New Bucs coach Greg Schiano addressed the media at the NFL Combine on Thursday and talked about the state of the Bucs, including the status of Ronde Barber and Aqib Talib. PewterReport.com reacts to the comments and offers our opinion.
New Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano spoke to the media in Indianapolis while preparing for the upcoming NFL Combine for the first time since being introduced as head coach last month.
Schiano talked on several subjects including the potential return of cornerback Ronde Barber and the legal woes of cornerback Aqib Talib.Source: The Tampa Tribune’s Bucs beat writer Roy Cummings
Schiano suggested he could use a player of Barber's stature on his team.
“We're going to talk and see, but I think he can help me know that more than I can help him,'' Schiano said Thursday during a break at the NFL scouting combine.
Barber, who turns 37 in April, has played his entire career with the Bucs, setting the team record for games played last season with 225. He had surgery to repair a broken arm sustained in the final game of the season.
"Here's a guy who's a Buc,'' Schiano said. "No doubt about it. It's in his blood, and I know he wants to do the best for (him) and his family, but I know he puts the Bucs right there with them.
"So, I just need to tell him what my vision is for the football team and hear from him how he sees how he fits in that. I think it's going to be a great exchange.
"I'm just going to tell him, 'This is what we're going to try to build here, where do you see yourself fitting in?' He knows it's near the end whether it's a year, two or three. But I think no one knows better than Ronde what's best for all parties involved."
Talib, entering the final year of his contract, faces a felony charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in Texas. His trial is scheduled for late March, and he faces possible jail time or a league suspension.
"I had a great meeting with him where we just kind of talked about life for a little bit," Schiano said of Talib. "I know there's been some things in the past and, at the end of the day, the legal stuff that's going on right now, hopefully that will get resolved. He tells me it will.
"Then, from there, every guy on this football team will know our expectations. There won't be any, 'Well, I thoughts.' You know if you do this everything is cool and if you don't there's going to be consequences.''
PR’s Take On Barber Comments:
Since taking over as head coach back on January 27, Greg Schiano has been extremely quiet and rarely seen by the media. On Thursday, Schiano was front and center in front of a media gaggle in Indianapolis and made several interesting points and maybe answered some questions that have been on the minds of Bucs’ fans and the media alike.
On the return of Ronde Barber, Schiano would be wise to try his best to coax the veteran back for at least one more season. The youth of the Buccaneers locker room had been a major topic of discussion for the last three years, and will continue to be until the team stops fielding the youngest team in the NFL. Take away Barber’s 15 years in the league, and a young team grows even younger.
That isn’t to say the Buccaneers should keep Barber only because of his age, but the fact is, Barber displayed the ability to play at a high level last season, leading the Buccaneers in interceptions with three, while adding 77 tackles, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble.
Barber’s importance to the team isn’t just strictly based on numbers, but the fact that the veteran is one of the few on the roster who can set the example needed for the younger players. While not that fiery, in-your-face leader, several young players last season told PewterReport.com that Barber is the ultimate professional, and many try and pattern their study and practice habits by what the former Virginia star does daily.
And lastly, Barber is the last link to the glory days of Buccaneers football. With the release of fan favorites like Derrick Brooks and John Lynch among others, a bad taste still lingers in the mouths of many Buccaneers fans. There is no doubt there are some who would still love to see Mike Alstott come out of retirement and put on the Pewter again, but realistically those days are gone. But they aren’t for Barber, who is still playing at a high level. And even if he isn’t the same player he was 10 years ago, Barber still brings much to the table in terms of leadership by example, and is that last connection the great Buccaneers teams of the late 1990’s through the Super Bowl year.PR’s Take on the Talib comments:
There seems to be a divide among fans when the name Aqib Talib is brought up. Half would like to see Schiano immediately cut Talib and make an example out of him to the rest of the team. While the other half seems to want to give Talib one more chance, as he is unquestionably the most talented defensive back on the Buccaneers roster.
Schiano’s thinking seems to go along with he second group and PewterReport.com tends to agree. While the transgressions of Talib are well documented, (fights with teammates, berating officials, alterations with cab drivers and an aggravated assault charge in Texas last March) the fact is, Talib possess the talent to be one of the better cornerbacks in the league. And at a position that is already thin, letting go a former first-round pick before his day in court has taken place, doesn’t seem like the best move.
We all love our heroes, but you can bet some of the best players in NFL history prior to the world on instant media, portrayed as bad or worse judgment that Talib has shown, but there was no Twitter, TMZ, or cell phone cameras to capture it. That doesn’t mean making an excuse for his actions, but Schiano seems to have the right ideas when he talked about making sure every player, Talib included, understands exactly what the expectations of Buccaneers players are.
If Talib, who will be entering a contract year, does prove to be innocent of felony charges next month in Texas, he should be welcomed back with open arms but a very short leash – a leash that was probably too long over the last three seasons for the entire roster. Talib will need to prove and regain the trust of Schiano, general manager Mark Dominik and maybe just as importantly – the Buccaneers fans.
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