OK so who is not to blame for this mess?
The Bucs are 0-4 and on their bye week which means beat writers, columnists, message board posters and even website editors have even more time on their hand to discuss the malaise concerning the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2013 season.
And throwing out the comments about how close they were to being 3-1 with three narrow losses, this is a team in disarray right now and the record does not lie. The Bucs have the worst record in the NFC and it is really hard to see where the next win, sorry make that any win, is actually coming from.
The starting quarterback has been banished from the sideline, the offense is in the hands of a totally green rookie, and the offense has not even scored as many points in four games as the Denver Broncos are AVERAGING per game right now. Stories, rumours and accusations are flying up and down Dale Mabry and this has all the makings of one of the worst seasons in franchise history. Which is truly saying something.
Nick Houllis wrote an excellent column for BUCPOWER.COM last week in which he tried to work out who was to blame for the situation. I would like to go a little further and tell you who is NOT to blame.
Whichever side of the Atlantic you live on, you can always find fans laying into the Glazer family. Whether it be Manchester United having a back four with the average age of Aristotle, or the Bucs coming up short on third down, it is always their fault. Sorry but not this time.
When the fans wanted big-money free agency signings, the safe was opened and the likes of Vincent Jackson, Carl Nicks, Dashon Goldson and Darrelle Revis arrived. When the fans complained about home games being blacked out, the Glazers stepped in and took the decision to make every remaining game available on local TV. The players and coaching staff have one of the finest training complexes in any sport at their disposal and that did not happen by accident.
Malcolm Glazer told me several years ago that it cannot happen on the field, unless it happens off it. Well sorry everyone but the Glazer family have done everything they possibly can to make this team a success right now.
THE FRONT OFFICE
So if it is not the ownership, then it must be the General Manager, it must be all Mark Dominik's fault. Err wrong again Hans, do you want to go for double jeopardy where the scores can really mount? (Quick pop quiz - name the film).
The player personnel section has found the talent and the college team have done their stuff come draft day. Looking back at the last few drafts, 2009 Josh Freeman (we will come to him in a minute), 2010 Gerald McCoy, 2011 Adrian Clayborn and Mason Foster, 2012 Lavonte David, Mark Barron and Doug Martin. Any true failures there? Even the two 2nd round picks in 2010, Brian Price and Arrelious Benn, those were problems with injuries and not a lack of talent.
Second-guessing is way too easy when looking back at drafts. Heck even I could have told you Johnny Unitas was worth a gamble in the 11th round instead of falling further. And as for that Brady bloke in New England in 2001 ..... So when looking for a scapegoat for the 2013 Buccaneers, it is not the front office either.
So it must be all Josh's fault. His numbers were terrible for the first three weeks so you must be able to blame him for the losses, the budget deficit, the lack of hitting with men on base at the Trop and anything else you can think of. Just watch the 2010 season and tell me that Josh Freeman was not a good quarterback. Even during the second-half of the 2011 season, it was not him giving up on routes and causing interceptions.
Take out two bad games during December 2012 and he threw 27 touchdowns against nine interceptions. He set a franchise record for passing yards in a season. During the mid-season winning streak, he had 13 touchdowns and just one pick. So what on earth has gone wrong. Time for Sherlock Holmes to team up with Miss Marple to reveal the true perpetrator of the crime.
GREG SCHIANO - GUILTY
There was no doubt that the Bucs needed a new head coach in January 2012 as the players had completely quit on Raheem Morris. The search for the new coach was diligent and everyone realised that a more disciplined and structured approach was needed on the coaching side. Schiano had a solid background at Rutgers and he was given a huge coaching staff with real experience across the board.
And then it started to go wrong. From the pathetic attempt to crash kneeldown plays at the end of games to the complete ruination of Josh Freeman, there is simply nothing positive that can be gained from the time he has been head coach of the Buccaneers. Even the seven games in 2012 were won by the offense which he has no real involvement in as he claims he is a defensive coach.
The relationship with Freeman is totally gone and one can only hope for Josh's sake that he is able to salvage his career elsewhere in the NFL next season. He is too nice a guy and too good a player for it to end like this. And there are enough other stories coming out of the Tampa locker room of other players seeing discord with the coaching staff.
So the evidence points to one man and the sentence of this court is guilty. But simply taking him out to the playing field, tying him to a post and then waiting 30 minutes for Rian Lindell to shoot straight may not be a viable option right now.
The names of Marty Schottenheimer and Lovie Smith have been bandied around as immediate replacements. But how are they or any other potential head coach, going to walk into new surroundings, work with the existing coaching staff and make it happen? All of the assistants are going to be assuming they will go at the end of the season when the new coach brings in his own people, so where is the motivation there?
Sorry Buc fans but it looks like you are going to be experiencing a full second year of Greg Schiano as head coach whether you like it or not (press the red button to vote NOT now). This could well become every bit as bad as the 1986 season when Leeman Bennett trudged slowly up and down the sideline with his hands in his pockets and his team down by four scores.
But at the end of this season, the change will be made and all the blame can be heaped on the one true suspect. For in all good detective novels, there are a lot of red herrings but only one perpetrator.
You've been great, enjoy Die Hard.