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December 23, 2013 @ 5:20 pm
Current rating: 3.00 Stars/2 Votes

Schiano On Struggling Offense, Pass Protection Breakdowns

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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The Bucs fell to 4-11 on Sunday losing 23-13 to the St. Louis Rams, and after the game there were a lot more questions than answers. Head coach Greg Schiano stepped up to the podium on Monday and tried to explain some of the issues the team is facing.
Head coach Greg Schiano stepped to the podium in the media center at One Buc Place on Monday afternoon looking like a man frustrated and almost bewildered about how bad things have went offensively over the last few weeks.

Below is a full transcript of what Schiano had to say on Monday afternoon.

(Opening Statement)
“Physical game yesterday, we have some health issues defensively. [Linebackers] Dekoda [Watson] has a groin, Lavonte [David] has an elbow, Ka’Lial Glaud has a knee. Offensively I think we came out of it fairly decent, bumped up a little bit. We’ll he see how [safety] Mark Barron is, obviously not having him in that kind of game was costly. He’s a force coming down out of the – he’s the guy who comes down into the unit and can knock some of those, make some of those [gains of] four [into gains of] two, the way he hits. Hopefully we’ll be able to get him for this last week.

“Watching the tape, certainly we struggled in offensively running the football. We did pop a few runs, but the consistency was the issue. Protecting the passer was a big problem, that’s telling the obvious. I told you guys that I would have liked to take a look at it, because I couldn’t quite understand, as is usually the case it’s not one single thing. If we’re helping and we’re chipping with the back, we didn’t do a great job of surgically chipping on the defensive end and then leaking out into our route, but then other times we did do a good job of doing it exactly right and then in that instance we didn’t protect as well. It was other instances where we had man to man coverage and couldn’t get off the coverage, couldn’t escape with the exception of [wide receiver] Vincent [Jackson], who made some plays, we didn’t have – we struggled to get off of man coverage at times. There’s a lot of things that went into it, but at the end of the day they had seven sacks and certainly that was an issue.

“Defensively we had some gap-integrity issues in the first half. They did some things, but nothing that was schematically that challenging. Physically they did some things that – they claimed some gaps that we traditionally don’t give up, we got it cleaned up, but because of that – and then obviously the personal fouls. We had I think three accepted penalties, but two of them were personal fouls that 10 points came on those drives, whether it’s cause-and-effect or not I don’t know, but they’re 15 yard shots, they’re a chunk play in that drive, that kind of sums it up.

“The kicking game we had our opportunity on that onside as a surprise, small execution error but we felt it was there and it was. We’ve got to play better to beat the Saints for sure.”
(On the defense having to play perfect in order for the team to win)
“Criticize I don’t do. Instruct, that’s more of what I do. There’s certain things regardless of what’s happening on the – certainly we’re struggling offensively, it’s not a secret. Our defense as a football team knows they have a job to do and they need to do their jobs. When we don’t execute our job or when we don’t coach it correctly or when I don’t coach it correctly, that’s when we evaluate and try to correct. I agree with you that there’s not a lot of margin of error. To win – as I said in the San Francisco game, for us to win that game, probably not going to be a 30-something, maybe not even a 20-something, and the same may have been said [for St. Louis]. I actually, going into the game, thought we were going to move the ball better than we did, I thought we would be able to run the ball better than we did.

“Obviously we didn’t play our best game upfront, but we played one of our lesser games upfront this season, which affected us in the run game as much in the pass game. Look at it from pure production though, most of the injuries and most of things have happened to the offensive side. That’s what a team does, they pick each other up.”
(On how hard it is assess quarterback Mike Glennon with injuries on offense)
“It makes it more difficult, but what I try to evaluate is when he can play quarterback, when he is able to play the position, how is he doing? When he’s not able to play a position it’s not his – he can’t do anything about that. Not that he’s perfect when he is able to play the position, but he’s been pretty good when he’s been able to play the position.”
(On what is causing the problems in the offensive protection schemes)
“There’s a lot to that question. Some of it is technique, some of it is execution, some of it is physical mismatch, but that happens in this league [and] some of it is coaching right? We’re not immune to – when there’s issues it’s everybody. Some of it is the threat or lack thereof a passing game, so people can do some things and take some more liberties than maybe they normally might against us. I think, as I’ve always tried to explain is, it’s never just one thing. It’s like all those things and then when you put them together it’s not very good. What do you do? You go back to work and you say ‘Okay we got a combination block on that three technique. Let’s go back to the footwork.’ You always teach from the feet up, ‘Let’s start from the feet up, did we take the proper step?’ No? Well then you really don’t have to talk about the rest of it, because if you don’t take the right step, you’re not going to have the right base regardless if the linebacker flies over the top or if he stays where he is.

“You just go back to fundamentals and teach, that’s what you can do or you can throw it every down and then Mike, he’s not going to be standing. Our approach is you go back to the fundamentals and you don’t hit this time of year, so what do you do? You work on footwork, you work on hand placement, you work on eye placement, all the little details and we’ll improve in our final game. We have to if we’re going to win this game, we have to improve. We can’t go out and do what we did Sunday and think that we’ll win.”
(On moving past teaching fundamentals)
“I don’t think you ever move past fundamentals, no, because if you watch every game on Sunday one of the things lacking most in the National Football League is fundamentals. But understanding of the plays? Sure. The more experienced the guys are that have done it, the more they’re going to understand the play. ‘This’ motion or shift is going to elicit ‘this’ response from the defense, so my angle of entry on this block as a wide receiver is going to be ‘this’. Now, we can tell them what we suspected it to be based on video study, but pre-snap in the game, that particular play, if the safety is right over you right now then it might be a little bit different rotation than we did in the week during practice because they’re rolling their coverage to Vince and now he’s slid over to you more because he’s got you man to man, so how are you going to react? That’s where youth and inexperience can get you a little bit, because they’ve never been in that position. That’s what you have to accept when play guys who haven’t been through it. 

“The flipside is they’re playing their rear-ends off. They are fighting, scratching, and clawing for every inch. As a coach you’re proud of them for that and we just have to keep teaching. I don’t think it’s ever either or, I think it’s both all the time and you just wish you had 26 hours to do it every day, but you don’t.”
(On the teams’ pass protection against St. Louis, particularly handling the overload blitzes from the Rams)
“Well, there’s a schematic thing there. Without going into too much, we have enough to get one of them and not two of them, but we didn’t get any of them. We kind of got both of them and when you get both of them, you get none of them. So what do you chalk that up to? There are a lot of things you can chalk that up to. It wasn’t executed, we didn’t teach it well enough, whatever you want to say, but what happened was it was a bad play in a situation where we had to – look, as tough as it’s been and as tough as it was Sunday, we had every chance to win that football game and that’s what makes it the most frustrating. We’re a team who’s not at full force, but who cares? We had a chance to win that game. We get down to the red zone twice and we come away with field goals instead of touchdowns, period, end of conversation. We make a mistake on a double reverse, is it going to score? No, it’s not going to score, it’s going to gain some yards but you know what, you line up and make them kick field goals the way they did all game. They were 25 percent in the red zone. You play that kind of red zone defense, you usually win the game. You make them kick field goals but, kind of relating to your point, it’s tough because field goals – right now, we’re not scoring a lot of points. That’s what’s tough, we had chances, we had opportunities. It’s not an ideal set up right now but that’s too bad, find a way to win and we didn’t and that’s on me.”
(On safety Dashon Goldson’s personal foul)
“That’s a tough one, that play right there. You could say ‘take a nose dive,’ but that’s not what he’s going to do. And that’s a tough one – high speed, guys moving, changing levels. I think it’s clear that he’s really worked to change his aiming point on his contact, it’s clear to me, at least, I don’t know, I study him every day. Even in practice he works on it as he approaches guys, you can see him lower center gravity even though we’re not in pads to tag him. That’s ‘bang-bang,’ he had no way of avoiding that other than selling down on a guy and possibly missing him or hurting himself. So on that play, it’s unfortunate that it happened but as soon as it happened, it wasn’t like I’m standing there screaming ‘No way!’ The way it’s being called, that is going to get called 100 out of 100 times. It’s unfortunate, but it happened.”
(On cornerback Darrelle Revis)
“Darrelle is a great player, he’s a pro. He can teach, he has taught our guys how to practice, how to play, down on the goal line, third down, we show blitz, they check, Darrelle knows what’s coming, makes the play. It was never a moment during that whole scenario that I said “Oh no, they’re going to get us.’ I totally had confidence that Darrelle was going to cover that play. I knew what they were going to check to. That’s nice to have and I can’t wait. I really am excited about him having a whole offseason and getting to coach him when he’s – he’s been trying to play catch this entire  year and we’ve been trying to help him by resting him here and resting him there and I can’t wait till he has an off season. Training like he normally – he has a whole regimen that he does in the offseason that’s legendary and it’s excellent. When he gets that under his belt, this off season was all about rehab, surgery rehab and trade. Next year; it will be all about prepping for the NFC South receivers. He watches tape and he does his training. But we need him to play big this week for sure. We need him to be the pro that he is this week.”
(On the offensive line)
“We didn’t play well. The components, those guys, I know they can play well and I believe and trust they’re going to bust their rear ends to get ready for this week and they’re going to go out and play but I felt that way Sunday. I believe in them and they believe in us so that’s the way it should be and that’s the way it is. We need to muster it up and go out there and run the football the way we’re capable, protect Mike the way we’re capable, coach better, play better. As I said yesterday, when we do that – we’ve had a chance to win these games we haven’t been able to do it. We’ll have a chance and hopefully we can do it now. We’ve got to play better and coach better.”


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  • avatar

    Against a great Defense with San Francisco the Bucs went to up tempo and no running and quickly wore down their OL. So why didn't Dumbo Schiano at least try that again. A touchdown then would have given the Bucs a spark. We were flat out coached again and Turtle Glennon proved he will never be a Franchise QB. If the Bucs haven't learned their fundamentals from Schiano and his 20 assistant coaches that is all on coaching and Schiano and his inept coaches must be cut. The Saints have to win this week and they will tear up the Turtle and show what expert NFL Coaching can achieve against inept kiddy coaching Schiano style.
  • avatar

    Is it just me, or does Schiano sound like he's having a stroke every time he speaks? Most of his thoughts are not even sentences, and he doesn't answer the question most of the time. And, scubog, I completely agree. How can you not evaluate Glennon when he has been playing for two months now? I'm sure he looks great in practice, but so did Bruce Gradkowski. Time for Schiano to go.
  • avatar

    So, in order to properly evaluate Mike Glennon he needs to be put in a position to "play the position"; meaning everything around him needs to be perfect for him to stand there like a scarecrow until he can read his progressions and throw a two yard pass? Uh, Coach, when everything isn't perfect is when a truly great QB earns his stripes. When plays breakdown they are, in many cases, at their best. Watch how Kaepernick, Wilson, Newton and others are able to make something out of nothing. Here's a tip for you come May............watch Johnny Manziel. Think he'd get sacked 7 times in one game? Think he'd convert only 2 of 35 3rd downs? Glennon is a "classroom QB". We need a gamer.
  • avatar

    Granted, many parts of the team have malfunctioned this year. The times that everything has clicked have been few and far between. However, even with the injuries, the talent on the team is better now than at any time in the last four years. The O-line play has been atrocious. On paper it should be better (same O-Line that protected a 4,000 yard passer and opened holes for a 1,000 yard rusher). Why? The pass rush has been anemic (yet Coach competition let our best pass rusher walk and handed the job to a guy who couldn't beat out Teo-Neshiem). Why? I say it's this HC and his poor game plans. When Schiano repeatedly says this is a well coached team he's trying to place the blame solely on the players. Problem is, the player are executing his game plan it's just that they are awful schemes - predictable, pedestrian, and poorly designed...from game to game it's the same. How can he say he cannot evaluate Glennon? Yes, the protection has been poor and there is no running game BUT look at his inability to read defenses, skittishness in the pocket, indecisiveness as to when to throw, locking on one receiver, complete inability to extend any plays with his legs. There's enough there to make an evaluation. He just doesn't want to admit that his guy isn't playing well. Can Glennon get better? Maybe...but certainly not with the type of coaching he's getting now. Bottom line - Schiano's in over his head. The NFL Is too fast and complex for him and we are suffering as a result. And another thing, Coach stated...find a way to win and we didn't and that's on me. Well, I've heard that 11 times this year - 20 going back to last year. It is on you, Schiano. Make no mistake about it, it is on you.
  • avatar

    Schiano is interested in Penn State but Penn state is not interested in him.
  • avatar

    If anyone would care to read the article I referred to about Schiano here's the link.......... http://www.pennlive.com/sports/index.ssf/2013/12/sign_of_improving_outlook_at_p.html#incart_m-rpt-1
  • avatar

    Coach your next job assignment should be with bureaucrats because you can really throw the bull out there. So now 4 out of 5 OL who have been around for awhile don't know how to take the correct step? They looked pretty good last year even without Nicks and Joseph; so what happened? It couldn't be your coaching or scheme? Surely not....
  • avatar

    Take rumors with a grain of salt, but the latest is that Schiano has his people inquiring about the Penn State job should Bill O'Brien leave for the NFL. I'm in favor of a straight up swap, otherwise sweeten the deal with Dominik to assist in college recruiting! lol
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