TAMPA, Fla. -- The 0-7 record is one thing, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ownership will be watching closely to see if head coach Greg Schiano has lost the locker room.
"I have high respect for this coach. He's taken a lot of scrutiny off the field," safety Dashon Goldson said Friday. "These are tough times, we understand that. He has a job to do and we do as players. We just try to do the best we can to prepare every week and win a football game.
"He hasn't lost the locker room."
Winless with nine games remaining, all else may seem lost for the Bucs and Schiano, who has been demonized by callers on sports talk radio programs and loudly booed by the smattering of fans that remained at Raymond James Stadium during Thursday night's loss to the Carolina Panthers. He is also the target of "Fire Schiano" billboards that have sprouted around Tampa Bay.
"Have I lost the locker room? No," Schiano said Friday. "Are they listening? Yes. Are we getting everything we need out of them? Obviously not because we're 0-7.
"Ultimately, we've got 61 guys in that locker room that I believe in and I very strongly feel they believe in me. Does belief get tested when you're not having success? Yeah. I'm sure it gets tested both ways when someone misses a play. At the end of the day, these guys are busting their guts to do it. Why are we making a mistake? I always look first at myself. Somehow we didn't communicate it clearly enough. Whether it's the importance of it or the urgency with which it needs to be done of the technique to it. Because I'm a coach, I always look at the coaching first."
However, as the losses mount, the Bucs could be losing confidence in Schiano's game plans.
Case in point. Panthers quarterback Cam Newton broke containment several times in Thursday's game, including on his 6-yard touchdown run. The Bucs had called a defensive line stunt on the play and were unable to get contain, allowing Newton an easy path to the end zone.
"That's not my job," defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said. "I just run the calls I'm told to do, whether I agree with it or not. For me to not run the calls would not be right. I don't get paid to coach or come up with game plans.'
Cornerback Darrelle Revis, whose use in the Bucs' zone schemes has come under scrutiny, also stopped short of giving Schiano's defensive game plan an endorsement.
"I don't know. I don't know." Revis said. "You know, we got a game plan every week. We got to stick to the game plan. We got to abide by the game plan and what we're trying to do to win. I don't think guys are literally going out there and trying to do their own thing. You know, in every game there are mistakes up and down the board. You know, the word that we have to get to and we have to focus on is consistency. That's all. And at this point, that's a hard word for us to try to do, to try to do that, to be consistent."
--WR Mike Williams aggravated a hamstring injury against the Panthers and the Bucs fear he could miss additional time.
--LB Dakoda Watson has a shoulder injury and may miss the Week 9 game at Seattle.
--RB Doug Martin was inactive Thursday night with a torn labrum in his left shoulder. Various reports have him potentially returning next month.
--TE Tom Crabtree aggravated an ankle injury and could miss time next week.
REPORT CARD VS. PANTHERS:
PASSING OFFENSE: C - QB Mike Glennon was forced to throw the ball 51 times. Receivers dropped five of them. He was sacked three times and put up six points until garbage time very late in the game.
RUSHING OFFENSE: D - Doug Martin was out with a shoulder injury. Mike James did a decent job filling in but had just 39 yards on 10 carries. The Bucs averaged 3.4 per carry as a team.
PASSING DEFENSE: D - The Bucs have allowed 31 points in each of their last two games. Much of it has come through the air. Panthers QB Cam Newton passed for 221 yards and two touchdowns.
RUSHING DEFENSE: B - The Panthers didn't hurt the Bucs on the ground, save for maybe Newton. They averaged 3.4 yards per carry on 14 rushes.
SPECIAL TEAMS: D - Eric Page lost the game for good when he fumbled away a punt in the third quarter. Rian Lindell made both field-goal attempts. A mixed bag for sure.
COACHING: F - The Bucs are 0-7 for only the sixth time in club history. Meanwhile, Greg Schiano has lost 11 of his last 12 games and fans and a large part of the media are calling for his job.