The world champion Patriots are still celebrating their Super Bowl 53 win, while at the same time, planning for their future with an important coaching hire. After losing defensive play-caller Brian Flores to the Dolphins as their new head coach this week, New England is apparently on the verge of hiring former Buccaneers coach and Ohio State assistant Greg Schiano to replace him.
— Jim McBride (@globejimmcbride) February 6, 2019
We wrote previously around the Senior Bowl in January that Schiano had reportedly been there and attempting to hook on with the Patriots after being dismissed by new Ohio State full-time coach Ryan Day. Schiano had been the defensive coordinator and assistant head coach for the Buckeyes the last three seasons. However, when Day was elevated from offensive coordinator to full-time head coach last December, he decided not to keep Schiano.
Schiano had also suffered the humiliation of a very public outcry from in Knoxville,Tennessee, that the Volunteers not hire him from Ohio State, as their new head coach back in December of 2017. This surrounded Schiano having been a coach at Penn State with the Joe Paterno/Jerry Sandusky child molestation controversy was ongoing. And also, Schiano’s spotty record as Rutgers head coach where he was only 68-67, never wining a conference title or having a major bowl game appearance.
Schiano’s NFL coaching experience in Tampa Bay was a disaster in the win-loss column and in some other ways. After some initial success, the 2012, the Bucs lost five of their last six games at the end of that season. Then started a dismal 0-8 with Schiano running off established young quarterback Josh Freeman, who was released a month into the year. Tampa Bay never recovered finishing 4 – 12 and Schiano was fired with an 11 – 21 record.
Schiano’s Buccaneers were famously blasted nationally for him ordering his defense to “rush the kneel down formation” early in the 2012 season at the end of losses to the Giants and then the Cowboys.
Unable to secure a head coaching job in 2014-15, Schiano ended up joining Ohio State in 2016. It’s a role that he similarly held for Butch Davis with the Miami Hurricanes in the early 2000s.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick has always been fond of Schiano, including when his son Steven played for and then, was a graduate assistant with Schiano, while he coached Rutgers. Steven is now the safeties coach for the Pats.
The Buccaneers and Patriots also held joint practices together during Schiano’s two pre-seasons of 2012 – 13.
This will be the third defensive coordinator in three years for New England, as Lions coach Matt Patricia left New England after last season to take that job.
Bucs pass rusher Barrett named NFC Defensive Player of Week
Off their impressive Road win last Thursday night against division rival Carolina, the Buccaneers also got an individual accolades on Wednesday morning.
That’s when the NFL announced that edge pass-rusher Shaq Barrett had been named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week:
And it's only the beginning.
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) September 18, 2019
Barrett had a tremendous game, or should we say third quarter specificall, in the win over the Panthers. This as, he registered not one, but three quarterback sacks, in the third quarter of Tampa Bay’s 20 – 14 victory.
Barrett became the first Buccaneer since Simeon Rice in their Super Bowl season of 2002 to have that many sacks in a single 15 minute period. He’s also the first Bucs pass rusher to get three sacks in a single game since the 2015 season.
Barrett also had a sack in Tampa Bay’s week one loss against San Francisco and obviously, leads them now with four of them through the first two games. The four sacks in two games has matched the best start in sacking the QB in Buccaneers franchise history.
The last time the Bucs had a defensive player win player of the week honors, was also 2015. That’s when linebackers Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander each took home the honor in separate weeks.
The six year veteran came to Tampa Bay after having spent his first five years with the Denver Broncos. This included his being part of the Broncos Super Bowl 50 winning season of 2014.
Barrett had 14 career sacks coming into this season and is already thriving early in new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles’ defense. The Bucs are pairing him on the outside with Carl Nassib in Bowles’ 3-4 scheme.
He is also the former Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year at Colorado State, where he had 12 sacks and three forced fumbles in his senior season and was eventually signed with Denver, as an undrafted free agent.
Bucs coach Arians rightfully fearing Giants RB Saquon Barkley
Regardless of the Giants starting rookie Daniel Jones at quarterback on Sunday, Bucs head coach Bruce Arians knows the real key for New York resides deeper in their backfield.
That’s where second-year running back Saquon Barkley is expected to be busy, especially early in the game. And, he may very well be the reason or not that New York has a chance to get their first win of the season Sunday in Tampa.
Arians made it clear right away at his Tuesday press conference that Barkley will be a challenge for a Buccaneer defense that has been stingy so far this year against the run:
"I’ve had the confidence all along… We have to practice the same this week, after a win, as we did after a loss. The sense of urgency can’t leave."
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) September 17, 2019
“He’s got more 50-yard runs than anybody I’ve seen in a long time,” Arians said. “He’s hard to bring down. He doesn’t run over many people – he runs around them and runs past them. The size and the speed combination are extremely rare.”
The Bucs held the 49ers in check for just 77 yards on the ground in their opening loss two weekends ago, but then, played even better against Christian McCaffrey and the Panthers running attack last Thursday night. They held McCaffrey to only 37 yards on 16 carries, including the biggest moment of the game. That’s when DB Vernon Hargreaves stopped McCaffrey one-on-one from getting the one needed yard to keep Carolina’s final drive alive and hopes of winning the game.
As for Barkley, he comes off a tremendous debut season with a 1,300 yards rushing and another 700 receiving. He’s arguably the best dual threat back in football.
And, with a 120 yd rush game on just 11 carries in the opening week game at Dallas, Barkley followed up with another 100 yard game last week against Buffalo registering 107 yards on 18 carries. Still, the Giants dropped both games and at 0- 2 and have decided to shake it up at QB.
Giants second-year coach Pat Shurmur will try to establish the run early on in the game to take the pressure off his rookie quarterback making his debut.
The Bucs know that as well and looked at stuff to run with Pro Bowl veteran Ndamukong Suh and former first-round pick Vita Vea. Both guys have been big keys in clogging up the middle and helping the Buccaneers stop the 49er and Panther backs.
And if they do so Sunday at home, it will be a big key for a second straight win.
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