Football League. He has a reputation for ruling with an iron fist, which is an approach that can be well-received when your team wins. Schiano is 7-15 since taking over as the head coach of the Bucs last year. Tampa Bay is 0-6 this season, and from the sound of it Schiano is losing the respect of his team more and more by the day.
NFL.com’s Michael Silver spoke with several current and former Bucs players recently who described how unpleasant playing under Schiano has been. One former player summed it up in pretty dramatic fashion.
“How bad is it there? It’s worse than you can imagine,” the player, who was with Tampa Bay in 2012, reportedly told Silver. “It’s like being in Cuba.”
As you might expect, Schiano’s controversial kneel-down tactics were a popular topic of discussion. Former Bucs defensive end Michael Bennett, who now plays for the Seattle Seahawks, said even Peyton Manning was livid when Schiano ordered his players to dive at the offensive line with opponents in the victory formation.
“Peyton cussed him out,” Bennett said. “And I ain’t never heard Peyton cuss. People just really hate it when you have to dive at people’s legs. At the end of the day, we’ve got to keep going and move onto the next game and try to make a living. Some of these guys (on other teams) are our friends.
“I think he just wants to flex his power. He has small (man’s) syndrome. I still talk to guys who are there, and trust me, there’s not much respect for him in that locker room.”
Perhaps the most entertaining narrative came from a current Bucs players, who described what Schiano was like during joint workouts with the New England Patriots last summer. The player claimed the typically hard-nosed coach looked up to Belichick like he was his idol.
“He gathered us before we practiced and told us that if Belichick said something to us on the field, we should listen,” Silver said the player told him. “He said, ‘Treat their coaches like they’re your coaches.’ We were like, ‘Huh?’ When we practiced together, whatever Belichick wanted, he did. It was hilarious — here (Schiano) is, acting like Mr. Tough Guy all the time, and when Belichick wanted something, he was like, ‘Yes, Bill.'”
Bennett laughed when asked if the Schiano-Belichick story was true.
“He’s trying to be Belichick,” he said. “Yeah, some people think Belichick’s an (expletive), but he’s a legend. When this guy acts that way, it’s a whole different deal.”
Schiano’s methods may have worked at Rutgers, but professional athletes typically don’t take kindly to a coach trying to bully them. By all indications, that is exactly what Schiano tries to do. Heck, it seems like that’s what happened with Josh Freeman when he was run out of town. Don’t be surprised if Schiano is fired before the end of the season. And if that happens, be less surprised if he can’t find another NFL head coaching job.