Unlike many of the controversies this season, which have been met with silence or “coach speak” from One Buc Place, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers responded quickly and professionally to the claims of Dexter Jackson about Greg Schiano reportedly attempting to kick out a group of children he brought along to visit practice.
Nelson Luis, the team’s Director of Communication, passed along an e-mail to ProFootballTalk with the details from the Bucs’ side of the story.
Luis claimed that the incident occurred last year, when Jackson dropped by unannounced during a walkthrough for the Eagles game. He was approached by a staff member and informed that the protocol was to inform the team he wanted to show up rather than simply walking in and heading to the walkthrough. Jackson was actually allowed to stay for that visit, and met Greg Schiano after the walkthrough.
Luis also stated that the Buccaneers have a clear policy when it comes to bringing children to the facility, as they offer tours and access to One Buc Place on days when players are not present. This actually supports Jackson’s claim that he was told he could not bring children to the facility, but the Bucs’ stance on the topic is that children who visit the facility on off-days get to see the weight room and locker room and the other “off-limits” sections of One Buc Place, something other people usually don’t get to see.
In other words, Jackson either misunderstood or redefined the rules for when a former player can show up to practices at One Buc Place, but he was correct about the team’s stance on children showing up for practices. The statement from Luis supports Jackson’s claim that bringing kids to a practice on “an important day of final preparations for the upcoming game and would not be the ideal day.”
So what lesson can we learn here? As Mike Florio points out in the PFT article with Luis’ response, this is yet another byproduct of a losing team. There’s frustration all around, and it will only continue to manifest itself until the team begins to win some football games.