Schiano regrets not doing more to help struggling offense
After back-to-back weeks setting new lows for the fewest yards gained in a game this season, coach Greg Schiano said he regretted not calling some specialty plays that might have sparked the Bucs offense against the Carolina Panthers Sunday.
During their three-game winning streak, Tampa Bay was more aggressive in calling an option pass, direct snaps to the running back, a throw to the tackle eligible, a fake field goal and an on-side kick.
But in their 27-6 loss to the Panthers, the lack of imagination contributed to the Bucs’ producing a season-worst 206 yards and no touchdowns.
“We had stuff in the plan and that’s why I’m disappointed,’’ Schiano said Monday. “There weren’t a lot of times, and like I said, you guys asked before, “when do you call that stuff?’ I think that’s feel. You call it when you feel like it’s time to call it. There wasn’t a lot of that going on. We didn’t really get it rolling other than that first drive. But still, there were opportunities I needed to inject and say, “let’s do it now.’ But we had some stuff like we do every week. We had stuff in the plan and sometimes that can light a fire on your football team. In retrospect I wish I would’ve stepped in and said, “let’s do it now.’ But I didn’t.
“I do think those things do sometimes energize your team.’’
A week earlier, the Bucs needed five turnovers and a blocked punt to outlast the Detroit Lions 24-21 in which the offense was held to 229 total yards (at the time a season low), including an 85-yard touchdown from quarterback Mike Glennon to receiver Tiquan Underwood. The Lions are ranked 15th in total defense, the Panthers are No. 1 in the league.
“But it’s the NFL, we’ve got to find a way to score points and move the ball against whatever defense we’re playing against,’’ Schiano said. “We need to find better ways to help these guys and they need to execute better. So it’s all of us and it starts with me. I need to provide the leadership to our staff and players to get that done, and for whatever reason, we didn’t get that done the last two weeks offensively. We have to.’’
Schiano admitted the Panthers did some things that took away some of Glennon’s top targets. Glennon still managed to complete 14-of-21 passes for 180 yards but lost a fumble and was intercepted.
“They did a couple different things. They doubled Vincent (Jackson) and Timmy (Wright), which is a compliment to Tim Wright that he’s drawing double coverage as a rookie,’’ Schiano said. “But they did it and took those two away on occasion. They also brought pressure. Once we didn’t see it, we were late seeing it. That was later in the game. I thought they did a good job. You’re not the leading scoring defense in the NFL if you’re not doing a good job but 1-for-10 is unacceptable. You’re not going to win any games when you’re 1-for-10 on third down.’’
After the game Sunday, Schiano said he felt as though Glennon played like a rookie. But considering the lack of protection - he was sacked five times and hit on five other occasions – Schiano said Monday Glennon may have tried to force a few throws because of Carolina’s defense and their success in the red zone.
“He and I have sat down already and discussed the circumstances can never dictate behavior,’’ Schiano said. “You have to go out and do your job.
"I just didn’t feel like when I left the field that I helped them enough. There wasn’t anything in particular. I just didn’t feel, as a head coach and as a staff, when you look back at it, there’s a lot of frustrated men in that meeting room right now. Good men that feel like, you know what? We left an opportunity on the table yesterday.''