“Hello. How is everybody doing? Obviously I am Butch Davis and want to thank all of you for coming today. It is a great opportunity for me to talk a little bit about the opportunity of joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneer organization. I am very excited about this opportunity to join Mark Dominik and Greg Schiano is really [and] truly an outstanding opportunity for me.
“My relationship goes back with Greg (Schiano) back to our days at the University of Miami. A lot of people have said why would you want to come and do something like this with Greg (Schiano)? And the thing that I have continually told people is that Greg is one of the best football coaches and the best man that I have ever had a chance to work with. He is smart. He is a very, very good football coach, but he is also a better person. Our years together at Miami—sometimes when you coach with people you just hit it off naturally. The relationship builds [and] the trust [and] the respect that you have for somebody and I have had a great deal of admiration for what Greg (Schiano) was able to do at Rutgers. I thought he has done one of the finest jobs of building a football program of any coach that I have seen over a long period of time.
“So when Greg (Schiano) called and asked me would I have some interest in maybe coming to Tampa Bay with him that he was going to take the job the next day, you know we talked about how could I help. I was honored and I felt very, very privileged that Greg (Schiano) would consider me as somebody that he thinks could come here and help him build a great football team and help Tampa Bay win a super bowl. We started talking about it that night. What are the things that I could possibly do to try to help him?
“I have coached for 37 years. I started off as a high school coach [and] gone through a lot of the things very similar to Greg (Schiano). The ascension of the coaching ladder [of] being an assistant coach, being a coordinator. [I] have been a head coach in the college level, but having been a head coach in the National Football League, Greg (Schiano) felt like and I felt like that there were maybe a lot of things that I could maybe help him in just within the organization. In a vast array of different ways. From personnel to combines, to the draft, [and] all the different kinds of things. There are so many hats that Greg (Schiano) is going to have to wear and responsibilities that anything that he feels like that he would like me to help him do—that’s kind of the role that I am going to have. That goes throughout the entire organization. It is an opportunity to work with Mark (Dominik) who I got a great deal of respect for. If it’s in personnel, if it’s in just anything within the organization it’s truly a great opportunity.
“I did something when I left Cleveland a couple years ago I had an opportunity on kind of a volunteer type of a basis to do something very, very similar to this. So that was kind of the brainstorm in the starting point just talking to Greg (Schiano) about some of the things that I was able to do when I worked with the Kansas City Chiefs for a brief amount of time. So we just brainstormed and I will tell you that we are still putting thoughts together to exactly all of the ways that I can help. Greg (Schiano) is in the midst, obviously, of putting his staff together and he is doing a great job of that. He has brought some really outstanding coaches with him already from Rutgers. So he is off to a great start from that standpoint.
“The other thing that I feel very comfortable in trying to talk about this is that I discussed with Carolina’s administration this particular role. They are very comfortable with the arrangement and the roles of which I am going to play within this organization. So this is a terrific opportunity. I am really excited about it [and] can’t wait to get started and help this organization any way that I can.”On being a coach, but not being allowed to talk to players and how difficult is that:
“I mean obviously when you have been a head coach and I have been a head coach in high school [and] a head coach in college and then in the National Football League there are a lot of ways that you can help an organization win,” Davis said. “You know from motivational things to ideas from the sounding board for Greg (Schiano) and the assistant coaches and anyway in the personnel departments. I have been a recruiting coordinator so I spent a lot of time as a college coach evaluating talent and trying to help try to find out who are the missing pieces and what players truly can make a difference in an organization. So hopefully those were a lot of the things that I can bring to this organization.”Did you not want to coach right now or wanted to make sure you still get paid from UNC?
“No, that played absolutely no role in it whatsoever,” Davis said. “This was a great opportunity. As I said I have coached for 37 years now and this was just something that when Greg (Schiano) made this presentation ad we started talking about it (as I said I have done something similar to this before) and I had some conversations with other teams about it. It just seemed like this would be a great fit. It is something that I am—I am excited about it. Anytime that you are around football [and] around a football organization your adrenalin gets running and you can impact an organization a lot of different ways without actually having to have the chalk in your hand and going on the field. Greg (Schiano) has got a great staff and they are going to do a terrific job doing the coaching part of it. Hopefully I will find ways that I can continue to help the organization grow.”Is it part of personal transition from field maybe to board room or executive level?
“I don’t know about the executive level, but I have had opportunities to work for the Dallas Cowboys as a defensive coordinator and as a position coach and then I went to the Cleveland Browns so I have got ten years of experience in the National Football League,” Davis said. “There are so many things within an organization that need attention to detail and one person cannot do it all. I think this organization is bliss because they got a good scouting staff. There are a lot of the pieces that are clearly already in place. Like I said earlier, any way that I can help both Greg (Schiano) or Mark (Dominik) that’s kind of what I want to try to do.”What are some things help coaches be successful at this level and share with Greg?
“The small pieces of advice that I have shared with Greg (Schiano) is just be yourself,” Davis said. “He is already a terrific guy and a great football coach. So don’t go thinking that you got to be somebody different than who you are. All the things that Greg (Schiano) believes in trust and loyalty and surround yourself with good people. You can’t have enough good people in any organization. The better the coaching staff that you have [and] the better people that you got around you, the better chance you got for success. And clearly define exactly what is going to be the culture of the environment. What is the vision of the team? What do you want this organization to look like two, three, [or] four years down the line? And he will do that. He has already proven [and] he has got an 11 year track record of taking a program that I guarantee there were not five people in the world that said he should take the job, much less go there and do what he did. You know that he is going to come and he is going to do the right things. Hopefully I can help be a sounding board for him. Look over his shoulder at times and say here are some things that I did that were the wrong things to do. Maybe learn from some of my mistakes and hopefully maybe some of the things that I did right I can help.”What allowed and not allowed to do with players? What if player comes to you?
“Obviously I am not going to be on the field,” Davis said. “I am not going to be in the meetings and actually teaching and coaching—those kinds of things. I hope players in this organization come [because] maybe there are things that I can tell them about being a professional. Watching film. Having a great attitude. Listen to your coaches. Just being a mentor [and] kind of a sounding board for those guys. As far as the actual go on the grass [and] those kinds of things, that is not my role.”Will you maybe be the guy making sure the younger coaches messages are sent?
“I mean certainly Greg (Schiano) is going to do that,” Davis said. “He is going to set the tone for all the messages that he wants delivered in every one of the individual meeting rooms. I am going to wear (as I already found out in the last 48 hours) you wear a lot of hats. I have been in meetings sitting and listening to the scouts talk about in preparation for the combine for next week. So I am kind of trying to get engrossed in that. Listen to Greg (Schiano) talking to the existing staff that he has already put together and what he is looking for in the other coaches as he adds to the staff. As I said, it is just going to be a variety of things. I don’t think my day will look the same any particular two days in a row.”Is there still going to be a defensive coordinator and will he be one calling plays?
“Absolutely,” Davis said. “Absolutely, no question about it. Greg (Schiano) has great convictions about the things that he has learned. This is tried and tested things going back to his days at Penn State, Chicago Bears, and what he has learned in the last 11 years. Hopefully some of the things he learned at Miami. He has got an idea of what he wants this defense to look like. He will have five or six coaches that are going to help him implement from a mentality standpoint [and] from an identity standpoint. It will have Greg Schiano’s thumb print throughout it, but a defensive coordinator that is going to come [is] the guy that is going to help put the game plans together. He is going to be the guy that is going to call it. You know whoever the defensive coordinator is going to be (I can tell you from having worked as a defensive coordinator for Jimmy Johnson who was formerly a defensive coordinator) it is awesome. You love that opportunity to have a head coach that can kind of see the same perspectives and understand some of the pit falls that you are going through. It is a great sounding board. So whoever the defensive coordinator [who] comes in here is going to be very fortunate working with Greg (Schiano).”What examples of mistakes that you have had that can now help prevent Schiano from making the same mistakes?
“First of all I think that there are two differences in the organizations which I hope will help Greg (Schiano),” Davis said. “Just in the sense that this is an established organization that has had a history. They won a Super Bowl recently. Things maybe [have] not gone as well as they like over the past couple of years and stuff, but going to Cleveland it was two years removed from being an expansion franchise. I think one of the things that I already shared with Greg (Schiano) a little bit is [to] make sure you understand who you have on your football team before you start adding all the pieces. Sometimes you get the sense that you are a little bit of a kid in a candy store like I was when you went to Cleveland that gosh you need these guys from free agency. Sometimes you over value some people [and] sometimes you don’t. Just have a devised plan that I am sure that Greg and Mark (Dominik) have talked long about. About this is the way we want to build this team through the draft and add certain things, but that would have been my very first thing. Here are some of the things we did wrong in Cleveland and I think also the other part of it which I think Greg is doing a great job is surrounding himself with guys that he knows. I think that that’s a big thing. In the NFL it is hard because you can’t get guys out of contract all the time. A lot of the guys that you had in college that you bring and stuff so he is doing a really fine job I think of assembling this coaching staff.”What is commitment to this role? How long?
“I don’t have a crystal ball,” Davis said. “The one thing — you know I am committed to try and help this team win a Super Bowl as quick and as fast as possible. Not putting any pressure on Greg (Schiano) or any of that kind of stuff because every job is a process. There are certain things that you got to accomplish as you build your team. You know as we have talked about it you never know this could be ten years who knows.”What will your role on game day?
“We haven’t really talked explicitly about that,” Davis said. “I think there is a real good possibility though that I will be in the press box with all the coaches. I know that Greg (Schiano) through the interview process right now is deciding and talking about with the coordinators and guys who feels comfortable calling a game from upstairs. Who feels better being downstairs? Once they get all of that I am sure that I will probably have some kind of a role upstairs. Just observing the process and how everything is going. The communication [and] just kind of watching the game, and clocks, and replays, and all those kinds of things to just try to help any way that I can there.”What is it that you like about Mark Dominik so much?
“First of all he is unbelievably professional and he is very smart,” Davis said. “He has got a great grasp and one of the things is that I think there has to be a great symbiotic relationship between the general manager and the coach. They have got to have the same kind of vision. This is the way we want to build the team. Just in a short amount of time just observing their relationship it is outstanding. I mean they communicate [and] they talk all the time. They are always in the loop with each other. This is what we are doing. This is our next move. This is what we are going on. Like I said earlier, you can’t have enough good people and enough people that buy into it. Thus far it looks like a great relationship. They will work well together.”From your standpoint what does this football team need?
“I cannot even begin to tell you because I haven’t started evaluating any of the film thus far,” Davis said. “I looked at film just for about an hour the other day just when I happened to be here late with one of the coaches that was actually doing it and [I] looked at what they were doing and stuff. The one thing that is blatantly apparent that I think everybody universally would agree [is] they got the quarterback part of it right. If you are going to start with a franchise those who have one have a chance and those that don’t, don’t. That part of it I mean he is a great looking kid. I met him today for the first time Greg (Schiano) introduced me to him and I shook hands and I am like geez what a good looking kid this is you know? But I know he is hungry and anxious to get started in a new system and learn and everything. I think that [is] a great beginning place.”
If see something while in press box will you be able to give advice or send it down?
“I don’t even know if I am allowed to have [a] headset on and stuff. I am more interested in watching the process [and] the procedure. The ongoing position by position self scouting and making sure how do the offensive coordinators, how do they compliment and stuff. At halftime makes some comments to may Greg (Schiano) and say Greg here are some things [like] communication getting guys down the sidelines, getting information feedback back and forth would really help side linage adjustments and halftime adjustments. I mean it is all making it up right now, but you know.”Sounds like you are an observer?
“Well, that will certainly be a portion of the roll, but I am sure that there is going to be (inside the building) that there is going to be an awful lot of other things that have nothing to do with the X’s and O’s or the coaches,” Davis said. “I mean it’s whether it’s in free agency [or] whether it’s in the combine next week just talking about even the interview process. Those are the things that I have had to go through that I can maybe help Greg (Schiano). When you only get 15 minutes with each prospect next week you get 60 players [and] you know you don’t want to spend a whole lot of time finding out about his grandma, his grandpa, and what he did on vacation. There are a lot of other things and hopefully I can help in those regards as well.”Will you be a part of those discussions with those players?
“I know talking to them I am going to be in the room,” Davis said. “How intimately involved that will be certainly decided by Mark (Dominik) and Greg (Schiano).”How much evaluation of this roster will you do and going forward with draft and free agency?
“I am certain that there is going to be a lot of it,” Davis said. “That is something that I look forward to is taking a look at the team. Taking a look at where they are in the growth. I know it is a very young football team. There is an awful lot of very, very young some very talented players. So I am anxious to take a look at them and see where they are as far as the talent—the physical abilities. Also, take a look at where their potential upside might be. How far can this guy’s career rise over the next year or two and adapt to the system both schematically, offensively, defensively, and special teams that Greg (Schiano) is going to implement and try to help him there.”What is the one piece of advice you would give to him?
“Yes, there is what I just said a while ago be yourself,” Davis said. “I know this without (I don’t even have to tell him) the thing that National League Football players respect more than anything is honesty. Telling the truth even sometimes that it is not easy to say they want the truth. How can I get better? How can I make this team better? How can I become a better player? He will do that. I mean I have watched it in Miami. He did a remarkable job for me and I have seen him from afar. I watched him [and] what he did at Rutgers so I know he is going to do the right things.”Commenting on game day speed and is there an adjustment for coaching?
“Well, obviously there is a little bit, but I will tell you and I think this is something else that Greg (Schiano) did a great job of is developing relationships with other NFL coaches,” Davis said. “He was constantly talking to guys. I know he has got a very, very close relationship with Bill Belichick. So when you stay in contact and you are always trying to stay on the cutting edge of things that are going on not only from a schematic standpoint, but also from a coaching and organization standpoint he will utilize all of those contacts and that will be fine. He will get up to speed very fast.”How much say do you think you will have in free agency?
“Oh I have no idea whatsoever,” Davis said. “I will be there to help any way that I can. Try to have knowledge of guys that I have either coached or played against or coached against. The other thing hopefully is that when you have coached for a long time you know coaches in other places. Other NFL teams and other colleges that you can reach out [to] because a lot of times getting information is extremely important. A lot of times it keeps you from making a bad decision. Hopefully sometimes it will help you make a good decision.”
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