Pat Yasinskas | ESPN.com
TAMPA, Fla. — Greg Schiano has been fired as coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Mark Dominik is out as general manager, one day after the team completed its third straight losing season.
Former Bears coach Lovie Smith is considered the favorite to replace Schiano, multiple league sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
“The results over the past two years have not lived up to our standards and we believe the time has come to find a new direction,” co-chairman Bryan Glazer said in a statement.
“Mark has been a valued member of our organization for two decades and we respect the passion he showed for the Buccaneers during his time here. We thank Greg for his hard work and effort the past two seasons, but we feel these moves are necessary in order to achieve our goals.”
Schiano went 11-21 in two seasons after being a surprise hire out of Rutgers in 2012. Known as a team builder and disciplinarian, Schiano was brought in to tighten up the loose atmosphere that prevailed under predecessor Raheem Morris.
But Schiano’s militaristic ways drew complaints from some players. He also drew anger from around the league, particularly from New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin after Schiano had the Bucs try to break up a victory formation during a loss early last season.
Schiano got off to a promising start as the Bucs opened last season at 6-4. But they lost five of their last six games and that was a precursor of the trouble to come.
At the end of last season, Schiano stopped well short of giving Josh Freeman a ringing endorsement as a franchise quarterback. The problems between the coach and quarterback escalated after Freeman missed the annual team photo. Freeman also was late for several other meetings.
That, along with poor performance on the field, led to Freeman’s benching after the first three games as the Bucs handed things over to rookie Mike Glennon.
But that wasn’t the end of the Freeman saga. It was reported that the quarterback was in the league’s drug program. Freeman was compelled to acknowledge his presence in the program due to a prescription for Adderall after the information was leaked to the media. That led to a grievance by the NFL Players Association for breach of confidentiality, and there was speculation that Schiano was the one who leaked the information. Schiano steadfastly has denied any involvement.
The Freeman situation grew so ugly that the team was forced to release him in early October after failing to find a trade partner. Glennon’s play didn’t change the Bucs’ fortunes as the team started the season 0-8. They showed signs of recovery with a three-game winning streak but couldn’t keep the momentum going.
Dominik came up through the scouting ranks before getting the general manager job in 2009. The Bucs were 28-52 in his five seasons.
The Bucs have not made the playoffs since 2007 and haven’t won a postseason game since their 2002 Super Bowl run.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
- Previously covered NFC South for ESPN.com
- Covered Panthers for The Charlotte Observer from 1999-2008
- Began journalism career with The Tampa Tribune in 1990