By the mid-season point of the 2013 NFL regular season, all eyes were on Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano. The clock was ticking on when the coach would be fired. The team appeared to be in disarray. Tampa was finding new ways to lose seemingly every week, penalties were a problem while the team was hit hard with injuries. Pundits speculated whether or not Schiano had lost the team’s locker room. Now the Buccaneers have won four of their last five games and has the turn around been enough to save Schiano’s job in 2014?
Schiano has three more seasons remaining on his contract. Generally, most coaches get three years to turn a team around. Schiano has cleaned up the locker room, he’s surrounding himself with players that buy into his system. He’s improved the team’s defense. Tampa is in the top-10 against the run and middle of the league in pass defense. In 2012, Tampa was the worst secondary in football. The Buccaneers now lead the NFL in interceptions, with 21.
DT Gerald McCoy is becoming the dominating force that he was expected to become when he was drafted. LB Lavonte David, a Schiano-era draft choice, is perhaps the best linebacker in the league no one is talking about. David, with two interceptions on Sunday, has become just the seventh player in NFL history to record five sacks and five interceptions in a single season.
Schiano has also done a remarkable job replacing injured players. Once Doug Martin went down, he placed Mike James in as the starting running back. James went down with a season ending injury and he picked up Bobby Rainey off waivers. Bobby who? Rainey has rushed for 467 yards in five games with four scores.
While rookie QB Mike Glennon posted his worst start of his young career, he has shown promise this season.
Granted, the Bucs have defeated the Bills and Falcons, two teams gutted by injuries, but they are wins. Tampa will face two potential Super Bowl teams in the next three weeks, if the Bucs hang with them and perhaps pull off an upset while defeating the Rams, Greg Schiano should be back for his third season.