May 15, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano reacts during organized team activities at One Buc. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
Over the past months, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have completely overhauled their coaching staff and added numerous new players. They're desperately trying to improve the product on the field, but that's not Greg Schiano's only focus. When Raheem Morris was fired, fans were angry about the Bucs. The Glazers were seen as cheap - and have been seen as cheap for a long time. The fans were livid over the lack of effort they saw on the field, and a few off-field issues didn't help the public relations.
Greg Schiano is trying to change all of that. Not just the on-the-field product, but the way the team is viewed in the community. With just two home sellouts over the past two seasons, that's certainly necessary. And I can't help but think that the Glazers looked at Schiano's work at Rutgers, and came to the conclusion that he was exactly the guy to improve the team's standing in the community.
At Rutgers, Schiano took over a horrid team. A team with no standing in the community, that couldn't recruit its way out of a paper bag, and that had no one coming to its games. Five years after Schiano became the head coach there, the Scarlet Knights sold out game after game and had to add extra temporary seating to their stadium to accomodate everyone. In 2008, he got the university to commit $102 million to an expansion of Rutgers Stadium. By the time he left, Schiano had turned Rutgers into an important and respected part of the local community, and had turned the football team into a financial success.
The Bucs must hope that Schiano can do the same thing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The public relations have certainly improved, as Schiano has said all the right things and his signing of Eric LeGrand got the team a lot of positive press. The signing of three highly-priced free agents certainly doesn't hurt, either. But, ultimately, Schiano will have to start winning games to really improve the team's reputation.