Following the last practice of the 2012 football season for the Buccaneers, head coach Greg Schiano took to the podium at One Buc Place to discuss the day's practice and the upcoming game against the Atlanta Falcons.
In his final after practice game press conference for the 2012 season Greg Schiano spoke with the media on the upcoming Falcons game, his quarterback, what a victory would mean to his team this week as well as other topics. The following is transcript of his press conference. Donald Penn was back out there?
“Yeah, a proud papa.”What’s the attitude been like this week?
“It’s been good.”We saw you got a little agitated out there, that been happening very week?
“Nah, that hasn’t been happening. And that really is between us. I guess you guys were privy to it. But I will very rarely do that. The only thing that gets me is when we do things that we know better. So, that was more of a private team moment, but I need to be more aware I guess.”Do you sense any animosity towards the Falcons?
“I think all division games hold special meaning so I don’t know if I notice anything different. And I’m not privy to all the inside history that’s gone on between the two teams. I shouldn’t say that. I’m privy to some of it. But I don’t know. I think division games are division games and you play each other twice and so you just naturally have a whatever it is, familiarity, and sometimes that brings certain things. You play a guy a certain number of times, but I don’t see it any more than any other team in the division.”What’s up with Eric Wright?
“Not sure if he’ll play or not. He’ll be with us and I’ll have to make a decision.”Is that a game-day decision?
“I don’t know yet. Might be tomorrow.”Is there anything physical that as an organization you don’t want him playing?
“No, it’s more we just what we think is the best thing to do at this time of year for our team to win. That’s about it.”
Is Josh Freeman trying too hard to make plays?
“Trust your training, if he said that, that’s really what I feel. When he trusts his training he’s impeccable. I mean, he really does a good job. He’s just to stick to the plan and I’m confident he will.”Is it just a coincidence that the tailspin started with a loss to Atlanta?
“No, I don’t think there was any one moment where all of a sudden it was, oh boy, here we go. I think it a cumulative effect of things and I can’t even tell you what those things are but certainly when you win five in a row and then you lose five in a row, there’s a lot doubt, it’s frustrating. So maybe a couple of months from now, when I look and reflect and get away from it a little bit and start to examine it and I’m peeling it away I’ll be able to give you a better answer. But without a doubt, it’s been frustrating at times, especially when there have been opportunities to win games since then, very winnable games and we didn’t do it. And as I’ve said all along, that goes back to the head coach. It is my job, when there’s winnable game, to win them and we didn’t do that. That’s why it’s uniquely frustrating for me personally. But the one thing I know is, if you keep tending to your knit and do what you’re supposed to do, when you have talent around you it will get fixed and it will.”How much have you made the opportunity to finish the season with a victory after the last few weeks a part of your message to the team?
“I know these guys are competitors. I know that it will be nice to end the season with a victory. The opportunity lies in front of us and we got to go do it. Not sure what to expect. Who to expect nor do I care. I know what we need to do and that is play Buc football. If we do that, whether they play their starters the whole game or they don’t play them at all, we are going to be in the football game and have an opportunity to win it. That’s if we do it. That’s what we have to do. We have to go out and do it consistently. That’s the word that keeps coming up. Not for a quarter. Not for 70 percent of the plays, but do it over and over and over again. Every guy doing their job and every coach doing their job and that’s when you play winning football. We have done it. If we had not done it then you are talking about something, but we have done it. We know how to do it and we need to do it consistently.”Is there any part of you that looks at this last month and how hard you have worked the guys is there any part that says this is a tired football team?
“I don’t think they are a tired football team. I think the number of reps we do are very, very selective. I don’t know if there is an NFL football team that is doing less. Maybe I got to examine that, but I do think we utilize walk through and jog through as a substitute for live repetitions to try to save their legs. Some of the things we do on Fridays we are running with hats on not even helmets so that no one will get physical. I think we have made every attempt to keep our guys fresh. I do know that is the key when you have talented guys over a long period of time that—you know some of them are older. I don’t feel that, but you know when you lose and you don’t have that emotion because you have lost and you have lost that makes people emotionally tired. When you are winning as we were for five weeks straight it emotionally energizes you. I don’t think that is a physical thing. I think that has been really scrutinized. My captains have done a good job of giving me feedback as far as where do you think we are? What do you think we need to do? If I veer they may say we need to go harder and I say there are some that I worry we just got to pull it back a little bit. Winning cures all. Doesn’t cure all. It covers it up.”Coaching your first game at the Georgia Dome as a Buccaneer head coach what have you heard about playing there with Atlanta being so good at home?
“Well I think most teams when they have home field advantage play better. I don’t think they cheer any better or louder than the Minnesota fans on a Thursday night game. We have done it. We are prepared for it. We have mechanisms in our offense to handle it. We got to go do it now again and do it consistently.”Is it a bigger game for Josh Freeman than anybody else?
“I hope he does not feel that way. I hope that he feels like I am going to go out and trust my training and the results will take care of themselves. I think it is so dangerous when you start thinking of all these result oriented outcomes. If I win then it is a better offseason [or] if I win then I do this. I hope his thoughts are on okay in this play I got to read top down. I am going to make that read. I hope that is where his mind is. All of us have dreams [and] aspirations, but I hope right now on a Friday before a Sunday game that he is locking in on that. You know I cannot tell you that. I can’t get in there. You would like to in all the players minds. I think we keep preaching that it is all about the process. The training and trusting your training then going out on the game day and just letting it fly and really trusting your training. That is where my hope is.”
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