Head coach Greg Schiano gave his team a rare Monday off following the 41-0 loss to the Saints on Sunday. Schiano did however hold his regular Monday afternoon press conference to discuss the details of the prior day's game, and in it, addressed several questions regarding the state of the Buccaneers who now sit at 6-8 on the season.
In his game day after press conference Coach Greg Schiano spoke with the media his decision to give the players the day off, the play of his quarterback, and the rumor of P.J. Fleck getting a college head football coaching job. The following is a transcript of the press conference. Can you talk about the reports of P.J. Fleck to Western Michigan?
“I’m not going to confirm it. Let me just say that P.J. is an excellent football coach and like a lot of guys on our staff, in the years to come people are going to come after them as head coaches, whether it be in the NFL or major college and we’ll deal with each one as it comes down the pike. But I’d stay away from it right now. I would at least.”Can you discuss Josh Freeman’s play yesterday?
“I think sometimes what, as a player or coach, you look at the actual process of what occurred. And obviously the scoreboard is the end result, and that’s what judges us. But as a player you look at it and say I did this right and this right and this right and that explain a little bit maybe why Josh feels like he played well. Very rarely is it just one guy’s mistake. So now you start splitting hairs as you start watching the tape. Did he come out of this thing on a good enough angle? One of them was just a pure breakdown in communication where two players saw it differently. That shouldn’t happen. It doesn’t happen very much. That was one of them and some of the other ones, to be frank, we’re down by a lot of points and he’s throwing the ball up hoping someone can make a play. There’s some though that we need to make sure that we throw and catch and route run better on. But anytime you turn the ball over five times, whether it’s interceptions or a sack fumble where you’re possessing the ball and at the end of the down you’re not possessing the ball, you can’t do it. It’s very hard to win in this league when you lose the turnover margin. And when you lose it by 5-0 it’s almost impossible. I’m not going to say it is impossible, but almost. At the end of the day, that’s what happened and I’m not naïve to that, but I do understand and that makes me, when I watch some of the technical things that Josh is doing well, it’s not as far off as it may appear. Just as it probably wasn’t as holistic as it seemed when we were hitting on all cylinders. We didn’t find it and I really don’t think we lost it. It is just the process and we just have to keep moving forward and Josh will and we will.”
Does he need to do a better job communicating the play in the huddle?
“I don’t know. But you do like to hear your quarterback stand up here and say that’s’ on me. I don’t know if that’s the case or not. Again, I don’t think it’s one man. I think it’s everybody involved. But we just need to get better at it because it happened, we turned the ball over five times, four interceptions, so regardless of who’s fault it is, we need to get better at it whether it’s through film study, jog through, walk through, practice. Whatever it is we need to get better and we need to do it quickly. We have two games left, two one game seasons, and this one coming up, the St. Louis season, I fully expect us to play our best game that we’ve played together so far. That’s our goal.”Why a day off today?
“I think our team is disappointed in what we did yesterday. Whether it was all pretty or perfect I’m not saying, but 13 games, every one of them either we won or it came down to a one possession game where we could have won the game if we could have had a possession to do it and that’s competitive football. And then we go out and throw our first clunker. We’ve been together now for 11 months and we threw a clunker. Now, the sky’s not falling. We have a lot of good young players and we have some experienced really good player. We threw a clunker. Now we have to get over it. Why the day off? Look, you’d be naïve to say that the dynamics of things haven’t changed now that we’re no longer in the playoff hunt. So we have two, one-game seasons coming up, and as far as I was concerned I talked to the football team last night, and we got everything discussed that we needed to discuss, and we need to get better Wednesday getting ready for St. Louis and I wanted them to just get away from here for a little bit. Everybody got their treatment. More than half the team was here today. They didn’t have to be but they were. They’ll be ready to go Wednesday. There’s not going to be anything heroic. We’re going to go out and do what we’ve done. And what we’ve done is prepare, get ready and then go out and play and it’s our last game at home and we need to make sure that we go out and play well for our fans, for our football team and our organization – and we will.”Was that conversation last night a tough one or just an unpleasant conversation?
“What I talk to them I usually have kept it pretty private. Unless I say it out in the field then everybody hears it. The one thing I do with our team is I am honest with them. I just tell them what I think [and] where we are. What we all need to do because we are all in it together. There are no coaches and players; we are in it. We provide information and guidance. They go out and play. That’s really what it is. We teach and they do. We just need to do a better job of teaching and they need to do a better job of doing. We are going to get going and end this thing the right way.”Pro Football Talk reported an anonymous player said ‘can we send these coaches back to college’? and does that concern you if one of your players has that opinion?
“Well I already graduated. I do not need to go back to college. I was not a great student, but I got the degree. That I don’t need. The reality is I don’t sense any of that. Anonymous sources no disrespect to you guys, but anonymous sources are anonymous sources. I feel like we got a group of men in that locker room that are together [and] understand where we are going with this thing. Know that this is going to be a championship organization again and we are all working hard. We threw a clunker, but the sky is not falling.”Did you go back today at all and address the situation on the sideline between Adam Hayward and Bryan Cox?
“Didn’t need to. We took care of that. Like I said this is a tight group especially Coach Cox and the linebackers, the front seven I mean there is not [anything]. That is a heat of the moment deal that [is] behind us. We are moving forward. Do I like that the outside world [saw]? It is kind of like in your own family. It is never perfect, right? You really don’t need everybody to see it on FOX or whatever channel we are on there. That is not the best thing either, but it is behind us.”Are you a little alarmed that your quarterback is not playing better football at this point and where are you with your quarterback and how much of him is an issue?
“You know what? If Josh Freeman was not coming in and just spending all kinds of time here and if I was not getting texts and our coaches asking questions at 10 o’clock at night about coverages and things like that then yes I would have reason to be concerned. But I know that everybody goes through better times [and] lesser times. I also know that those who persevere [and] those who work [and] tend to their knitting they are going to be fine. Josh (Freeman) is tending to his knitting so we are going to be fine. Just collectively we got to fight our way out of it. Sometimes you get in a little slump and you got to fight your way out of it. I said after the game, I don’t think I have to find out who we are. I think I know who we are, but you got to go do it. I am anxious to go do it with these guys because they are good guys and they are good players and they are good coaches. We will.”
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