table of contents
- Schiano Will Leave The Bucs Better Off
- To Lay A Foundation, Schiano Needs Bucs' Full Support
- Point-Counterpoint: The Most Important Thing Schiano Brings To Bucs
- PR’s 2011 Bucs Player Grades – Offense
- PR’s 2011 Bucs Player Grades – Defense & Special Teams
- Pewter Prospect: LB Bobby Wagner
- SR's Fab 5 - 2/2
- Pewter Report’s 2011 Buccaneers Season Awards
- Pewter Prospect: RB Isaiah Pead
- End Zone: The Buccaneer Way
He explained his decision to leave Rutgers at this point in time and make the leap to the NFL to coach the Buccaneers. Schiano expressed his trust in general manager Mark Dominik and the Glazer family.
Then Schiano gave fans an overview of what type of football team he was going to build in Tampa Bay. He said it would be built around “a humble, unselfish attitude of sacrifice. It is hard to find that in today’s world, but that’s who we will be.”
Schiano then went on to say that he would put together a great staff of assistant coaches that would be excellent teachers and communicators. Before saying that his offense would run the ball in a physical way and take shots downfield while trying to win the game by playing great defense and special teams, Schiano introduced what he called would be “The Buccaneer Way.”
“Before we get to the X’s and O’s [and] before we get to fundamentals, there is something that I believe is critical [and it] is TBA,” Schiano said. “That is not ‘to be announced.’ It is trust, belief, and accountability. Trust is 100 percent honesty and no room for 99. It’s 100 percent honesty and doing what you are supposed to do when you are supposed to do it. That is trust to me.
“Belief is belief in yourself number one. It’s belief in the Buccaneer way. There is going to be a Buccaneer way and there are going to be Buccaneer men. You’ve got to believe in that otherwise this isn’t the place. And then there is accountability. All those things are great, but as a coaching staff and a team and an organization, we have to hold each other accountable. That is not always easy. That’s where it gets sticky. That’s where it gets tough. That’s my job as the head football coach to make sure that is happening throughout our whole football team and organization.”
Buccaneers fans that are excited about a change from the immature, undisciplined and sometimes lackadaisical approach from the Tampa Bay teams that were fielded under former head coach Raheem Morris are already embracing Schiano’s TBA slogan. Let’s break down each aspect of TBA and apply it to the current roster of Buccaneers.
Some Buccaneers couldn’t trust the words of former Tampa Bay head coach Jon Gruden, but only a handful of those players remain on the current roster. Morris kept it real with the players, and the team had every reason to trust him and his staff. Yet the players didn’t live up to their end of the bargain.
Players that Morris had trust in and gave second chances to in wide receiver Mike Williams, running back LeGarrette Blount, cornerback Aqib Talib and free safety Tanard Jackson had sub-par seasons in 2011 didn’t repay that trust with their preparation and play on the field. Trust has to be mutual. It can’t be a one-way street.
Morris was too trusting of some of his players and they let him down. Expect Schiano, who doesn’t have any ties to this roster outside of former Rutgers players guard Jeremy Zuttah and defensive end George Johnson, to be a bit more wary and making the Bucs earn his trust by doing what they supposed to do and doing what they say they are going to do.
The young Buccaneers clearly lost confidence in themselves and in what they were doing offensively and defensively. With 10 straight losses to end the season there is no doubt about that. It’s Schiano’s job to inject some confidence and get them to believe in his system, their teammates and themselves.
By using the term “The Buccaneer Way” there is no doubt that Schiano is attempting to model his professional team after close friend Bill Belichick, who has created “The Patriot Way” in New England. With the Patriots as the NFL model franchise, who on Tampa Bay’s roster wouldn’t naturally want to buy into a set a beliefs and values that are similar to a Super Bowl champion’s and those of a current Super Bowl contender?
At the end of the year as the players were cleaning out their respective lockers, it was easy to tell that the Buccaneers were ready for a fresh start and a do-over in the 2012 season. It’s clear that some players gave up on the 2011 season during the 10-game losing streak, evidenced by several blowout losses, including one at Jacksonville where Tampa Bay was up 14-0 before being outscored by 42 straight points.
The Bucs have no reason not to buy in to what Schiano is saying in 2012 because whatever the team did last year wasn’t working.
Schiano said this one is the stickiest of all. The old way of doing business at One Buccaneer Place needs to change. When players are late for meetings or miss the team bus on game days the front office dishes out monetary fines. The same thing happens when players get arrested for DUI or run afoul of the law in different ways.
It’s time for the Bucs to start making examples out of the players that do things that have a consistent, negative impact on the football team. Cornerback Aqib Talib has had his share of anger management issues and that should no longer be tolerated no matter how talented he is. Schiano needs to send a message to his football team that accountability means you lose your job when you don’t do your job. And one of the jobs of the Buccaneers players is to be a good citizen and role model, not someone who gets arrested.
Tampa Bay desperately needs accountability, and Schiano must implore general manager Mark Dominik to be more aggressive with the roster and not be afraid of cutting players.
When was the last time the Buccaneers cut a player in-season over poor performance – not including a fringe roster player that is just a special teams contributor? The reality is that if a player makes the opening day roster in Tampa Bay he will likely stay on their the whole season unless he winds up on injured reserve.
That’s ridiculous and sends the wrong message to a team full of young players that are naïve enough to think that each of them will have a 10-year career in the NFL. Former NFL and college coaching legend Jimmy Johnson was famous for cutting players and making examples of them to the rest of the team. He ruled the Cowboys and Dolphins with a healthy mix of fear and respect and the players usually responded favorably to that approach.
Young teams like the Bucs need to realize that the NFL is a business and that the players have to be professionals and continually earn their jobs and spots on the roster. This isn’t college where players are on scholarship no matter how well or poorly they perform.
Under Morris, the environment at One Buccaneer Place was relaxed and cushy for the players. There was no fear of starters losing their starting jobs or players losing their roster spots. Under Schiano, the environment needs to be one where players must be accountable for their performances with the consequence being losing their jobs.
Schiano and his coaching staff will primarily be responsible for ushering in trust and belief, but Schiano and Dominik will have to work in concert on the accountability part. Dominik can get too attached to his draft picks and free agents at times for ego’s sake, and he too must have trust and belief in Schiano and be ready to pull the trigger to hold players accountable when the time is right.