Bucs GM Mark Dominik talked with the local media shortly after the press conference announcing the hiring of Greg Schiano about a number of subjects including Josh Freeman, the hiring process and how the staff will be assembled.
When Greg Schiano’s press conference was over Friday afternoon Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik spent some time going into more details bout the hiring of Schiano.What did you learn about how coaches look at the Bucs along the way?
“I think a lot of people saw that there is some talent here, but at the same point everyone wants to know it because I told them going in you are the head football coach of this football team. You can tell us whatever you want. If you think the draft picks here haven’t been what you want that’s fine. I want to know what your plan is. Not who the players we have. It is more important about the plan and what their method is to get to the final results. So with him, with coach, he talked (and all these coaches) they talked about obviously Josh Freeman as a key element. There is a lot of excitement in the NFL about Josh Freeman. Obviously he didn’t play to his level of expectation last year, but that was an intriguing part for every coach we interviewed. You have Josh Freeman.”Talk about the nucleus of young players:
“Let’s be candidly honest Gerald McCoy hasn’t played a lot in two years. Da’Quan Bowers started to play at the end of the year. (Adrian) Clayborn has played one year and (Brian) Price has been off and on. So there is a nucleus of defensive linemen that we are still trying to figure out. Myself included. As you talk to them, a lot of people focused on the defensive front four and then a quarterback and then the pieces around it were intriguing for coaches.”Do you study his performance as a game coach and was that anything that was a factor for you?
“You know we studied his performance as a builder of how he grew a football team. We certainly (I have watched a lot of Rutgers football over the years) [and] certainly our college scouts have—our director college has. So you know of him in that capacity. The thing that made it more interesting to me in what he did [was] certainly the consistency that he was able to grow there. At a program that obviously over 130 years of football wasn’t able to get there and I understand he didn’t win a Big East title, but that’s not how to me you choose a football coach. You choose a football coach on what he can do and how he has gotten [and] what he has been able to maximize with what he has got. I feel that Rutgers football is very impressive where it is right now and that’s all due to Greg Schiano in my opinion.”
You mentioned his character and does that have anything to do with it?
“That’s a lot of it and because we have such a young football team that’s really important. What he did there with the graduation rate at Rutgers is amazing. I challenge you all to go back and take a look at what he did. That means young people are listening to him and binding to what he believes and how you grow and how you become a professional not only on the field, but also off the field. Then the character of Coach Schiano is impeccable. And I have a lot of people in this league that I have a lot high opinions and every one of them said the same thing consistently of who he is off the field. How much of a family man he is [and] those things are very important to us.”It’s been 11 years since Schiano has coached in the NFL and do you have any apprehension at all on how he can get up to speed?
“I am not concerned about that. You know because the one thing you noticed with Coach Schiano as you got a chance to meet with him you saw that he still talked to a lot of NFL coaches. And really continued to watch film and to learn and to study and to work and be around training camps and those kind of things. Those were really important to him so you knew that he was up to date. Again he was putting up NFL caliber players. He was certainly playing against good competition, but the main thing for me was I felt very comfortable (we felt ownership included) felt very comfortable that that was something that was not going to be a concern. It was actually that I think he is on top of it. When you look at his defense and how they play at Rutgers, you see where they rank statistically and what they do there, it is very impressive. It tells you that he has done it everywhere he has touched an organization he has been able to be successful. We are looking forward to that here as well.”You talk about some impressions that people’s opinion of him made on you and was there a person that maybe brought it all home?
“Yes, one person did—Greg Schiano. He brought it all home because by the time you heard everything you heard about [him] and then you had the chance to spend the multiple hours we did with him, then you realized you can hear things, but then you can see things and you can talk to him. Realize what he said upon that stage today is Greg Schiano.”He is sincere about this trust, belief, and accountability and creating the Buccaneer way and those things he resonated today is that what resonated with you?
“Very much so did. Every time you had a chance to meet with him you saw that the guy was absolutely convinced of what he wanted to be as a football coach and he has always had a plan. I think in his mind to develop a team and then go to the National Football League and I am quite honored that he saw our football team as the one he wanted to coach because I know this guy was going to be a head coach in the National Football League. I am certain of it. For him to choose Tampa and the timing of this all was very…I think we should all be excited about it.”Is it accurate you both share the same philosophy?
“Yes, that is accurate. I mean I think our town is that way. We are a defensive town. I think Tampa is. Obviously offenses are exploding in the league, but as you watch teams that are playing in the playoffs and teams that are in the Super Bowl like the New York Giants defense still matters. Coach Schiano is a big believer in all three phases. He is a huge believer in special teams and I think when you find a coach that is a believer in special teams – he understands big picture philosophy. As a head coach in the National Football League, that is an incredible trait to have. So you know that he is going to be able to assemble the roster the way he wants it. That was a big part of the plan of getting to this point and why Coach Schiano was such a good match. I think that’s why we hit it off so well.”How far are you in the process of hiring coordinators?
“Well we talked a little bit about it in one of the second interviews and spent some time there. Certainly today we are going to sit down pretty hard this afternoon. Again this is Coach Schiano’s staff. He is going to have final say on this staff. It is very important that people understand this is his football staff. I am just here to help him along because of where we are at in the process. Really just to check some balance to say here are some other guys coach what do you think of these? I want Coach Schiano to hire his football staff. So do the owners. We will put together the best staff. I am just here to help him do it. Everybody can be rest assured Coach Schiano is going to get the guys he wants to make sure it works for a successful football program.”-Victoria Horchak contributed to this report
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