1. What's the mood been like amongst Bucs fans this last week given the team's two-game winning streak?
It's been strange, to say the least, and the mood differs from fan to fan. We have fans who think Greg Schiano is still the worst thing to ever happen to football, fans who are pissed off that the Bucs are losing draft position, but mostly fans who are just happy to see their team win some games. That hasn't happened too often over the past three years. There's some reason for optimism and reasons for negativism -- and I think the fan base is split about 50/50 between those two groups.
2. What's your take on Mike Glennon? Given what you've seen, is he the answer going forward at quarterback or will the Bucs be looking to draft one next year?
Glennon is interesting. He shows some good traits, but he hasn't been able to show those traits consistently. The positive news (for the Bucs, at least) is that he's coming off by far his best game as a pro with some outstanding anticipation throws and just three incompletions -- two of which were throwaways. He was poised and accurate against Atlanta, and while he wasn't asked to carry the team he still made a few big throws.
On the other hand, he was coming off his worst game as a pro against the Miami Dolphins before that and it's a bit of a fool's errand to declare a third-round rookie a success after one or even a few good games. There's also the question of draft position and whether or not the Bucs will even be in position to draft a good quarterback. I will say this: if Glennon can continue to play the way he did against the Atlanta Falcons, he should get the nod for another season.
3. It seems like the Bucs have a lot of success running the ball no matter who is in the backfield. Is this a product of a solid offensive line or just an outstanding group of running backs?
It's a little bit of both, though I would point mostly to the offensive line at this point. The Bucs have tweaked their scheme a little and inserted a new left guard over the past three weeks, and that has done wonders for the running game. Right guard Davin Joseph is also less of a liability the past few weeks as the team tries to compensate more for his limitations coming off knee surgery.
But the running backs certainly deserve a lot of credit as well, with a sixth-round rookie and then a waiver wire pickup putting up some huge games. Bobby Rainey was very impressive, running decisively and squeezing through some small holes -- that's one case where being small helps.
4. During this two-game winning streak, what have been the biggest reasons behind the Bucs coming away victorious?
Probably the single biggest reason is the fact that they played two very, very weak opponents -- but there are a few other reasons, too. The running game has finally managed to get going consistently after some scheme and personnel changes. The defensive line is allowed to rush more, rather than running a lot of stunts and blitzes, which has helped Gerald McCoy finally put up the numbers to go with the quality of play he's been displaying. Coverage has been generally better, too, with Darrelle Revis tracking his opponent a little more and playing a little more man coverage than he has been. Overall, the team has adjusted the scheme more to the strengths of their personnel over the past three weeks.
5. Finally, do you think Greg Schiano will still be the Bucs' head coach next season? What would he have to do down the stretch to save his job?
At this point, I don't think he will stay. What Schiano would have to do is fairly simple: he would have to win more games. And not just one or two -- I'd say three or four more games would be the absolute minimum for him to stick around. No matter what happens, as a head coach you have to win games, and he just hasn't been able to do that with the Bucs. The past two games don't change much about that given the lack of quality opposition -- and Tampa Bay has a very tough schedule the rest of the way.