The Greg Schiano press conference has just wrapped and Schiano has just spent about 20 minutes making remarks and answering questions. You can’t help but like Schiano a little bit more after watching him address media for the first time, he’s a very frank, very passionate guy and you get the sense he’s going to leave it all on the table in Tampa.
I’ll give you the highlights here and then I’ll update with some direct quotes after the jump. For starters the courtship only lasted a few days, so Schiano was not initially on the Buccaneers radar but was likely a contingency after Chip Kelly declined. He spoke about how this opportunity, for the first time in his career after a number of other offers, felt right. He was sorry to leave Rutgers but excited about coming to a place like Tampa where they are passionate about winning.
The real highlights though were with regard to the program he’ll run and the way this team will operate day to day. He plans to hire coordinators, but still be involved in all three phases of the game. But more than that he’ll get this young, somewhat unruly team to be professionals. Everything will run on a tight schedule, everything will have purpose and there will be winning culture implanted in Tampa whether this current roster likes it or not.
It’s obviously just an opening press conference, but so far Schiano has said all the right things.
Follow the jump for quotes.
There’s been several opportunities as Joel [Glazer] mentioned to go places that were bigger names or bigger programs and I’d listen but when I tried to put myself there [mentally] it just didn’t feel right. And when I went through this process I only felt one feeling that was negative and that was sadness over leaving my players [at Rutgers].
After spending several hours with Brian and Ed and Joel and Mark I learned two things, number one I learned how important they think family is, and number two I learned how committed they are to being the very, very best. And if you ask me to ‘describe yourself,’ that’s me. It’s family and it’s whatever you set your mind to do have a plan and do it the very best you can. The legendary coach John Wooden, I try to live by his definition of success: it’s the peace of mind you get when you’ve done everything you can to be the best you can be, you can’t do anything else.
How the team will look and feel
Our team will be built around a humble, unselfish attitude of sacrifice. It’s hard to find that in today’s world, but that’s who we’ll be.
I’ve already started, but I will continue with Mark to put together the best coaching staff I possibly can. A coaching staff of great teachers and great communicators, it doesn’t matter how much the coach knows it matters how much the players know. How they can do it in a quick instant and be competitive and win through the information you gave them. We’re going collectively teach as a staff, there will be one key message, before we get to x’s and o’s and fundamentals, TBA, and that’s not to be announced.
Trust, Belief and Accountability.
Trust, 100 percent honesty. There’s no room for 99. 100 percent honesty. And do what you’re supposed to do, when you’re supposed to do it. Belief, belief in yourself for one, belief in the Buccaneer way. There is going to be a Buccaneer way and there are going to be Buccaneer men. You got to believe in that otherwise this isn’t the place. And then accountability. All those things are great but as a coaching staff and an organization and a team we have to hold each other accountable. That’s not always easy, that’s where it gets sticky, that’s where it gets tough. That’s my job as a head football coach to make sure it’s happening.
On the Field
Great defense, win the special teams battle and be a physical offensive football team that takes shots down the field. It’s very hard to go 12, 13-play drives. We miss on a shot, we’ll line up play defense again, get the ball back and go after them again. Physical, run the football physically and take shots down the field. That formula works. As long as you play great defense, win the kicking game, that formula works.
We’ve got to reconnect with our fan-base and I can’t wait to do it, because we have to earn your trust. This Buccaneer football team will earn your trust, it will earn your trust on the football field, will earn your trust in the community. We’ll be something you’re proud of.
On being a disciplinarian
You know disciplinarian has this connotation of a guy who’s a tyrant or something, I think it’s trust. Do what you’re supposed to do when you’re supposed to do it. If we’re meeting at this time, well this is when we’re meeting. I’m not a believer in “Lombardi Time” you know, ‘you’re five minutes early or you’re ten minutes late’ or that stuff, if we say 8 o’clock everyone’s seated, ready to go with their pads open and books open and we’re ready to work. We’re very efficient, we don’t waste time. The practice field is going to look like an organized chaos with everyone moving everywhere.
Time, you know I grew up in the coaching system of Joe Paterno, that’s where I cut my teeth, his number one statement: time is our enemy. That’s the only thing all of us on this planet have the same amount of, 1,440 minutes a day. What you make of them, that’s going to determine your success.
On Being Prepared to Coach in the NFL
What we did in college is I took what we did in a full day of football [with the Bears] and I shrunk it down to fit a college timeline. And I truly believe that is one of the single reasons our guys [at Rutgers] make NFL teams is they know how it’s going to be when they gets there, they’re accustomed to how we prepare whether it’s note-taking or meetings or how we do our walkthroughs, we ran our organization at Rutgers as an NFL franchise except for the times were shorter. So now what they do is they learn to do it over a longer time. So I’m confident that all that will work. I just need to get some of the particulars and that’s why it’s great to have a guy like Mark [Dominik] who is just going to be right there from the beginning with me.