New Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano spoke to the media Monday afternoon about the first day of voluntary conditioning. Monday marked the first day that players and coaches could join together for meeting with players and discuss football.
Head coach Greg Schiano took questions from the local media about the first day of voluntary conditioning drills. Monday also marked the first day that Schiano and his staff were able to talk to their players about expectations on and off the football field. Below is a transcript of the the press conference.Opening statement
“Excited. Today marks the beginning of something. It is great to have a football team to be able to stand in front of. Our coaching staff has worked incredibly hard as they trickled in here to Tampa and tried to put together the beginning stages of who we are going to be. To finally be able to talk to the team as a group and to be able to talk about football and to be able to talk about what we are going to do as a football team and as an organization. I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t fly out of bed this morning. I was excited to go. That is what football coaches do. It was great; we had a really good turnout. We had some guys that had contacted me before and said they had things scheduled before. This is not mandatory – certainly this is voluntary activity. But I was very impressed with the commitment level of our guys being here on time ready to go. We aren’t allowed to be on the field with them but we are allowed to be in the meeting room with them. This is phase one. In phase one we can meet with them and coach Butler and his staff can strength and condition and that kind of thing. That is what we are in to for two weeks and then we will have our voluntary veteran mini-camp, which will be a blast. I can’t wait to get there and we will keep moving it forward.”
What was your message to the players today?
"Basically the things I shared with you guy when we started. I get into some stuff things that I wont share publically with our squad obviously. But it was good to have those eyes looking back at you. And there is certainly going to things that we have to ... that I have to explain to them how I want it done. But what I took from it was a group of guys that are willing and want to. Now I just have to provide that leadership and move forward.”Do the players feel like this a fresh start?
"Well I hope so. I can’t tell you for sure because I don’t know them yet – personality wise. I know a couple of the guys that have been around and we have visited a little bit. It is going to be interesting to see. And I thing everybody understands we are all new. And that is something I talked about even with free agency. I don’t want to in the years to come, to be bringing in a lot of people from the outside. I want to draft and develop and the “Buccaneer Way” is something that we understand in this building. But as I explained to those guys, we are all new right now. Everybody has an opportunity. So if I am a player I like that. If I am good and I have been good well I am going to be good again. And if for whatever reason I have had some issues well here is a fresh start, I have chance with this guy. But they will figure out very quickly – and I shared with them – there is a right way and a wrong. And we are going to do it the right way.”How is the design and details of the playbook coming along?
“There is a lot to that question. Getting a staff together was certainly a little longer than I would have liked. So that kind of slowed down some processes. And then from a standpoint of putting the book together, putting the schemes together – we aren’t done. We are chasing it as we go. There is part of it that is done and parts that we can implement with the guys. But that will be an ongoing process probably all the way up to when we take a vacation is the summer. But is a combination of the people we hired and my philosophical beliefs. I hired the kind of people that agree with my philosophical beliefs. Now how we carry it out – the X’s and O’s – there is thousand ways to skin a cat. That is what they are hired to do. And I am going to kind of stand over it and watch. But I’m not going to micromanage how we are going to block the three-technique and thing like that. But philospohically it is going to be there and that is what I am excited about. We have a bunch of guys that believe in the same thing from a football standpoint so that has not been a struggle so now it is just trying to figure out the best way. What is the best way to do this and do that? As a head coach there is certain things you are non-negotiable on. We are going to do it this way because I strongly believe that this is the best way to do it. On other things we kind of have flexibility on. At the end of the day we talked about early on. Our offense, defense and special teams –special teams to me is continually the bridge between your offense and defense. And the bridge meaning we are going to run the football, we are going to take shots – punting is ok, we have a great punter – punting is ok. Scoring drives they may be on series, they may be two series, they may be three series. If you punt the ball and get the ball back in better position and the drive just continues, and you put it in the end zone – that’s the way we play football. So marrying those three phases is going to be critical. I’m really confidant in all three phases and I think it all comes down to leadership. I think we have very good assistant coaches but most importantly I think we have three guys who are going to lead those three units. Then to have Butch (Davis) and Jimmy Raye here as well to help me. I feel good about that. But there are a lot of different things that go into putting together a scheme. So without a doubt I’d rather be a year from now where were just reviewing it, but we are where we are.”What type of discipline system will you have for the players?
“It is not so much how I am going to discipline this team, but what I have shared with the public is we have to regain or re-earn their trust. And we will do that. Not only trust on the field and trust in the community, but I think part of that is becoming part of the community. As I have learned and said it several times, Tampa and the Bay area, although there are skylines and it is a city – it is more of a town. People know each other, there is a feel to it and we have to become part of that. I used to say to our college team when I coached at Rutgers, look we are part of something much bigger than just this football team. We are part of this university community. And here we are part of this Bay area community and we have to be responsible members of this community and that is what we will be.”Was the first day well attended?
“Yeah it was really good. We had a handful of guys who had previous engagements and then you had guys who are free agents that aren’t with us technically. But overall it was a good turnout. Most of the guys made it. And the ones who didn’t let me know.”Was Freeman there today?
“Oh yeah he was here, ready to roll front and center. Ready to go.”How soon can you start teaching the players the schemes you want to run?
“No we are right into it. Now today it is philosophy and then we start to get into it – the implementation. Tomorrow and that point forward it will be full bore. Again you will do it then we will repeat it again when we are on the field then we repeat it again in training camp. You would like to see that you can implement the whole scheme at least two times. And the beauty of building a program over and over again is that we get better with repetition. And you know the next time they hear it they will pick up something they may have missed. Now when they get to go do it physically and we get them on video and we coach them – that is what we do. That is how we get better.”How much game film have you watched of the roster?
“Lot of tape. That is what we do. You try and match what we want to do schematically, (and) do we have the people to do it? I thought was important to do that even before we got into free agency. So we go out and try and fulfill what we don’t have or try and go out and bolster what we don’t have. We have watched a lot of tape, myself and the staff, and also a lot of tape on free agents and the draft guys to see how it fits together in what we wont to do.”Will there be a change of philosophy between last year and this year?
“There will be some. Will it be noticeable to the fans? Maybe a little bit. Some areas… You are right I don’t want to get into too much. The one thing we have that is nice is the unknown. At least for a little while. But there will be some changes, some noticeable changes.”Does last year’s new coaches success give you hope that you can duplicate it?
“I think every situation is different. I don’t think you can say ‘well they did it in San Francisco so they can do it in Tampa.’ I sure would like to do what they did in San Francisco. That is the goal, right? To go a little bit further than they did. We will see how fast our guy can grasp it. We will see how well we can teach it. I’m encouraged by the way I think our guys are going to teach it. And by the looks of those eyes looking back at me today I am encouraged by the attentiveness. We have a chance.How are the injured players coming along?
“The guys I talked to with Todd Torricelli our trainer (about) he has kept me up to speed. I think everybody is coming along at a good rate. There are no red flags where I am really concerned. But you know how that is. That is day-to-day.”
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