It didn’t take first-year NFL coach Greg Schiano long to make his mark as he takes over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The former Rutgers coach opened up his era with a conditioning test that was failed by some of the players, including defensive lineman Brian Price and receiver Dezmon Briscoe. While the team says the test wasn’t the only factor, those two were quickly jettisoned out of Tampa.
The Bucs are coming off a 4-12 season where they lost their last 10 games to finish last in the NFC South. Schiano hasn’t been shy when it comes to installing a new program of discipline as he quickly tries to turn things around.
Greg Schiano joined WDAE in Tampa with Ron and Ian to discuss the failed conditioning tests, his new system of discipline, a svelter quarterback in Josh Freeman and why he makes all of his quarterbacks where knee braces.
Isn’t it unacceptable for a wide receiver to fail a conditioning test?:
“The conditioning test is really an internal thing with the team, so I don’t try to put that out there — who passed, who didn’t pass. What I do know, when we make a move personnel-wise … it’s not ever based on just one thing. … It’s an accumulation of experiences that, to me, it’s all about a fit. Eventually we have to get it down to the 53 men that are fit for the Buccaneers and a fit for this coaching staff and what we want to do and how we want to do it.”
On instilling a new style of discipline:
“To comment on the past is not really fair, because I wasn’t here. But I do believe there’s certain things that you need to be disciplined in. And I think discipline is a habit just like any other habit. And it’s hard to do because discipline is usually things you don’t want to do. But discipline for discipline’s sake, I don’t think that’s the answer, either. I’m not here to bust on these guys. I’m here to do the things that I think help us win.”
Why do you make all of your quarterbacks where a brace on their left leg?:
“That’s something that I ask our quarterbacks to do. I’ve asked them to do it for years. That’s the leg — we’re all righty quarterbacks so it’s on their left knee. That’s the leg that’s exposed. That’s a vulnerable position. The good ones keep their eyes down the field. They don’t see the rush. They may feel it but they don’t see it, and sometimes when they’re down around your feet, you don’t even feel it. … It’s not a catch-all, it doesn’t guarantee your health, but if that leg is braced, it gives you a chance against certain types of contact.”
On the new, slimmer quarterback Josh Freeman:
“I think Josh felt like some of that weight was just extra; he was just carrying it around. What’s the purpose? That wasn’t a mandate by any means. He was well into this when I met him. He was already trimming down. So this is something that he’s wanted to do. An athlete that reaches this level, they know their body better than anybody. … I’m excited that he feels good. And when you feel good, you play better, I’m convinced.”