The day after game press conference is never an easy one for a head coach if he is on the losing side. Buccaneers Greg Schiano, like many last season, had another on Monday and he looked visibly upset with many topics.
In particular, Schiano expressed his displeasure with the way the game was handled from a communications angle.
“The very beginning of the game was excellent,” Schiano said. “We open with a three step pass to Mike, get the flow going and we’re kind of going off the script the way you want, then we get penalized. There’s a communicator issue, but you know what, that has to be overcome. We have mechanisms in place for that which we didn’t employ efficiently.
“We did have an issue earlier this season so we even upped our pre-game preparedness stuff with the communicators, added another step to the regimen to make sure they’re working so, it’s unfortunate, but when it happens, because it’s going to happen, we need to quickly without going into the details of what exactly the procedures are, we need to quickly go to that because the 40-second clock doesn’t care that you don’t have a communicator. So it was disappointing that we didn’t do that. And we need to be able to make sure that we can do that efficiently in a 40-second time.”
When issues like those rear their ugly heads, the job of improvising and get a play called would — in certain scenarios — goes to the quarterback. Coach Schiano addressed that as well stating Josh Freeman had the ability to do so, if all the procedures were followed.
“Not going to go into all the details of it, but what happens is, you need to first communicate that you’re not hearing anything,” Schiano said with a look of disappointment. “And then after that a string of procedures occurs, which again, I won‘t go into all the details but part of that is Josh has the ability to call his own play rather than burn a time out or take a delay of game.
“I would have preferred to use the step before that. If worse comes to worst, that’s a last resort. He knows what to call but I prefer to get the play in by another method.”
Schiano's disappointment did not stop there. While communication issues went on, the Buccaneers were called for two delay of game penalties and a false start which were three of 13 called on Tampa Bay for the day. That did not go over well with the second-year head coach.
They threw 13 flags and I don’t mean to be a smart alec but the delay of games and that, we just discussed the false starts, inexcusable,” Schiano said. “We can’t do that stuff. The physical penalties, those we better be careful. We need to make sure, we have to play on the edge. That’s the way we play. You have to be smart about it. The strike zone is decreasing in the National Football League. And we have to make sure we stay within the rules. It doesn’t mean you can’t be physical but we have to try to be better that way. Now, some are very obvious and that’s going to be a penalty 10 out of 10 times. Others you look at and say, not so sure. As I tell our team and our coaches, if the flag is thrown it’s a penalty. It doesn’t’ matter what we think. Because the effect on the team and the result is what it is.
“Certainly I’m not OK with how our team played because we lost in a game with 13 penalties. So I’m not OK with how we played. Did it look sloppy? Yeah, some parts looked sloppy. Some parts looked really good. I don’t know if I’ve seen a punting and kicking performance in my 26 years like I saw yesterday from Mike Koenen. It was just tremendous. I thought our special teams played very. very well. Defensively, we made a few mistakes, but hats off to the Jets, I thought they did some creative things to help their young quarterback and to slow us down a little bit but at the end of the day I like the way we’re running and I like the way we’re hitting. We got after the quarterback, we sacked him five times, the pass rush was a major discussion. We sacked the quarterback five times, hit him more times than that. Now that’s a mobile quarterback and they have a center that’s one of the best in the game to navigate and make calls and so there’s a lot of good stuff that we’re going to build on. WE just have to get the stuff that I’m unhappy with and our team is unhappy with and go to work and those are things that we can fix. The procedural things. The frustrating thing to me is we shouldn’t have to fix them.”
The play of the offensive line was also a hot topic.
“Well, that’s going to be the formula to stop our offense,” Schiano said. “That’s no mystery. We have to throw and catch. We missed open guys and then we dropped some passes. We have to protect better. We gave up three sacks but we were also hurried. If people are going to do that, you’re going to have to be able to throw the football effectively, consistently, accurately, move the ball down the field. We did at times, at other times we didn’t.”
All-Pro guard Carl Nicks has been dealing with the MRSA issue for some time and will undoubtedly improve the offensive line once he returns. But his status is still up in the air, as well as the uncertainty of Gabe Carimi starting in his place again.
“Carl is closer. Still don't know if he is going to play this week or not,” Schiano said “That's something that'll be determined later in the week. And I don't know if Gabe Carimi will be the left guard or not either. We'll sort through all that stuff if Carl doesn't play.”
The Bucs already face many question marks after just one week of the regular season. Many stated that the first-team did not get many reps during the preseason and that may have been visible Sunday. Is that a reason for the team's communication problems and to have played the way they did in New York? If it is, Schiano is not concerned with it as he emphatically responded to the question of regret with a simple one-liner.
“No. I don’t regret it.”
-Mark Cook contributed to this report