Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano kicked off training camp with a press conference for the media on Wednesday and spoke on a number of subjects pertaining to Year Two of the Schiano era that starts Thursday morning with the first day of camp.Opening Statement:
“Welcome, 2013 training camp. We’re excited. The guys did a good job with the conditioning test. They came back ready to work and that’s what we’re going to do, get better one day at a time.” Did anyone fail the conditioning test?
“No, everybody passed who wasn’t cleared by me with injuries or coming off surgeries, so we’re in good shape.” What are the plans for Revis this training camp?
“He’ll be out there tomorrow. With all the injured guys, we’re going to individual plans for them so Darrelle is going to go through things. He’ll do some stuff but he’s not going to do everything. So he’s going to take a little bit of all the things pretty much, but not a bunch of anything. We’re going to play him back – he’s in good shape. I want to play him back into football shape and cutting and moving with other guys, not just himself. A guy like Darrelle, he’s a professional. He knows what he needs to do to get ready and we’re going to help him and make sure that he’s ready to go when we start. Will anyone have to be placed on PUP (physically unable to perform)?
“No, I don’t think we’ll have anyone on PUP.” How about punter Michael Koenen?
“Mike, he’s going to be fine. Just about a week ago he was chasing his son on the beach and he cut his toe. So he had to get some stitches. Sometimes, right? But it could be worse. So you have a veteran punter who may need a day or three to get well.”
Speaking of toes, how is Carl Nicks and the recovery of his toe injury?
“He’s going to be out there and doing stuff. Parts of things. And then with a guy of Carl’s size, when he’s not doing stuff, we have to get him doing some cardiovascular stuff to keep him in condition to play the game so that when he is able to do everything he can go. But he’ll mix it up. He’ll do some football stuff and then he’ll go with Todd (Torricelli) and his staff and do cardiovascular stuff and you’ll see Davin do the same thing.” What do you have to do to be successful in 2013?
“We have to get better every day. Our systems are in place, our schemes are in place, our players know those things, our rookies have had as much opportunity to get up to speed with it as we can give them, and now we have to go out and get better. Training camp is a time that is solely dedicated to football. The wives and kids and everybody knows, this is training camp and we do it every day. They get a day off every seven days or whatever but then you’re back out there and when you’re not out there (on the field) you’re in meetings or you’re getting treatment so it’s all about getting better at our craft. So we have to make sure that we do it. We can’t have a day where we let it slip away and we miss.” What’s the objective now that the culture change of last year has been established?
“There’s only one goal. Now how you get there, that’s what I talk to the team bout. I’m not going to get into that publicly, what our plan is or the step-by-step progression, but there is only one goal. Thirty-one teams go home each year disappointed and one goes home feeling great. So it’s a lofty goal but every team in the league aims for that.” What does losing cornerback Eric Wright mean for the secondary?
“We made an organizational decision with Eric and like every decision we make, it’s the decision that we think gives us the best chance to win. And those aren’t easy because you get to know people and you get close to them, but again, part of leadership is doing what’s best for the group, for the whole. And sometimes that’s rough. But that’s part of Mark (Dominik's) job, part of my job, it’s part of ownership’s job and we do that. We’re not afraid to do that. I’m confident that Darrelle is going to be fine. No, he hasn’t done it yet since he had the injury, but I don’t think you compromise what you believe is right, the best thing. You don’t do that. Sometimes you have to put yourself out there a little bit and we’re OK with that. I know one thing, Leonard Johnson and Danny Gorrer and Johnthan Banks, don’t anyone try to tell them they’re not ready to go. So I’m excited, I can’t wait to watch them compete.” How well do you think the other guys in the secondary will hold up?
“They better hold up. If we want to win they have to hold up. We have to help them with our pass rush and with an offense that scores points and all those things but they’re going to be fine.” What gives you the confidence in players like Da’Quan Bowers and Adrian Clayborn?
“Well, they’re good players. But they all have to do something that maybe they haven’t done yet. So you talk about Bowers. He’s played at a high level but he’s done it as a situational pass rusher. Now he has to learn how to play down after down and still be a situational pass rusher. So his portion got bigger. Or it’s going to get bigger if he can do it. If he can’t do it then we have to get someone else.
When you look at AC (Clayborn), I know AC can do all the things we asked him to do. We jut have to get him back healthy and I think he is, he feels great, he’s raring to go. And Gerald (McCoy) is Gerald. Gerald is on a mission. I love just watching the way he goes about his business. And we have some young guys and some experience guys at nose guard. That’s going to be a neat competition to watch with (Akeem)Spence and Gary (Gibson) and (Derek) Landri.
"We have guys there that are good football players that have been in this league and are good especially at what we ask them to do in the early downs. Daniel Te’o-Nesheim, he’s done a great job for us. And then you get into the youth, the guys we drafted with Williams Gholston and Steven Means. So you’re looking at guys and I like that feel. Are they grown up and mature? No, not yet, but I love the work ethic and the approach and Gerald leading that group the way he is. So we’ll grow and we’ll get better and, God willing we stay healthy, we’re going to be a much better front later in the year than we are at the beginning. But we’ll be fine.” Can you talk about the signing of Peyton Hillis?
“Peyton, I told him this yesterday. When I took the job, Mark pointed him out to me, because he was out there and available and I liked the way he played and so did Mark (Dominik). So we kept out eye on the situation. We felt like he was a good fit for us right now, with our running situation and our fullback situation and I think he can be a guy that brings some diversity to the position. He can be the ball carrier, he can block, he’s that kind of bigger back. And the guy can rush. In 2010 he ran for close to 1,200 yards, so he’s done it in this league. And I think we needed to create quality depth. We have our guys, but we need to create quality depth and competition as well. If we can keep creating competition at every spot, the cream is going to rise to the top.” How do you feel about the depth you have here?
“I’m not sure anyone has depth in this league. There’s not enough salary cap room to have top depth. You have your guys and then you have the guys that back them up and they’re usually younger and that’s how you fit them under the cap and all that. But I think the key is developing the players in your program. You draft and through free agency you get the right people in your organization and then you develop them. Not everyone is going to be Darrelle Revis, who’s an All Pro. I really like the job that some of our young kids did the second part of last year, coming on. We need to continue that and we need to get some more young guys that can play their way in. Just like Mike. He sits up here after he gets that contract extension, a fourth-round pick, a guy who played his way into it. That’s what we need to do.” What about some of the other players you worked out?
“We did work out some guys and a lot of times you do that to get a look at guys, not just for now but for in case down the road something comes up. Mark and Dennis (Hickey) do a really good job of staying on top of that and feeding me and having all of us talk about it and we felt like there was a chance to work out some guys that – we might need something later on, so let’s get them in now while we can because it’s going to get real busy here, and I thought it was excellent and we end up signing Peyton, and so it was really good.” What can fans expect from watching the open practices?
“Well, they’re going to be physical once we get the pads on. The one thing about the rules in the National Football League is, you don’t get to do any of that in the spring time. So you only have this window and once you get into the season, you only get 11 padded practices. So we’re not going to be foolish or go over the top in any way but we’ve got to play football. And I look at our preseason and I really like the way it sets up. I like our opportunity now. I like our preseason schedule opening up with Baltimore and going up to New England and practicing with them for a few days and then the Dolphins thing in Week 3. I think it’s going to be really good. I’m excited. It sets up well. There are a lot of variables and you never know how they’re going to turn. But the things you can control, our team came to camp in shape. They can control that and they took care of that. They’re all here and they’re all in shape. That’s a good start.” What are you plans for Darrelle Revis in the preseason?
“I haven’t decided yet. I think a lot of it depends on how he looks out there. And that’s a Revis, Schiano, Dominik - we all get together with Todd Toriscelli and the doctors and we say, OK, how are you feeling, what’s the response. He’s played in a lot of football games. But I think he probably wants to play, wants to be with his new teammates, be in this new scheme. So we’re going to balance it all out. But again, when we started this thing with Darrelle, we’re going to make sure we do everything we can so that on opening day, he’s ready to play in New York.” What about some of the other injured guys, what are the camp plans for them?
“Yeah, but I don’t foresee that happening. They’re going to get out there and plays some. They’re going to mix it up. And they’re going to do it out here. They’re going to do it up in New England and probably in some games, too. Again, you’re talking about guys that have played a lot of football, that have performed at the highest level in this game at their position. We just have to make sure that we get them back.
“And no matter what level you’re coaching at, when you go to training camp you start and some guys, three practices into it, they’re ready for the start of the season. Now it’s my job to pull them back. Then there’s other guys you have to whip for 20 practices to get them ready to be in game shape and that I think is where the head coach and his staff have to do a really good job, especially at this level, of driving some, pulling back on others and making sure your team understands to trust us on this. You may look and see this guys not doing this. Don’t worry about what he has to do. If everybody does their job we’ll be ready to go when we hit New York.” What do you foresee as the most intriguing position battles?
“Offensively, the third receiving spot is intriguing. The backup runner is intriguing. Depth on the O-line and tight end. That tight end battle should be interesting. Luke (Stocker) has a little calf, I don’t know if he’ll be full go when we get started. If that’s the case, you look at the positives and other guys are going to get more reps. Luke really came on in the spring and if he can go, great. If it’s in between somewhere, then that’s what we deal with. And as you go the injury report gets bigger and bigger as far as not necessarily a guy missing time, but what he can and can’t do. So you have to manage, certainly during training camp, but all through the season.” What about defensively?
“Defensively, I think the defensive end thing is going to be great. I think I know who’s going to show up, but the depth and how we end up rotating and can a guy go this many plays or is it going to have to be less. Interior, that nose guard battle and then in the secondary, the corner position opposite Darrelle, how is that going to play out? And then our backup safety. We have a lot of good young safeties on this roster and we have to figure out, can’t keep them all. And that’s one of the things Mark (Dominik) and I have talked about. At the end of this training camp, we’re going to have to cut some pretty good football players. That’s hard to do but that’s a good problem to have.”
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