I was watching First Take this morning and I heard something from guest, former Philadelphia Eagle Eric Allen said something very interesting about what a head coach needs to be. Allen said a head coach needed to build a leader from the top down, that a head coach was responsible for the leadership in a locker room, and that a head coach had to keep the team displaying that leadership even when times are bad.
That really resonated with me. That is the only reason for any support Schiano has been shown. Schiano has produced a locker room full of leaders. Vincent Jackson, Gerald McCoy, Darrelle Revis, Dashon Goldson, Davin Joseph, Adam Heyward these guys are leaders. I don't know of many teams that have so much guidance and leadership in their locker rooms. Along with guys ready to step into that role: Lavonte David, Mike Williams, Jonathon Banks. I love the composure of our guys.
Unfortunately, while Schiano has fit Allen's definition to a tee, he just fails in so many other aspects of the game that it makes it hard for him to compensate at this time.
The problems are obvious, Schaino's schemes and philosophy are outdated. We are constantly beat from a schematic and game planning point that it makes it hard for our (most of the time) superior talent to win out.
I know that some people point to a "lack of talent" on offense due to injury, but I how valid is that excuse?
Starting QB: This is Schiano's doing. He gets no pass for not having his starting quarterback because he would be here if it were not or a coaching decision.
Doug Martin: A valid concern, but bad coaching decisions caused injury (taking shots to a 5'9 running back down-field) and our back ups have actually out-performed Martin.
Mike Williams: This is completely valid. Big loss for the offense, but wasn't performing at time of injury either.
Starting TE: Again, non-valid, Wright would have eventually taken Stocker or Crabtree's job (and if not, oh boy..)
Under performing O-line/back-up running back injuries: Well one of these were working out when the coaches used them properly. When pounding up the middle it looked bad, but some off-tackle runs and creativity in the run game and the run game was suddenly alive.
Part of me feels that Greg Schiano will be a successful coach in the NFL someday. He has an eye for talent (even if Mark Dominik gets a partial nod here too) and Schiano has built a wonderful locker room -- the reason he hasn't "lost" it yet, they won't let him lose it -- but I believe that at this point in his career Schiano is too stubborn to learn from his mistakes in time to turn it around in Tampa.