Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Biggest Media Misconceptions About the Team
When it comes to sports, fans and writers alike will often cling to stereotypes and beliefs that just aren't true.
Defenses don't win championships. Joe Namath wasn't an elite quarterback, and Tim Tebow isn't a messiah.
I'm not saying that every fan or sportswriter out there believes in these misconceptions.
But some do, and unfortunately, those that do seem to get a lot of media attention.
Here are the three biggest media misconceptions about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Head Coach Greg Schiano Is a Control Freak
Thank you, Peter King, for this beautiful piece of self-righteous, uninformed, offseason filler.
Here, the Sports Illustrated writer goes on a rant about how Schiano is a control freak.
So that you won't have to wear your hands out by clicking on the link, I'll give you a taste right here:
Greg Schiano is a control freak. And that's the major explanation, at least in my mind, for why you trade a productive tight end like Kellen Winslow for something so paltry as a seventh-round draft choice, which the Bucs did Monday in dealing him to Seattle: The new coach doubted he was going to be able to control Winslow.
A friend of mine at Rutgers once told me Schiano was an acquired taste; he was insistent, for instance, that team meetings at road hotels be held with the room at a precise temperature.
Way to jump to conclusions, King.
Schiano gave his explanation for the temperature control to the NFL Network soon after. It's simply that rooms full of men get stuffy and humid quickly, distracting people from the meeting. Controlling the temperature allows one to circumvent this pitfall.
More like compulsive lunatic.
Only a few weeks after the article was posted, Winslow came clean about the manner of his trade.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Kellen Winslow said the following:
Schiano came over there and he (yelled), "Toes on the line! Toes on the line!" Blowing the whistle. You can’t laugh. You can’t joke around. So, I decided not to go to OTAs. They got my man Rah (Raheem Morris) up out of there, and I was loyal to him. I would take a bullet for that dude. So, I had to roll, man.
Hmm...a coach yelling out instructions in a drill?
Fire him immediately!
The Glazers Are Cheap (At Least When It Comes to American Football)
This one comes more from what the Glazers have not done rather than what they have.
Instead of spending the big bucks on over-priced free agents, the owners of the Buccaneers prefer to build through the draft and re-sign from within.
Just look Pro-Bowl guard Davin Joseph. He was drafted in 2006, and for his first five years as a Buc, he labored under a (relatively) meager $10 million contract.
But when it came to re-sign him, the ownership opened up their wallets. Joseph received a seven year, $52.5 million contract, keeping him in Tampa until 2018.
Each year, the Glazers honestly make an effort to bring the Buccaneers to the next level. The only problem with their approach is that it relies on the scouting department to find talent in every round of the draft.
In years past, the scouts just haven't done their jobs well enough for the team to build through the draft. This piece, done by ProFootballFocus, looks at how well Tampa Bay has drafted in the last few years. While there have been few major busts, there have been no real gems either.
As soon as the owners realized this strategy wasn't working, they splurged on Vincent Jackson, Carl Nicks and Eric Wright. The three contracts combine for roughly $140 million over the next five years. With that much money, they could instead buy 140 items off of this list.
Don't say that the Glazers haven't tried their best.
The Bucs Are Playoff Contenders
The arrival of Greg Schiano certainly turned things around for the franchise, and for the first time in a while, the fans have hope. The immediately-preceding Raheem Morris Era should be remembered purely for two awful seasons (the first and third), and the second season, which saw the Bucs reach a 10-6 record, should be regarded as a statistical anomaly. Chaos ruled One Buc Place.
But some pundits are getting a little bit carried away with the change. They seem to forget that the Bucs play in the brutal NFC South, home to three very good, if not great quarterbacks, none of whom play in Tampa.
Beyond the division, the 2012 schedule is borderline malicious, pitting the Bucs against the defending Super Bowl champion, the much-improved Dallas Cowboys, the star-studded Philadelphia Eagles, the Romeo Crennel-led Kansas City Chiefs, the desperate San Diego Chargers and perhaps worst of all, the Denver Broncos, now with Peyton Manning.
Looking at the actual roster, it's hard to imagine this team making any playoff games. The defense does not have as many holes as last year, but frankly, that does not say much. The overall quality of the defense is still extremely low, among the NFL's worst.
The offense is shrouded in mist. No one knows which Josh Freeman we'll see in 2012. Will it be the one who threw 22 interceptions in 15 games, or the one who led his team to 10 wins? He has a new weapon in Vincent Jackson and a better offensive line, but the improvement is really up to Freeman.
In a pass-first league, the quarterback is the key to his team's success. Without a decent signal-caller, even the most talented team is as much a playoff contender as a penguin is a thumbtack. Which is to say, not at all.
John Clayton of ESPN may have the hit the nail on the head with the prediction of 6-10.
Look, I want to be wrong about this.
I really, really, want to be wrong.
But I just don't see any way that the Bucs could make the playoffs in 2012.
Now 2013, that's a completely different story...