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News Section: Sports

Buccaneers Head Coach Greg Schiano, General Manager Mark Dominik Fired

Former Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith reportedly being considered by owners as possible coaching replacement

Published Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Greg Schiano and Mark Dominik


TAMPA – The Glazer family, owners of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, announced on Monday that two-year head coach Greg Schiano and five-year general manager Mark Dominik have been let go. 


The move comes after an often frustrating 4-12 second season under Schiano that saw the team fail to produce a single win until its week ten game against the Miami Dolphins. 


Schiano finished his Tampa Bay career with an 11-21 record. The former Rutgers coach faced a quarterback debacle and other setbacks in his second NFL year, yet benefited from two frenzied offseasons that were spent acquiring numerous high-level talents in free agency.


Those signings were handled by Dominik, a long-time member of the organization who oversaw a record of four losing seasons out of five as GM, but who had filled the team roster with quality starters in both free agency and the draft in his last two years.


Yet the free agent signings were widely considered overpays for elite players whose market worth inherently demanded huge contracts. Cornerback Darrelle Revis (traded from the New York Jets for this year's first-round pick as well as a conditional fourth-round in 2014, and signed to $96 million for six years) and free safety Dashon Goldson ($41.25 million for four years) were brought in after 2012 to improve the lowest-ranked passing defense in the league. Though improvement in pass coverage was seen, the team regressed from their prior 7-9 year. 


Aside from typical injuries to starting players, the Bucs experienced rare issues that helped lead to its zero-win record for the first half of the season. One of those issues was an outbreak of MRSA infections among players, which included All-Pro guard Carl Nicks and starting kicker Lawrence Tynes.


Another obstacle to the team's success this year ended up being Dominik's first draft pick - 2009 first-rounder and starting quarterback Josh Freeman, who continued his consistently underwhelming performances that began late in the 2012 season before being benched after week 3, and was granted release soon afterward.


That benching left rookie third-round pick Mike Glennon to start, and despite a couple of strong showings in his 13 games as a first-string QB, Glennon mostly played as one would expect from a third-round pick in his first year. The offensive line was inconsistent in protecting Glennon and in opening defensive line holes for the team's running back roster, which became a carousel due to injuries suffered by 2012 first-round pick Doug Martin and promising rookie Mike James in the middle of the season. 


The team's talent-swollen defense also often underperformed. Schiano, a defensive-minded coach, was criticized by some for frequently using star defensive tackle Gerald McCoy in his run-stopping schemes as opposed to rushing the quarterback, and for his stated approval of constant blitzes that seemed largely ineffective.


Another critique of the head coach, who had touted himself as capable of instilling discipline and organization in the team's players after a lackluster 2011 season under predecessor Raheem Morris, was that his 2013 team was at the top of the list in called penalties for most of the year.


But as is almost always the case in sports, the win-loss record for both men was likely the only issue that mattered when the owners considered their professional fate on Monday. In an official statement, team co-chairman Brian Glazer said: 


Mark has been a valued member of our organization for two decades and we respect the passion he showed for the Buccaneers during his time here. We thank Greg for his hard work and effort the past two seasons, but we feel these moves are necessary in order to achieve our goals.

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