Tampa, FL, United States (4E Sports) – Tampa Bay Buccaneers Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy urged fans to keep their anger to football and respect coach Greg Schiano as a man.
McCoy made his call after a local radio station bought billboards with the message “Fire Schiano” on them while fans chanted those same words at the end of Thursday night’s loss to Carolina, which moved the Buccaneers to 0-7.
Fans also issued even harsher words for Schiano as he walked off the field and into the tunnel to the locker room after the game.
“If you want to be angry about the game or what’s going on, be angry because we’re angry, too. But don’t disrespect him as a man,” McCoy said. “That man has a wife. He has kids at home. We have wives and kids.”
“Just keep it to football. Don’t take it outside of that. If you want to be whatever in football, that’s OK. Be angry. We expect you to be angry. Nobody wants to be 0-7. But just leave everything else alone,” McCoy added.
Schiano said he understood the bashing, saying it is a natural byproduct of a 0-7 record.
“I think we all realize that it’s a performance-based business,” Schiano said. “Players and coaches, we’re paid to win. That’s what it’s all about. We owe it to our fans, our city, our community to win. That’s what we’re paid to do.”
“When you don’t win, there’s consequence. We need to get our wins. I said it the other day: We’ll get our share of wins, and I believe we will. Right now, there are only nine left, so it’s not as many as you’d want, but we’ve got to get our share.,” he added.
Schiano said only him, the coaching staff and his players to put the Buccaneers on the right track.
“I do understand the fans’ frustration,” Schiano said. “I have some say in how to fix it. Our players have some say. The fans don’t. All the fans can do is watch and take what’s out there.”