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Schiano leaves Rutgers for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Greg Schiano was once thought to be the replacement to the late Joe Paterno at Penn State.

Greg Schiano (Getty Images/Contributor Nate Shron)

Yet, he did not receive that job. And it is likely that he never applied for the job after the situation that has happened to Penn State in recent months.

Eventually, New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien was hired to replace JoePa. But while O’Brien leaves for the college ranks, Schiano has decided to take a shot at the NFL.

Schiano has been hired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as their new head coach. He has signed a five-year contract to leave Rutgers University.

The Bucs are hoping that they have found lightning in a bottle with this hiring. The San Francisco 49ers found it last year, when they went to the college ranks to hire Jim Harbaugh away from Stanford.

Schiano was one of three finalists for the position. The other two were Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski and former Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman.

Schiano’s name was kept quiet throughout the entire process. Now, he leaves right before National Signing Day on February 1st when many high school seniors pick where they attend to play next season.

After years of rebuilding the Rutgers football team, he would eventually be able to take the team from being a doormat to a respectable team. They were once a national power under Schiano, but in recent years, could not repeat their best season of 2006 when the Scarlet Knights went 11-2.

At that time, it was the school’s first top 25 ranking since 1976. He was 68-67 in 12 seasons at Rutgers, including winning the Pinstripe Bowl in December at Yankee Stadium.

His offensive system is primary a smash-mouth rushing attack, with passing second. The Bucs will rely heavily on LeGarrette Blount, but his main job will to turn Josh Freeman’s mindset around.

Freeman, the Bucs quarterback, struggled last season, by throwing a career-high 22 interceptions. He was also sacked 29 times, which both affected his mindset.

One year prior, he threw 25 touchdowns compared to 6 interceptions. The Bucs just barely missed the playoffs in 2010.

Only time will tell if the Bucs made the right decision, or if they will be in the same place as they currently are right now with a 2-14 mark.

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