After giving his players two days off head coach Greg Schiano and the Buccaneers returned to the practice field as they prepare to face the Rams on Sunday, and attempt to stop a four-game losing streak. Schiano spoke to the media following Wednesday's practice on a number of subjects including trying to establish a new culture.
In his weekly Wednesday afternoon press conference Coach Schiano spoke to the media about the loss of P.J. Fleck, the struggles his team has had thus far this season, and where the team goes from here. The following is a transcript of his press conference. Can you comment on P.J. Fleck now that it is confirmed he is leaving and he is a pretty good coach that the team will be losing?
“He is a good coach. When you hire good coaches you [know] that’s part and parcel with that, especially if they have aspirations to be a head coach, and I knew from the day I interviewed P.J. back when that that’s what his ultimate goal was. And that’s good. I’m happy for him. He’s an assistant coach for me but he was a friend as well and a guy that I’m very happy for. He’s continuing to do his responsibilities here. (Ben)McDaniels is picking up some of the load, because his wife just had a baby and he was up at the press conference and that stuff. But together, we’re not going to miss a beat. That’s what staffs do, they kind of pick up the slack and get it done but he’ll be here through the end of the season and then he’ll be full time up there.”What affect has losing P.J. Fleck had on his guys?
“I know they’re very happy for him, they’re very close those guys. They’re very, very happy for him, but this is professional football. These things happen and they’re professionals and they know they have a job to do and it’s been business as usual. And Ben’s been in the room with them the entire year, so it’s not like, oh here comes a stranger out of nowhere. So he’s filling in where needed and it’s very smooth.”
What are the qualities that you think prepare him to be a head coach in college football?
“He has very strong beliefs and he’s very sure of himself. That’s the deal. At one point I was the youngest head coach in the country and I remember that was all, blah, blah, blah. But you just do what you do. You don’t really have experience, so you just do what you think is right and if it’s wrong you fix it and keep moving. But the one thing he has is great energy, he’s got great focus on what he wants to do and he has very strong beliefs and when you have that, 80 percent of leadership is knowing where you’re going.”You gave your players an extra day off and what did you observe about them today and how they returned to work?
“I felt like we had a good practice today. There’s a lot of belief in those guys, a lot of togetherness, a lot of we’re going to do our best. And that’s all you can do, is do your best. You do your best and see where it stacks up against your opponent. When you don’t do your best, that’s when you get aggravated and frustrated. We all didn’t do our best (Sunday). That’s water under the bridge, it’s been talked about. You know a lot of teams, victory Monday they just disappear until Wednesday. We, when we got on a roll there, we were still doing some things, but we were coming in and working on Mondays. So I just felt like it was time for everybody to get away from each other and come back here ready to put on a great effort this week and that’s what they did today, and that’s great. It’s a start.”When looking at the struggles of past month how great of an impact has not been being able to get Doug Martin as involved as you have throughout the season?
“Game situations can do that to your run game and that’s happened twice. At the end of the day, it’s not what we did during that stretch when we were playing better. But there’s a lot worse that it could be. Sunday was not good. But we need to get our running game on track for sure. And today was the start of that. We had the pads on and we got after it pretty good and we did some nine on seven and so, it was good.”Do you take any different approach with Doug Martin since postseason is not in play anymore in terms of preserving him for future years or is it just like any other game?
“One of the things we talked about when we arrived here was establishing a new culture, a different culture. And although we’ve made strides, we’re not close to where we need to be and I think Doug Martin is part of establishing that new culture. And right now, part of building anything is, it’s never this (makes the motion of something soaring unabated). There are always setbacks, there is always adversity and how do we handle adversity. So I think it would be not a good time in our program’s development to say, 'Doug, why don’t you just cool off for next year.' That’s not where we are as a program. If it were a different set of circumstances, that might be true. If he was on a veteran laden team that for whatever reason didn’t make it to the playoffs this year but had made it the last five or six years, maybe we want to rest him, but that’s not the case.”The dynamics of the season might have changed in some regards on Sunday by being eliminated and does that change the way you approach games like maybe putting some guys in that have not gotten a chance?
“Again, we’re in the early phases of this program, and part of that is learning how to win and win consistently. That’s my number one and only goal Sunday, is to go out and win. Now, we’re playing a lot of young guys already so it’s not like, with all the injuries and stuff we’ve had already, there are a lot of guys that weren’t even on the roster. So I don’t know how many more we can, some guys you say, well, he’s been inactive, maybe we can get him up. We’ll see. I don’t know. That’s not my main focus at all. My main focus is trying to build a culture of winning and more importantly the things it takes to win.”Having not been with these guys before this year, but this is first time been through a stretch like this and are you learning about how they handled this individually?
“Every person in here is a product of their experience so when you share experiences together, that’s part of the bonding, the development, especially when you share adversity together. It gives me a great opportunity to see how guys respond as individuals as well as a member of a team. So it is actually a great opportunity. It’s not fun. But you have to find the positive in it. There are opportunities for our future development right now, where we are. But this is a win now league and this is a win now coach and we are going to try to win on Sunday. That’s what we’re here to do and that’s what we’re going to do.”Do you sense that teams are sort of picking on Danny Gorrer or at least the Saints did and do you sense that looking at the film?
“No, I didn’t sense that at all. I think Danny’s played, last week, this week, where he got his first real extensive action, and I think he’s done a good job covering guys. He had one where he got twisted up on that third down play, which, if you could have that over again, he would play a different technique, but overall I think he’s done a solid job. Not great. But he’s, again, this is his first exposure and I think he’s getting better. But I think they’re just going through their progressions and going to the guy they feel is most open and in that instance it was Danny. But those guys, we have not done what we need to do back there, but it’s not for a lack of work, focus, want to, all those things. We just have to keep coming, keep pounding and hopefully it will show better results on Sunday.”
Copyright © 2011 Pewter Report, PewterReport.com and Pewter Insider. All rights reserved. PewterReport.com, the official site of Pewter Report, is an independent source of news and commentary and is not affiliated with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the NFL.