Greg Schiano welcomed aboard Bucs ship

New Bucs Coach Greg Schiano speaks to press conference after announcement by Bucs front office.

Mary Green, Editor-in-Chief

Just as the top two NFL teams prepared to duel in the Super Bowl, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, one of 2011’s worst teams, announced a new head coach, Greg Schiano. The Bucs introduced Schiano, the former head coach of Rutgers University, at One Buc Place on January 27. Schiano had coached for the Scarlet Knights for eleven years before making this jump to the pros.

The head coaching changes came in response to the firing of Raheem Morris, the Bucs’ coach for three season. Morris, a defensive-minded, players’ coach, led the team to a 4-12 record this season that ended with a ten-game losing streak. The Glazer family, which owns the squad, along with General Manager Mark Dominik, decided that parting ways with “Rah” was the best move for this young team that often carried the onerous label of undisciplined this year.

After contemplating several candidates, including former Packers coach Mike Sherman and current University of Oregon coach Chip Kelly, to fill this 24-day vacancy, the crew settled on Schiano, who transformed the Rutgers program from Big East-basement dwellers to bowl game-winners during his tenure, a result the Bucs hope to see as well. Schiano had previously coached in the NFL as an assistant to the Chicago Bears before taking the Rutgers job.

The gameplan of the new head coach centers on a sound defense and powerful running game, aspects familiar to Bucs fans from the glory days of Tony Dungy, Jon Gruden, and Monte Kiffin. His first challenge comes in April at the NFL Draft.  In previous drafts the emphasis has been on defensive players. Fans speculate as to which players Schiano and Dominik will select and whether or not he will shift the emphasis to developing the offensive backfield.

As with all other coaches, Schiano will undoubtedly gain both supporters and critics in the next few seasons, but Buccaneers fans hope that he will be able to captain this ship to the Super Bowl once more.