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December 31, 2013 @ 12:39 am
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Schiano Takes Blame For Team's Failures: "It Didn't Work"

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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The Glazer family made the decision early Monday to fire head coach Greg Schiano and general manager Mark Dominik after a 4-12 season. Schiano held a press conference late on Monday to say goodbye and to discuss his tenure in Tampa.
After being relieved of his duties as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers earlier in the day, Greg Schiano held a press conference at the Renaissance Hotel on Monday afternoon to discuss his time in Tampa.

Below is a full transcript from that press conference.

(Opening Statement)

“Guys thanks for coming out, I appreciate it. I want to take this chance to thank some people; first and foremost the Glazier family for giving me the opportunity to be part of a great organization like the Buccaneers, and to give me an opportunity to coach in the National Football League. It was quite an honor, and I enjoyed every day of it.”

“I would like to thank Mark Dominik, and the people in the front office. They were great to work with. Our coaching staff, I love our coaching staff, they were tireless, came in everyday and did everything they could to help us win. Connect with the players, sell the vision, and I appreciate that. Our support staff same thing,our trainers, our equipment people, just really great people.

“And last but certainly not least our players. We had a great group of players in that locker room and I really have a lot of faith and belief in them. They’re good men.

“Now, we didn’t get it done and I accept full responsibility for that. I’m the head football coach and it didn’t work. But having said that, I’m really proud of our coaches and  players in the way that they hung together, fought through adversity, and adversity there was plenty of. And never was there any finger pointing, and all of that stuff that goes along with it sometimes. I’m proud of that. I’m proud of the culture that we’ve developed here. In two years I’m really proud of that. The way these guys work, the way they approach their job. The way they approach being a part of the community, this Tampa Bay community.

“On the field I think were closer than people think. Defensively, up until that last game I thought we were really solid. Offensively, devastated by injuries, and I try to stay clear of that. but when you look at it, when half your offense production from last year is sidelined early on,its just a tough road. We truly believe in playing complimentary football and it was hard to do that this year. But I don’t think that’s anybody’s fault, I think it’s an unfortunate set of circumstance. Special teams I thought were solid, but at the end of the day we didn’t get it done.

“I want to thank one last group and that’s our fans, we have passionate fans here in the Tampa Bay area, and those fans supported us right until end, and I want them to know that I appreciate the way that they accepted me and my family into the Tampa Bay community, because it’s a special place. You all know that living here, and I do want to thank everybody that I’ve mentioned. And with that I would like to open it up to questions because I think that you guys have been fair, and that what we started out when I first arrived we sat down we said look everybody’s got a job to do, I understand that, and everybody been more than fair, and hopefully I’ve done the same with you, and I'll answer anything I can today.”

(On if knew there was a possibility he would be fired)
“I did not know this morning when I met with the squad, and you never know if you’ve finished what we finished. Not naive either, it’s the National Football League and they brought me here to win. I did not know, so I met with the team the way I would. I woke up this morning fully focused on the future, leading the Buccaneers to championships, and that’s what I tried to express to our players. I was proud of the way they handled everything this year. We don’t reflect a lot during the year, we move on to the 16 one-game seasons, move on to the next one-game season. But, I felt this team meeting was a time to reflect, and I thanked them, talked a little bit about where I thought we were headed, what we needed to do to get there. And then each player sees their coach before they leave. Each player fills out a detailed questionnaire than I use for offseason evaluation. So we went right along on our way then I was called to come down to the office, and the rest is history.”

(On being surprised that he was let go)
“I woke up this morning, planning on being the head coach for the Bucs, so that tells you that I believe that this was going to take some more time, but I understand when I got into this thing, I’m a big boy and understood what I was walking into. The National Football League, a quarter of the coaches turn over every year, and did I think that we had an opportunity to move this forward? I still do think whomever takes over this job is taking over a good situation, a real good situation. And had I been coming back, I would be excited about the potential of this team and where we’re headed, but I’m not.”

(On what is next for him)
“Like I said, I woke up this morning planning on being the coach of the Bucs, so I haven’t had a lot of time to think about what I want to do. Literally, as I’ve just mentioned, as I was meeting with players and trying to get everything taken care of today in exit interviews and then wham. So I’m a little bit kind of getting through today, then I'll take some time. I know I'll lean on my wife and my kids, my family, and my faith, and kind of figure out where the next stop is for us.”

(On what the conversation was in the meeting with ownership)
“We talk all the time, myself, Mark, and the ownership. Today was more of a, like I’ve said, people own the football team. There are 32 owners and when they make a decision that’s their decision and certainly their prerogative. So again, I thank everyone for the opportunity they gave me. I really do, I dealt with mostly Joel, Brian, and Ed, but knew all of the family, and they’ve been nothing but supportive to me and my family from the day we got here.”
(On if he had any regrets)
“Sure, in our best games and in our best seasons I’ve always had things that I’d like to go back and change. You never call a perfect game. You never coach a perfect season. But what I’ve said is, at the time, with the facts you have, you make the decision you make. And those decisions are based on all your planning, all your experience and all the support people you have around you to give you information and their opinions, but then the difference between being a leader and being an also-ran is when you’re a leader, you have to pull the trigger. You have to make the decision. And I love that part of being a head football coach, that you have to make the decision and certainly there are some decisions I’d like to go back and change.”
(On if he would have preferred to start the season with Glennon over Freeman)
“That whole thing, that whole situation is a very, very tough situation. I don’t think there was any good way that was going to work unless it went the way that we thought it might go and that’s being very productive. When it didn’t, that’s a very tough situation. We make decisions at the Buccaneers collaboratively as a group. Especially big decisions – myself, Mark Dominik, our ownership. And one part of the job I really, really enjoyed was the open conversation and discussion, but once a decision is made, as I ask my coach and players to do, once a decision is made, whether I agree or disagree, or somewhere in between, once it’s made I’m going to execute that like it’s my own decision. So in essence it really doesn’t matter because that’s how I believe organizations should be run and that’s what I demand of people who work for me, and that’s what I would do with people that I work for.”
(On if he was stunned by the news)
“I think I’d be a naive, right? We ended up 4-12 and speculation all year long, so stunned isn’t the word. But I woke up this morning full expecting to plow ahead and I was actually looking forward to get this week through and take a short break and get back at it, so now I probably have a little longer break than I was planning. But it’s OK. Everything is going to work out.”
(On what aspect of the job he was most proud of)
“I think really establishing the culture that is here now. I can’t tell you the number of times, whether it’s in a hotel we’re staying at on the road or whether it’s something in this community, the number of emails, phone calls and text messages that I get from people that are just so proud that this is their team and these are their guys. This is what Buccaneers football is supposed to be. And that was one of my goals. To return it to that kind of feel, that kind of culture and I believe it is. I believe that was a big undertaking and one that has moved very well, but again, and I can’t press this enough. My responsibility is to win football games in the National Football League and we didn’t win enough games.”
(On what he felt went wrong)
“Well, we didn’t win enough games. That’s what went wrong for me personally and our staff. But in that there is so much that went wrong. I don’t know if I’ve ever been a part (of something) where more has gone wrong. From 17 guys on the IR to things that were mentioned already, it’s just, sometimes you can sit back an say, this can’t be real. But it was and being here today is real. And again, I go back to how proud I am of our guys, our coaches and our players, of just taking adversity head on and, it’s not easy when people are just, that’s not good enough, we’re not winning, believe me, everyone gets that. I get that. But these guys stuck together and everybody worked their tails off. We just didn’t get it done. We didn’t win enough games.”
(On what he enjoyed the most)
“I can tell you, I have enjoyed every single day on this job. I mean, literally, even some of the toughest days that people would say, are you crazy, because it’s ultimate level of competition in a game that I love and think teaches more lessons than anything in life. And to be a head coach at the highest level. There’s only 32 of them, I thoroughly enjoyed it, I learned a ton, anytime you get to do something, it’s similar to the first time I was an assistant coach in this league, you grow exponentially and I think I’ve done that as a head coach, and I’m excited about using all the experience I’ve been through moving forward, wherever that takes me.”
(On QB Mike Glennon)
“It’s no secret to you guys. I think the world of Mike Glennon. I think he’s an excellent quarterback. I think in a very, very tough set of circumstances, this guy performed a very high level. He’s ultra-intelligent, he can make every throw. You can say we didn’t do this or we didn’t do that, but here’s a guy who threw two touchdown passes in eight games. I don’t know if that’s ever been done by a rookie, so that’s pretty impressive. And especially on an offensive football team that, if you look at the year before, I guess, half the yardage came from Doug Martin and Mike Williams and that wasn’t playing healthy most of the year. Yet Mike overcame that and did what I thought was an excellent job. So what I mean when I say, moving forward, whoever gets the opportunity to be a part of this great franchise is going to have a guy that they can lean on.”
(On regrets he may have had about the Freeman benching)
“It lends I think to the question that Tom asked. When we make decisions, we make them as an organization and at the time we made it with all the information we had and so, I don’t look back on those. I go forward and I’m part of something bigger. It’s not Greg Schiano’s team, it’s the Buccaneers. So I’m part of something bigger than just myself.”
(On if he talked to Mark Dominik who was also let go)
“I did have an opportunity to talk to Mark. Mark and I have grown very close over the last two years. I think he’s an excellent general manager. I think he’s a guy who’s a young, bright, rising star in this business. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out here for either one of us. I’m confident that he’ll rebound.”
(On if he has any plans of getting into broadcasting)
“I woke up this morning planning on getting ready for 2014. I have not had one minute to think about anything with my future. That is going to be lean on my family and lean on my faith and figure out (the future). Football coaching certainly is what I do. It’s not who I am. It’s what I do. I spend an inordinate amount of time on it. I’ve got to settle down and see what’s next.”
(On if two years was enough)
“It doesn’t really matter what I feel. That is, right now, the National Football League. There was a coach let go with one year. I should consider myself fortunate that I got two years. That’s the way it is.”
(On any lessons learned)
“I think this (pointing to the media) is a really real part of being a head football coach, much more real than any other time in my career. When I say that, I don’t say that despairingly or resentfully. This is a big part – managing the message. I’ve always felt very good inside the locker room and with your coaching staff. But I’ve learned a lot even with this. You guys, I can thank for that.”
(On what pieces  the team is missing)
“Unfortunately, that’s not my job anymore. I’m going to let them figure that out. They can get that done. I’m sure they will, too. They’re bright people. They will get it figured out.”
(On saying goodbye to some of the players)
“I did get an opportunity to see some, because as they left and some guys came back, I got to share with them. But they know how I feel. There’s a lot of stuff out there – the discipline and the toes on the line and all that nonsense. The reality is they know I care about them as people and as football players. Sometimes, maybe I can be a pain in the rear end, because I want them to be the best they can be in everything they do – not just lining up to play football. Our players know that I care about them – not just me, but our whole coaching staff. A bunch of them have reached out and expressed (gratitude). I’ll keep that private, but it has been good.”
(On his perceived personality)
“I would say I’m detail-oriented. Sometimes, that gets confused with hard-*censored*. When you’re on a field, a 120-yard field and there are people spread all over it, if you want to communicate, you’ve got to be loud. And I don’t have any problem raising my voice level. Always respectful, in my opinion. I coach the action.”
(On if he felt he was misunderstood)
“I don’t know. It’s up to you I guess. I’m a husband and father, just like a lot of you out here. I’m a football coach. That’s my job. I think football is a game of details. Yes, it’s a game of physicality, emotion, all those things. But it is truly the most detail-oriented game there is. That’s why I love it. It takes 11 people to move simultaneously in concert. That’s what we coach. Sometimes, guys get frustrated by that. I’ll be honest – a step here, an angle here, an eye placement there. But I believe that’s the fine line, because in this league … everybody’s talented. What’s going to separate – the details and how much you care about each other, who you’re playing for.”
(On the NFL being a QB-driven league and if that was what was missing)
“I think we did get it right. I just think we got it right late. I think we got it right. This guy is going to be really good. He’s not going to be good with me, but he’s going to be really good. I just think we got it right late.”
(How difficult the criticism was for him and his family)
“I took it, and I did not refute it. But most of it was untrue and hurtful to say the least. Not for me. I’ve got thick skin. I’ve been doing this 26 years. But hurtful for people who care about me. But there just needs to be more accuracy in things that are reported. I’m not talking about here. I’m talking about in general. You just can’t fly with it and go with it because it sounds good, and it’s a good story. One guy makes something and everybody follows it. It’s not fair, but that’s what I meant when I said, ‘Managing the message.’ That’s a huge part of this job without a doubt. There are a lot of mistruths. Maybe I should stand-up. But when you do that, it looks like you’re just trying to cover your own rear-end. I don’t know if you win that game.”
(On what he feels he will leave behind)
“I think we’re leaving behind a football team better than when we got here. I think we’re leaving behind a culture that this city really wants. And more than this city, this whole Tampa Bay area. I love it here. It’s a great place. We’ve been accepted, the kids and everybody. I think everybody for that. I really do. I think it’s going to be fun to be a Buccaneers fan moving forward.”
(Closing statement)
“Everybody in this room has been very fair to me. I really believe that. We don’t always agree, but I want to thank you for the coverage that you’ve provided to us and the relationships that you and I have developed. They’re not going to go away. I plan on being in this game for a long time, and I’m sure you guys as well. A good friend of mine said something that really made sense once. He said, ‘This is just a bend in the road. It’s not the end in the road.’ So, thanks.”

Last modified on Tuesday, 31 December 2013 01:10

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  • avatar

    I agree with Horse. This team was a wreck under Raheem and Schiano straightened out the culture. It's a shame that didn't translate into wins but it would have been interesting to see that culture at work, with a different coordinator or two, next year. In the end however I understand the decision. Please please please stop with the Dungy worship, he also hit his ceiling here (until Manning carried him over it) and it was frustrating to live through. And anyone still defending Freeman at this stage needs to have their heads examined, he's not the answer to anything, just ask the folks in MN who had to be stunned by how disappointing he is on a professional and likely personal level. Go Bucs, but leave Dungy, McKay, Lovie and Freeman out of the conversation.
  • avatar

    Well the coach I believe thought he had another year to work the pluses and the minus out. But He and the GM is gone. I WANT LOVIE SMITH AS THE HEAD COACH AND HOW ABOUT TONY DUNGY AS THE GM! GO BUCS 2014 AND BEYOND.
  • avatar

    To many other successful endeavors coach. You sound like a good principled man.
  • avatar

    Bleed orange - very nicely stated, perfectly sums up why schiano had to go
  • avatar

    I think Schiano is more built for the college level and will have some success doing it but to me the stage of the NFL was to big for his "my way or the high way" personna which led to his demise when you have had success at the NFL level like a Coughlin, Pacells, or Belichick you can be that type of coach but when your a rookie or second yr coach who is hasn't won anything it just rubs people the wrong way. i do think he is a better coach than Raheem Morris who was way out of his league but his hard nose personality and bush league style of play (rushing the kneel down) was ridiculous and made us at times a laughing stock around the league. I am not sold on Glennon as our future qb and would like to see a qb drafted in the first 3 rounds as insurance, lets just hope we get lucky and find someone who can solidify the position
  • avatar

    He is a good man and will be successful heading forward in his career in college or pros.
  • avatar

    I don't know Schiano personally so cannot speak to his integrity or anything else. I will only speak about what he produced for all to see and it was not nearly good enough to remain as the HC. His game planning was poor and he was either unable or unwilling to adjust not just during the game but from opponent to opponent. His willingness to maximize his players strengths' was also poor. Say what you will about Freeman - yes, he's a complete mess - but he still passed for 4,000 plus yards last year with 27 TD's, a couple of come-from-behind wins and led the 9th ranked offense in 2012. Schiano had three years of tape on Freeman and one year up close and personal. He knew what he was best at - few reads, moving pocket, throwing in the run or just plain running. Yet Schiano didn't want that and jammed him into something that had no chance of success. He states that he executes the decisions of the organization? Well he did and he didn't. He played Freeman but in a scheme that was doomed and refused to alter it. He brings in Glennon and basically spends all off-season grooming him rather than preparing the starter the Glazers and Dominick wanted to see playing. He preaches competition at every position yet flat out states that Glennon would have been the unquestioned starter next year even with all his very obvious problems - something he refused to do with Freeman. Last year while the secondary was getting shredded, he stuck with a heavy man-coverage scheme when it was obvious we didn't have the personnel for it. He didn't deem it necessary to adjust until a meaningless game at the end of the season. No, Schiano may be a wonderful guy but he is not an NFL caliber coach capable of winning. So he's gone and good riddance.
  • avatar

    Schiano was needed to clean up the team and make it a professional football team again, so lets give him credit for that. Thank you Greg. The scheme's on offense and defense just didn't work because there was no error for game time corrections and that's what did it all in. I respect the person and he did try his best. I believe that his future is bright in the college ranks. He still gets another 9 million, so he can eat a little pride for all that money to provide security for his family.
  • avatar

    Thank you Glazers for firing this coach. He was a good guy but a bad coach. I couldn't be happier. I am totally bummed that Schiano ran Josh Freeman out of town who is way better than Glennon. If Josh had a problem with waking up on time, they should have gotten him some counseling or help. Hell the Packers didn't dump Farve when he was hooked on pain killers. I am not saying Josh is in the same league as Farve but he was the best QB in the history of the Bucs. Josh was totally mishandled from the beginning. He had a different offensive coordinator every year and a different QB coach every year. Some of his QB coaches were not qualified and never even played quarterback. That is not how you groom a talented QB. Now Schiano won just enough games this year so we won't get a top QB prospect in the draft and Glennon is not the answer. We could be in trouble for a long time unless we trade up this year and get a top QB in the draft.
  • avatar

    Schiano ran Josh out of town... ROFLMAO at that one. Josh's clearly in need of help Kenlola. The only way Josh Freeman is even in the NFL next year is if he either gets help from a shrink or he gets off whatever substance he's abusing.Freeman couldn't beat out to pretty bad back up quality QBs in Minnesota for a reason... Josh is broken. Schiano didn't make him miss the team photo, not use an alarm clock, ect when 20 mil in guaranteed dollars where on the line. It is one thing to not do well at your job because you don't like your boss. It is a psychological or chemical disorder that makes you not be able to man up for a year or two. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- And Josh and his agent let it happen in a contract year. Wow.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I feel bad for Josh because he should have been drafted in round 3 or later where QB's who never took snaps under center and can't throw an accurate ball usually land. That would have gotten Josh appropriate expectations and years of coaching to try and get him to not throw lazy (at different times dropping his hand or elbow and/or shoulder while being flat footed basically from day one). If Tom Brady didn't get taught to do boxing drills when he got to the NFL he might have stayed the big slow lazy statue he was in Ann Arbor and Gisele would still be waiting to meet me :-) Now I fear Josh has far bigger problems then having the release point accuracy of Fernando Rodney.
  • avatar

    Roland, I couldn't have said it ANY better!
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