In his weekly scheduled Wednesday press conference Greg Schiano spoke
with the media about his impressions of Ronde Barber and whether he
would like to have him back next year, players’ individual records, Eric
Wright, and the offensive line’s play. The following is a transcript of
his press conference.
In his weekly scheduled Wednesday press conference Greg Schiano spoke with the media about his impressions of Ronde Barber and whether he would like to have him back next year, players’ individual records, Eric Wright, and the offensive line’s play. The following is a transcript of his press conference. How did Eric Wright look to you?
“He did some things. Yeah, he looked good. No problems.”What were your impressions Ronde Barber when you first got here and how impressed are you with how he has played this year?
“I had a history with Ronde (Barber) because of coaching against him and then coming up here to visit, so I was well aware of the kind of player that he was and is. When there’s a position change, you never know, that’s the unknown. But my hunch would be that he is such an instinctual good football player and that he has so much experience that he would be able to make the jump if anybody could. And there had been several guys that toward the end of their career that made that shift from corner to safety. So it didn’t surprise me that he could do it and I think he’s done it very well and I’m grateful that he’s on our football team, especially in my first year as head coach, he’s been a big help to me.”Would you like to have him back next year?
“It’s all up to him. It really is. Would I like to, sure. But that’s up to him. And I haven’t even gone there because I know how much he is, even more than me with the preparation, he just takes every game as an independent event and he busts his tail for it. So I really even hate to entertain that whole conversation. And neither does he, and that’s kind of the way we both operate. But after he gets away for a little bit and thinks through it all, we’ll all come to what’s best. Because all we want is what’s best for him, because he’s the fabric of this organization.”
He’s played well enough at that spot for you to say he’s got something left, correct?
“There’s no doubt. Any team could use a guy with that kind of experience. It’s going to be more about everybody looking forward, what’s best and now’s not the time to do that. That’s for when you stepped away from it for a while.”How frustrating has it been for you that your guys have not been able capitalize on third-down defense?
“Again, there’s never one thing. But that’s, if we knew, it would be fixed. Sometimes you can’t fix it immediately. Sometimes it takes time because you have to do something different, sometimes it’s because you have to get somebody different, sometimes you just need to get better. At times it’s been frustrating, at times we’ve done very well. So it’s not where we can’t, it’s where we haven’t sometimes.”Do you pay attention to players approaching individual records?
“My experience is that that takes care of itself. My job as the head coach is to win games and some might question how good I’ve been doing at that lately, but that is my focus. If we’re in a game I always have people that make me aware of stuff. Hey, Vince needs one more catch to break it or he needs 10 more yards to break it. Certainly I’m not opposed to getting that done if it can be done within the confines of winning the football game. Over my years as a head coach I’ve had guys, whether it’s a rushing title or whatever it is, that you try to get them, if it falls within (the confines), but never at the cost of, winning the football game?Does anyone stand out to you this year for what they’ve done?
“I think it’s very impressive. You go right down the list, starting with the first fellow you mentioned, Vincent Jackson, having a big year, yards per catch the whole deal. Exactly what we thought we were going to get. And what’s not in those numbers is his leadership, his work ethic, the example he sets. You got to a guy like Lavonte David, he’s put up tremendous numbers, and doing everything that he does, the base will linebacker, the nickel, money and dime mike, essentially three different positions and calling the defense in each different package. So I think he’s done a really good job. So I’m just excited about him. And with Doug Martin’s it’s the same thing. Somebody was telling me he’s second or third in the NFL in total yards from scrimmage, so you look at a rookie to do that – anybody to do that – but a rookie especially. So there are a lot of things that I know I lose sight of because the only thing that’s really important to me is winning these games, right. But when I do step away and look at some of the individual efforts it’s encouraging to say the least.”Do you have a better understanding of what happened with Eric Wright and whether anything like this will ever happen again going forward with him? What is your general feeling about what just took place with his suspension?
“You never really know. Some people can say they do. How do you know? I didn’t know it was coming, so how am I going to know it will happen again or won’t happen again, I don’t. We’ve talked and I feel good about what we’ve talked about and that’s all you really can do. Even before the fact (you have to) educate and continue to educate the team, because I’m not convinced that all these guys that have been positive Adderall tests were using Adderall. Obviously it did because they tested positive but I’m not sure there’s an issue with all of them. But that doesn’t matter. The rule is the rule. So we have to make sure that we as an organization just keep educating our players. And you can’t control the choices they make but you can control the amount of information they have to make those choices and that’s really, my whole career, that’s kind of been what I’ve done, whether it was college kids or now, here, with professional people.”How has the offensive line play as of late?
“Certainly the results would lend that maybe they have (tailed off a bit). Whether it’s rushing yardage or sacks given up. I think there’s a lot of things that can go into that equation. Some of it can be the opponent. And when you look at some of the defense, maybe they were just better than the guys we had played better against. But I do think it’s taken its toll, not only guys who have stepped up but the guys who have stepped up have been playing with pain. And that has a long term toll, but that’s life. That’s the NFL. So you either overcome it or you lose. I’m not saying it’s one position group, but each group, each coach, you have to find a way. That’s what this league’s about. We have to do a better job this week and hopefully end this thing with a victory.”
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