Since Greg Schiano was hired last year, many wondered how the players would respond to the college-like coaching style of the former Rutgers boss. Listening to players since the season ended, it appears everyone is still on board, and even a new appreciation for Schiano's style has blossomed.
For those who still wonder if everyone at One Buccaneer Place are all on board with the detail-oriented style of head coach Greg Schiano, the players who have spoken since the season ended are giving pretty clear answers.
Offensive linemen Donald Penn and Davin Joseph heaped praise on Schiano last week in New Orleans while speaking to 98.7 The Fan’s Rich Herrera and Booger McFarland during media week at the Super Bowl.
“I think Greg Schiano is very misunderstood,” Penn said. “As a player I appreciate him as head coach because he is a guy who admits when he is wrong. When we come in Monday after the game whether it is a win or a loss, he is going to tell you everything we did wrong to lose the game or everything we did right to win the game. And then he is going to tell us what he could have done better to win the game.
“It is hard for somebody at that level to step back and tell guys who look up to you, I was wrong. I made a mistake. Usually you are always supposed to be right. I think that is a good thing that helps our team, and makes people look up to him and want to play harder for him because he does that. And I think it is going to go a long way for us."
Joseph was also complimentary of his head coach, and the work he puts in on a daily basis.
His work ethic is like no other,” Joseph said. “He is a grinder man. He is the kind of guy you want on your side. He is a guy who works day in and day out and loves what he does. We had a lot of guys who aren’t a part of our team now, who weren’t in love with football like coach Schiano is. And now we are getting to the point where we have guys that love to grind.
"He is a grinder and is a hard working guy, and now we are getting a locker room full of guys who love to grind. And so that is what is going to make us special this coming year. We just have to bring it all together.”
Bucs wide receiver Vincent Jackson spoke to the local media after being named to the Pro Bowl roster last month, and said he is also a Schiano believer.
"I couldn't be more impressed with Schiano and his staff, the way they were able to come in here in one year, coming from the collegiate level to dealing with professionals," Jackson said. "I know (Schiano) has some background in the NFL. But as a head coach, to take the reins the way he did, get his message across, get guys to buy in the way he did under totally different circumstances from years prior, he did an excellent job with that. He's a lot of fun to play for. He's a competitive guy, and he's going to make sure you're as well prepared as you can possibly be."
Jackson, who was signed on the opening day of free agency last season, said he has a message for other potential free agents this year.
"I would tell (free agents) it's a top-notch organization; it's a top-notch structure. We have a great coaching staff here. They've built a system and a feeling of family and continuity, not only with the team itself, but I think they've done a great job in the community as well."
All three players are looking forward to having another year in the system and seeing what year No. 2 will bring, but also want the fans to know they need their support.
“We have got to have pride in the Bay,” Joseph said. “We have got to have our pride back. We have to represent for our own city. It’s ours. We need all the support we can get. We are going to put in the work and we are going to give Tampa Bay our best shot. But we have to have pride I our team. And so it is now on Tampa Bay to support the Buccaneers and get back to having pride in being a Buccaneer.
Especially through the good and the bad,” Penn said. “(The fans) have got to understand we are working hard for you. We want this Super Bowl bad. I am so looking forward to next year because Doug Martin is coming back, Carl Nicks is coming back and Davin Joseph. You know we might not even need to put the defense on the field.”
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