The Buccaneers welcomed the 2012 roster to One Buccaneers Place, as reporting day arrived Thursday. Head coach Greg Schiano spoke with the media about what he is looking for in his first season, and also talked about the conditioning test and an injury to offensive tackle Donald Penn.
“It was a good start. Everybody was on time last night. Reporting in everybody’s here. A couple things, Donald Penn strained his calf training when he was out in L.A. He has been here a couple days getting that treated, but I am not sure how long that will keep him from participating. Da’Quan Bowers as we talked about is rehabbing, but I don’t think there is anyone else from an injury standpoint, everyone else is in pretty good shape.
“We did the conditioning test this morning. They were weighed in and tested. I won’t get into the specifics of exactly what is going to be done for guys who did not meet the minimum standard. We have a minimum standard that we set and if it is not met then there are consequences. But until I talk to the individual players – that stuff is something that we do. I think you play your way into football shape once you get to training camp, but you have to have a base level of cardiovascular conditioning to be able to play your way into football shape. Body weight is another thing that I think is important and we give goal weights that we come to scientifically by calculating body fat and those kind of things.
“I think we are pretty good. You’re never perfect of course that’s the nature of putting together 90 guys, but overall I was pleased with the recording weights. That’s all we did so far, I’m looking forward to getting into meetings and getting into football this afternoon.”Can you talk about Penn’s injury?
“Yeah, he called me the other day and informed me and Todd Toriscelli. We got him back a little early so Todd could treat him and sure enough he has a calf strain. I think a little more than days, maybe a couple weeks, we will play it by ear.”
What is the Bucs depth situation at tackle?
“Well Dotson is there and then Meredith and then we have the young kids. We were originally with 15 linemen coming into camp and now we are at 14 lineman until Donald comes back.” What were the requirements of the conditioning test?
“It is 16, 110’s by three groupings – skill, combo and line. You have to make a certain time at rest ratio. It’s not easy, it’s not impossible; it’s a test that allows us to get a clear measure of cardiovascular conditioning. You have to train for it or you are not going to pass it.”What was the success and failure rate?
“There will be a day where we show up here the first day and every guy will make it, but we are not there yet. That will happen. I wanted it to happen today you know as a coach that is something that you expect, but we will get there. There’s no panic we will get our guys into shape. The one nice thing about NFL preseason is that you have more time to do it. Really what it does is it makes training camp harder on those guys. There are additional things that they have to do; there are conditioning things that they have to do. Training camp is hard enough. Really there is only a limited amount of energy and effort that guys can supply so when some of it has to go to this supplemental conditioning then it’s not going to football. That is what I do not like about it.”Can you share the minimum requirement for the test?
“You have got to make you’re times, that’s all it is. It varies by those three groupings because they are different body types and usually with those different body types comes different speed capabilities.”Did the players knew it was coming:
“Yeah sure, you don’t spring it on them as a surprise.”Does it disappoint you knowing that they knew and some of these guys didn’t pass?
“You need to put it in context. Any team that has a conditioning test very rarely do they show up and everybody passes it. That is the way it is. Like I said, there will be years where we do have that and there will be years where there will be one or two guys who didn’t pass it, but we are not there yet. So yeah am I disappointed sure, but again it’s all about learning the way we do things now. I think guys will learn that it’s not negotiable. This [is] not the first time I have introduced it to a group and not had perfect compliance. Sooner or later they will get it, so we’ll get it.”With this being the first training camp with this team, what are some of the priorities that you are going into with this team?
“Well, goals…I don’t know if it is a particular position group or that kind of thing. Especially that this is our first training camp. The number one thing that we need to do is we need to grow together as a team now. You are in OTAs and you have guys in and out. Then you get into some mandatory things and we had very good attendance, but still it is not like every guy every day. Now we are in it. There are no other distractions. Nothing else. We are here for one purpose and it is to get our football team ready. So as we do that and we pay the price together because it is not easy. It is not easy for coaches. It is not easy for players [or] for anybody involved. It is hard work [and] that’s when you start to grow closer and get that chemistry. When you pay the price for something it makes it a lot harder to relinquish it. That’s what we got to do. We got to pay the price together here. Training camp isn’t that long anymore. If you really look at it it’s 20 something days and now you break camp and then you are more into the season mode. Those 20 something days, we have got to make count.”For those players who didn’t pass the test just to clarify they can practice, but they have additional stuff to do conditioning wise or are they not able to practice until they pass the test?
“You know I will get into all that tomorrow. It may get announced later this afternoon what we are doing with each kind of different thing, but I want to talk to them before I talk to anybody else. If you understand."Who else besides Donald Penn is physically unable to go tomorrow?
“Right now Da’Quan Bowers. Then if guys once I visit with the staff and with the trainers – there are a whole lot of reasons. I don’t know all the reasons why someone maybe didn’t make it. Maybe they didn’t make it because there was a health issue. So then I will be able to better understand that. They still got to pass it though that’s the thing.”What about Gerald McCoy?
“Yes he is fine. I don’t think there is any problem there.”Do you have a team meeting this afternoon to address the entire team together?
“Oh yes we have actually a bunch of meetings. One of them at one o’clock and then we kind of just move through.”What is the message of the day?
“Oh, just getting started. The message is the same message we talked about in the spring time. Who we are. What we are going to be and how we are going to get there. You just got to keep reinforcing it and you got to do it. Talking is one thing [and] doing is another.” Do you think they got the message and seeing what you are all about?
“I think our guys understand. The only reason I do anything is if it will help us win games. There is no other ulterior motive. I don’t care about the others. Is it going to help us win games and be the organization we want to be? And if not then its fluff. There is no need to have it. The stuff that I do think helps win games we are going to emphasize. Again those are non negotiable things. That’s the kind of DNA of who we are.”Eric LeGrand retired today can you address the situation?
“Yes. Eric (LeGrand) is typical Eric. He wanted us to be at full strength. Obviously we know he was not going to play, so at some point he wasn’t going to be — he was going to retire. But he said, ‘Coach, let’s get 90 guys on our team.’ He is hook line and sinker. He is all Buc and he wants to see us win so typical Eric.”What is your reaction to Penn State situation in general?
“Well I have been asked about that before since that has come out. I think it is an incredibly tragic event. For sure. The whole series of events for a lot of people. Starting with the victims and then all the way through. I don’t think it does any good for people who are not directly involved to become [involved] because it seems like everybody has an opinion on it. So I have taken the stance [of] yes I was there, but I really – I keep them in my prayers and don’t really make it part of my public you know speaking about it. I have kind of said that already to a lot of people so I am going to stick to that.”-Lauren Levine and Mark Cook contributed to this report
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