The Buccaneers finished with a 7-9 record in Greg Schiano's first season as Tampa Bay's head coach. While it was disappointing to Schiano, he told the media on Monday there were several bright spots to build on and looks forward to a full evaluation of the entire organization before training camp next summer. Below is a full transcript from Schiano's final press conference from the 2012 season.Opening statement:
“Like everything we do, now is a time we were are going to step back, and I am going to start right today, step back, and begin a lengthy evaluation of everything that has to do with Buccaneer football. That evaluation starts with me. I have to first start with everything I have done since we first arrived and then I will work my way through every process, every person, whether it be personnel or methods that we do. Scheme, everything down to travel – everything we do. And that is a lengthy process. I may not be able to answer some of your questions today because without doing an evaluation I don’t know the answer. Every year I have been a head coach I have said this – nothing is untouchable – even me. At the end of my evaluation, if I don’t think I am the best person to be the head coach of the Buccaneers then maybe I won’t be here. I don’t think that will be the case (laughs). But I am the one evaluating so if that’s the case then I am pretty dumb. I will seriously look at every phase. I think it would be irresponsible of me (right) after a six-month sprint to make decisions that are going to chart the course of this organization. Anybody can steer the ship, that’s not hard. Its charting the path that is hard and you need to sure you that you take time to do that. And that’s what we are going to do. I’ll try and answer the questions the best I can. Some of the stuff I just don’t know. And I am not trying to duck anything; I just don’t know what we are going to do. As I do know, through our public relations we will get it out there and get in touch you.”
Is this experience as head coach what you thought it would be?
I’m not sure I really thought about what it would be. I just probably kind of knowing what it was when I was here in the 90’s and … so I guess it is kind of what I thought it would be. Nothing shocks me. I enjoyed the heck out of it. I am grateful and thankful that I got to do it. I do consider it a blessing. And cant wait to … I know I am physically tired and probably mentally tired, but emotionally charged to get (back) going. I am going to force myself to take some time to just get away before I start this evaluation. Even if it is for three or four days to clear your head and look at things. Because I think that is the most critical thing you can do in any organization, is when you finish a cycle – and I just got done with the team and I told them this is the last thing we haven’t done together. Now even though I got hired January 26, we haven’t been through an offseason together where we were directing the offseason. It was kind of everybody doing their thing, then we met together in the spring and now here we go. It is the last thing – and I look forward to getting through this – and now re-doing the cycle. Because I think you get better if you are smart and are willing to look at things and really examine them and be honest. And that’s a big thing right now. We have to be honest with each other. Players, coaches, Mark Dominik, all of us. We have to be honest with each other and say, how are we going to get better? And there are so many ways to do that. I think any organization that just resets the clock and starts again and doesn’t evaluate – without evaluation there is no progress. And we have to do that, and that is going to be the big step that I am looking forward to.”What were your expectations coming into your first season, as far as 7-9, changing culture etc?
“All of the above. Which is not a cop out answer. Anytime I have started anything, whatever the ultimate goal is – that’s my goal. We didn’t win the Super Bowl and I am very disappointed about that. Did I think we could? Yeah, I look at any team. You look at the Super Bowl champs from last year (Giants) and they were 7-7. They were playing into the final week to get into the playoffs they did and then they went on a run. I really felt, why not us? People say why you, and I say why not us? It didn’t happen. So is there disappointment there? Yes. Now am I a silver lining guy? Well there was a lot of positive that happened this year. A ton of positive. And I look at that as that gives me motivation and encourages me and our fans and our team and everybody involved with the Buccaneers that hey, there are brighter days ahead and opportunities to do what the ultimate goals is. Will we realize them? That is going to be determined by how we evaluate things and how we tweak them and how we get better. But I am excited to do that.”How long does this evaluation process take?
“I don’t think it is, okay now the evaluation is done – I think as you go, it is an ongoing process. It would be nice if situation didn’t ever have an impact on the timeline. But it does. So free agency comes along, the draft comes along, all the things when you evaluate – and now you have opportunities to get better. Sometimes there are outside influences that make you make that decision. Maybe you would like more time. Ultimately you have to get the best information you can within that timeline and make the best decision at the time. I have never had a problem, whether it was a game time decision, personnel decision, an in-game decision – you can only use the information you have in that moment what you believe was the best decision. Often times I do look back and second-guess myself. But at the time I never do. If you are prepared and you have the information then you have to make the call. That is another part of leadership. A lot of people can sit back and say I would have done this or I would have done that – well you didn’t. You weren’t there and you didn’t do that. So unless you have done that ... It is easy to say I would have, I would have, I would have. Put yourself in that position once and see what you would have done. So I never look back at any of that stuff. And we will have tough decisions to make. And I am going to use the information and the resources we have – the people we have – we are going to make some tough decisions and then we are going forward.”What did you say to Josh Freeman who had a roller-coaster type season in 2012?
“Well I am going to meet with Josh. I just met with the team collectively at 9 o’clock. You know again, going back to the silver lining, you are right it was an up-and-down year. But 4,000 yards, records all over the place, there are a lot of positives there. Certainly when the expectation level is what we make it, and you don’t reach it, there is also disappointment. Josh is probably his own toughest critic, so I don’t know if anything I am going to tell him is going to shock him. I think perspective and sequencing is what he has to do now until we get back together April 15. First thing he has to do is get away from the game and relax a little bit. Then there is a whole sequencing of things that I think have to happen for him. And we will discuss that and part of that will come out in the evaluation. The No. 1 thing we have to do once my coaches get out of here for a little while is come back and evaluate our own team. I will evaluate the coaches, the coordinators will help me do that, and we will evaluate the scheme as we go throughout the whole winter and spring. But there is certain personnel things that have to be made, like free agency and the draft. So we will have to be intensive in every position, not just Josh, of getting that evaluation as soon as we are back together in just a little bit.”Can you update us on the players who were lost to injury, ho w they are coming along?
“Carl Nicks is mending, Quincy Black is right now, they are still not sure what they are going to do medically. He has been all over – he has been all over the country to the finest people there are. So I am not sure what is going to happen there. Adrian Clayborn is coming along nicely. Davin Joseph is really – it has been a while obviously – but I saw him the other day walking in and he feels good and is excited. The thing I was really impressed with Davin was in his absence of playing, just all the community service things he did. I know he has always done that, but I think he took it up a notch between his rehabbing, I think he really refocused his energy, which is neat to see. A guy who doesn’t wallow in self-pity, he just goes and gets better physically and helps where he can help on the football end of things and really did a good job in the community.”Have you been able to change the culture planned and mentioned when you set your goals?
“We have taken big steps to changing the culture. It is not completely changed. Pro football is a little more difficult to do that in as you constantly have turnover. So you are bringing in guys from other places in the middle of the season. What you need to make is your culture so strong, that anybody that comes in from the outside whether it be rookie, free agent, or in-season signing, that they just get swept up in how things are done. We are not there yet. We are getting closer. This repeat of the cycle is the key. You repeat the cycle of installation of scheme, you repeat the cycle of the installation of philosophy, you repeat the cycle … just going through it daily and just knowing what is acceptable behavior as in the Buccaneer organization. I think that is the key is that when the culture is so established that when you are not living up to that – you kind of glare out there. And it is uncomfortable. And we are not there yet, but we will get there.”Can you evaluate the future of Eric Wright?
“I cant tell you what his future is with the Bucs, because that hasn’t been determined yet. The Aqib decision – Aqib plays for the Patriots now so Ill only talk about the decision to do it (the trade). As I said when we made the trade, I believed it was the best thing for the Bucs organization to get to where we wanted to go. And I think that was encouraging to me is, yeah we went through some tough times, but if you look at the last couple weeks some of those young guys really battled and against two of the best in the league yesterday.”Could you talk about the development of the running game despite major injuries, and also the run defense?
“They didn’t exceed what I expected. I haven’t talked about losing the two guards once all year, but that is a huge loss. You are talking about two of the best in the National Football League. And I literally hope I didn’t talk about it once, what I did say was, that is life, suck it up and get going. There are no second chances; you play with who is here. My hats off to Jeremy Zuttah for moving over to the guard position, which was an unselfish move by him. Jamon Meredith jumping in, Ted Larsen jumping in at center and guys just grinding away and going at it. Was it perfect? No, but really I thought it was a great effort by those guys filling in. Is it exciting to me we are going to get those guys back? Yeah it is very exciting. Doug Martin, I think he was third in the NFL in yards from scrimmage; you are talking about a rookie without his two Pro Bowl guards in front of him doing that. That is exciting to me going forward. You mentioned rush defense. Yeah I know our pass defense isn't where any of us would like it to be, but our rush defense was as good as there ever has been here. So can we build on that? Sure. We can build on that and get the pass defense a little bit better. In special teams area we blocked I don’t know how many punts this year, something you are supposed to be able to that in the NFL, and it was a key play in Sunday’s game. So there are a lot of the things I am excited about. There are a lot of things that when we evaluate them, may not look as good as I think. It is different that looking at it on a Monday, come in watch the game tape, elavauate the players, the scheme, on to the next team. Now you are going to look at every one of the power plays you ran during the year. That is how you evaluate it. You watch it all at once. And you see common threads and themes. You do that when you have a bye-week or you do that when you are struggling in certain areas. But to do that with your entire offense, defense and special teams, it is usually quite revealing. Then you get the opportunity to study the best practices. Who is the best in the league in third down defense? Lets study them. Now we aren’t going to change our scheme, but what do they do that could fit into our scheme that would help us get better. And that is what I mean in an evaluation. There are so many areas, and the one thing that I love – looking forward now is – that is what I get to do now all day, every day. I don’t have to go recruit, I don’t have to go check anything else, I get to that all day and I can’t tell you how excited I am to do that.”Is Josh Freeman your quarterback going forward?
“I’m not all in with myself yet, so how can I be all in with Josh Freeman or any other player. I’m not sidestepping you. What I can say is a 4,000-yard passer, the touchdown record, there are a lot of things that you can say, wow. Are there things that frustrate you? Yeah, but they frustrate him too. And I am not ducking the question because quite frankly I like Josh Freeman and I want to make sure I don’t get ahead of things here and that I really evaluate every single thing to what is best for this organization. Do I think Josh Freeman is going to win Super Bowls in this league? I do. I hope that it happens here. But again at the end of the day I have to evaluate everything before I say that is what we are doing. The one thing I do believe in is competition at every spot including the quarterback. I want to have as many good players on our football team as we can at every single position. It is a little different in the NFL. You can’t have two punters, there’s just not room on your roster. Once you get into the year you can only have one long snapper. But as much competition as we can create throughout the football team rises the level of everything. And its not that they are mentally tough guys or they aren’t competitors, because they are, but it is human nature. When there is competition the level rises and that is something Mark Dominik and I will work tirelessly on trying to put the best 90 players when we go to training camp on our roster."
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