Greg Schiano: “Some things change and I just would have never thought this is where I’d be. It felt right.”January 30, 2012 – 6:45 am by Steven Cuce
Greg Schiano may not be a fan favorite or a widely known name in Tampa, but the college football world in the state of Florida sure knows him well. Schiano recruited heavily in Florida for high school talent when it came to Rutgers University football team before he started finding talent in his own backyard in New Jersey. He also had some coaching experience down at the University of Miami when he was the defensive coordinator in 1999-00.
After it was widely speculated that Chip Kelly was going to be the Bucs next head coach the tables turned when he rejected the offer. Tampa had to go in another direction and Greg Schiano was their man. He may not have head coaching experience when it comes to the NFL, but Schiano believes he is ready for this new challenge.
Greg Schiano joined WDAE in Tampa with Steve Duemig to discuss his goal of making the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a physical, run-first football team, entertaining the idea of being an NFL head coach after the end of the season with Rutgers, if it was only going to be an NFL job that took him away from Rutgers, the new Buccaneer way and his methods for player evaluation.
You want to make the Buccaneer way to be running the football and being a physical football team?
“I do. I believe in having a physical offensive football team. It makes your entire team physical, but I don’t want that to be confused. We are going to take shots down the field. We are going to make big plays. I think in this league or any league, it’s awfully hard to dink and dunk and 12 and 14 play drives. I think we have some people that can do that and that’s going to be things that we work on very hard and you know what if miss the shots? We’ll line up and play great defense. We’ll line up and punt the football and get the ball back to our offense and let them do it again.”
When you walked off the field with Rutgers last season did you entertain any thoughts that you would be coaching in the NFL and coaching with the Bucs?
“No. I knew that there were some jobs coming open. Every year the last couple of years I’ve had inquiries and things. Nothing very serious, but some things change and I just would have never thought this is where I’d be, but I knew as we went through the process it felt right, where there’s been other years were I have been involved in jobs and it got where it started to be a possible reality. I just didn’t feel it. It did not feel – I almost literally felt nauseous that it wasn’t right. This time every step of the way I felt like it was right. The meeting with the Glazer’s. The meeting with Mark Dominik. Their core values, what they believe in, their desire to be the best. All those things I think just made me know that this was the time and this was the place.”
Was it going to be an NFL job if you left Rutgers?
“I never even thought about leaving Rutgers. What I do is listen. If people have an interest I listen. The reason I do that is to make sure that this is what I still want to be doing. That is be at Rutgers. After a bunch of offers at year 7 or 6 at Rutgers I built a house. I moved and usually coaches don’t like to move when they are the same school because you gotta do that where you’re not at the same school, but I built a house a half mile off campus, so I could be closer to our players and my family could be closer to me and I thought…I always approach things like this: You go there and set roots like you are going to be there forever and then if something comes up that makes you feel like you shouldn’t be well then you get ready to move. You don’t cheat your family that way. You don’t cheat yourself that way. You lay roots. I am excited about getting my family down here as soon as we can and making Tampa our home.”
What is the Buccaneer way in your mind?
“Well as I said I’m not an expert on what’s been here. I know having coached against the Buccaneers twice a year when I was with the Bears and seeing some of the great players. When you are talking about alumni you are talking about some of the best guy that have ever played their position in the history of the NFL. I think in college or the NFL you build on that tradition. You build on those alumni yet we are going to have what the Buccaneer way is now and that is trust. That is belief. That is accountability. The things that I think are the core values of any successful organization. You need to be able to count on each other and you need to able to hold each other accountable and you need to be able to believe in each other.”
Does everyone have a clean slate on this team or do you have to take a long and hard look here?
“Well I think of the things is you look at – you look at tape and listen to Mark Dominik on every player in our organization and you look at tape because I think you have to start to formulate what skill levels they have. Then we go to work and if they are still here then we go out on the field and we start to learn. We start to see what they can do. How can they fit in to what we want to do? I think in the game of pro football there is a couple of different styles and certain guys are suited for better styles. All those variables are going to have to be played out, but I certainly don’t have any preconceived notions on guys and now it’s time to get to work and find out what’s best for the Buccaneers.”