NFL.com's Michael Silver has a new report on just how badly things have soured between Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano and his players, and it paints a bleak picture. There are two main takeaways from this story: Greg Schiano's players really, really dislike playing for him, and Schiano actually is the wannabe Napoleon that everyone has always assumed he was.
You should read the whole story, but here are some of the money quotes:
"How bad is it there? It's worse than you can imagine," says one NFL player who spent 2012 with the Bucs. "It's like being in Cuba."
Several current Bucs players describe a similarly bleak environment in which the all-powerful, unyielding Schiano spews tone-deaf platitudes while demonstrating the personal charm of "Homeland" character Nicholas Brody.
And here's former Bucs defensive end Michael Bennet, now with the Seahawks, talking about Schiano's infamous decision to dive at the Broncos' victory formation last December:
"Peyton cussed him out," recalls former Bucs defensive end Michael Bennett, who signed with the Seattle Seahawks as a free agent last March. "And I ain't never heard Peyton cuss."
According to Bennett, Bucs players weren't thrilled with Schiano's legal-but-dubious decree, either.
"People just really hate it when you have to dive at people's legs," Bennett says. "At the end of the day, we've got to keep going and move onto the next game and try to make a living. Some of these guys (on other teams) are our friends."
God, I would pay $200 to see a video clip of Peyton Manning going nuts on Greg Schiano. There is nothing better than an angry Peyton Manning.
And here's a story about Schiano losing it on his former special teams coach simply because the guy was standing in the wrong spot:
Instead of merely telling [Bob] Ligashesky to watch where he walked, Schiano launched into a loud tirade and threatened to fire him if he repeated the mistake. When Ligashesky was let go following the season, it was hard not to draw a connection between the tantrum and that decision.
"I think he just wants to flex his power," Bennett says. "He has small (man's) syndrome. I still talk to guys who are there, and trust me, there's not much respect for him in that locker room."
But the very best part of the report is an account of Schiano turning into Bill Belichick's lapdog while their teams shared a practice facility in the offseason:
"He gathered us before we practiced and told us that if Belichick said something to us on the field, we should listen," one current Bucs player recalls. "He said, 'Treat their coaches like they're your coaches.' We were like, 'Huh?' When we practiced together, whatever Belichick wanted, he did. It was hilarious — here (Schiano) is, acting like Mr. Tough Guy all the time, and when Belichick wanted something he was like, 'Yes, Bill.' "
Bennett, who laughs at the recollection, put it this way: "He's trying to be Belichick. Yeah, some people think Belichick's an (expletive), but he's a legend. When this guy acts that way, it's a whole different deal."
This is what it looks like when a coach completely loses control of his team. Greg Schiano is such a disaster that the Bucs' ongoing battle against a deadly bacterial infection is just a footnote on the team's disastrous season at this point. Greg Schiano is worse than MRSA.