For those that have not heard by now, the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers have hired former Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano as their new head coach. Some have questioned his limited experience in the NFL. But he does have a passion for the game. What is crazy to think about is that this job almost went to Oregon head coach Chip Kelly first.
Kelly is the mastermind behind the high-octane offense at Oregon. Sure, he has the flashy cards with pictures of players, animals and things on them that signal something to his players, but the fact of the matter is he gets it done on the collegiate level. Kelly reminds me of a Steve Spurrier type coach in one sense: he's stubborn in regards to his offensive beliefs. Some would say that he is a little brash at times as well. Now we all know what happened when Spurrier went to the NFL. It was a disaster with the Redskins from the word "Go". He tried to do his usual rotating QB schemes, his fun-and-gun offense and even tried his antics on the media. All were to no avail, as he eventually left the Redskins and headed back to college. For that reason alone, I think Chip Kelly made the right decision to stay the course at Oregon. I think he would have ended up being the next Steve Spurrier and his spread, high-paced offensive attack would have failed miserably.
Schiano is more of a meat-and-potatoes guy. He's took on a challenge when he became head coach of Rutgers University in December of 2000. At the time he took over, Rutgers was the laughing stock of the Big East. No one was coming to their games and I even think some had entertained the thought of jettisoning them to another conference in football like the conference did the Temple Owls. After being there for a while, getting the top recruits, like running back Ray Rice, and going into Florida to get some talent, Schiano had the Rutgers program back on the map. He was consistently leading them to bowl games and made them respectable.
With all that being said, this job in Tampa is over his head. First, he really doesn't have a lot of pro experience(coached from 1996 to 1998 with the Chicago Bears). The time that he spent in New Jersey breaking down film will need to be multiplied now due to scouting, combines and gameplans every week. Also, his sense of authority will now be gone and at the professional level and many former college coaches struggle with that part. All in all, I wish Schiano well, but he will be returning to the college game soon. The success that 1st time NFL coach Jim Harbaugh had is very rare for college-to-NFL coaches. Kelly made the right decision. Longevity in college football is easier to maintain than in the NFL. Barring any unforeseen issues, he should be at Oregon for a long time.