Tampa radio station behind 19 'Fire Schiano' billboards
A Tampa Bay area radio station has taken a stance on Greg Schiano's tumultuous second season as head coach of the Buccaneers. WHPT "The Bone" has rented 19 billboards running the message: "Fire Schiano."
Schiano left the Raymond James Stadium field to boos after a 31-20 loss to the Eagles on Oct. 13. The Bucs enter Thursday night's nationally televised game against the Panthers with an 0-6 record and have lost 11 of their past 12 under Schiano, who came to Tampa from Rutgers with no NFL head coaching experience.
Prior to the Bucs-Panthers game, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that a Bucs source said there's no guarantee that Schiano keeps his job through the end of the season.
WHPT Program Director Michael Sharkey told Pro Football Talk that his station's push to get rid of Schiano merely reflects the community's critical opinion of the Bucs' coach.
“Our listeners have voiced their opinion that they are tired of a team, that on paper, should have a winning record. This billboard isn’t a message to the Buccaneers as much as it is a message to our listeners that we are right there with them.”
Schiano has been criticized for his handling of several controversial story lines, including running Josh Freeman out of town and possibly leaking info linking the quarterback to the league's substance-abuse program. The Bucs also received scrutiny for placing kicker Lawrence Tynes on the non-football injury list when he developed a staph infection in the team’s locker room. The Bucs will be short-handed against the Panthers with running back Doug Martin sidelined with a torn labrum.