Losing brings out the worst in people. It is always difficult to lose a game, especially in the National Football League, where there are so few to begin with in a 16 game regular season. Often, losing can turn players into winners, as long as that is the culture in the locker room.
But when that is not the culture, losing can turn players against each other, as well as against the coaches.
That is exactly what is happening with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
When the Bucs hired Greg Schiano, they were getting a very good football guy, who sometimes struggled with the social aspect of the game. After seeing how he handles opposing kneel-downs at the ends of games, which infuriated more than a few fellow NFL head coaches, Schiano has now drawn the ire of his own players.
After winning six of the first ten games to start the season, the Bucs have now dropped four straight games, this eliminating them from playoff contention. Following the team’s embarrassing 41-0 loss against the New Orleans, one in which actually saw another player get into a heated exchange with another coach, at least one Tampa Bay player called out Schiano and questioned his credibility and credentials to lead this team.
We all saw what happened between linebacker Adam Hayward and assistant coach Brian Cox. That incident took place in front of the world to see. But it is what was said behind closed doors that have people talking even more about some of the dysfunctional behavior and the culture in Tampa Bay that goes well beyond Sunday’s incident on the field.
According to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk, one unnamed Buccaneers player quipped “Can we send these coaches back to college?” Of course, as has been the case so many times with football players over the last two seasons, he did so anonymously, so we cannot attach a name to his quote.
Still, it makes you wonder if this is the prevailing opinion of the locker room, or just one unhappy camper. The bottom line is that Schiano will be coaching this team next season, regardless of how the Bucs finish out the final two games of the 2012 season.
Of course, if other players tire of his antics, he may not be roaming the sidelines long after that.