- Associated Press - Friday, October 25, 2013

TAMPA, FLA. (AP) - Disgruntled fans showed up at Raymond James Stadium, some carrying placards or wearing brown paper bags over their heads calling for the firing of Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano.

It didn’t happen Friday, a day after a lopsided nationally televised loss to the NFC South rival Carolina Panthers dropped the winless Buccaneers to 0-7 for the sixth time in franchise history.

The Bucs have never gone on to win more than three games after losing the first seven to begin a season.

Schiano said after Thursday night’s 31-13 loss that he’s focused solely on trying to turn his struggling team around _ not his job.

On Friday, he fended questions about whether he still has the respect and support of his players. The Bucs have lost 12 of 13 games dating to last season and are 7-16 overall since Schiano left Rutgers in January 2012 to take over a team that dropped the final 10 games of 2011.

“Have I lost the locker room? No. Are they listening? Yes. Are we getting everything we need out of them? Well, obviously not because we’re 0-7,” Schiano said. “

“Ultimately we have good guys in that locker room … 61 guys that I believe in, and I really strongly feel they believe in me. Does belief get tested when you have an 0-7 record? Absolutely. … But there’s a lot of football left. We’ve got nine games remaining. We’ll take each one, one at a time.”

Fans chanted “Schiano must go’!’ in the closing minutes of the latest loss. There has been little indication of where the Glazer family, which owns the team but rarely grants interviews, stands on the embattled coach’s future.

It’s been a tumultuous season ranging from the messy benching and subsequent release of starting quarterback Josh Freeman to an outbreak of MRSA infections in the locker room to a lack of success on the field.

“I visit with our owners all the time. There’s open lines of communication,” Schiano said. “We’re all trying to just get better and do the things that are going to make the organization better.”

Safety Dashon Goldson, one of the team’s two big offseason acquisitions, sat out Thursday night’s game with a knee injury. He said Schiano has not lost the locker room.

“There’s no complaining, there’s no issues. You come in here, it’s a good work environment,” Goldson said.

“He’s taken a lot of scrutiny off the field. These are tough times, and we understand that,” Goldson, an All-Pro last season in San Francisco, said. “But he has a job to do, and we do as players, so we’re just doing what we can to prepare every week and try to win a football game and leave the outside stuff to the outsiders.”

Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, a team captain, agreed.

“As long as he’s our coach, we’re going to have respect for him and we’re going to play as hard as can for him,” McCoy said. “It’s as simple as that.”

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