Attention to details has been Greg Schiano's mantra since arriving in Tampa Bay, and on Sunday the players and fans saw how the little things make a big difference.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are currently on a four game winning streak, and have now won four of their last five games after starting the season 1-3.
On Monday the players credited their recent success to head coach Greg Schiano and his staff, getting them prepared for any situation that may arise in a game.
In fact, every week the Buccaneers specifically practiced two-minute situations, including being down by eight points late in a game.
Obviously the preparation worked.
“They put in a lot of hours giving us situations [and] educating us as football players for different situations that come up in a game,” wide receiver Vincent Jackson said. “We go through it each and every week on a daily basis. We watch just about highlights from every game around the league. Different parts of the game. The things you should do. The things you shouldn’t do. When the quarterback should take a sack and when he absolutely cannot take a sack. Things like that to give you opportunities to make plays during the game. I think yesterday was just an example of us being prepared.”
Receiver Tiquan Underwood, who played for Schiano at Rutgers, also spoke on how head coach Greg Schiano has prepared this team for various game time situations.
“Coach is really big on situational football and he has been doing a great job with our team,” Underwood said. “We have been preparing for different situations so when it came up in the game we were ready for it.”
For the first year head coach preparation is key.
“That’s everything to us,” Schiano said. “We think that it kind of goes back to the philosophy of concerning yourself with the things you can control and preparation is something you can control. We try to out-prepare ourselves every week. What can we do just a little bit better than the week before. Thus learning and getting better every week.
“And that goes for the players as well as the coaches. What we have in the NFL is a great opportunity to have all these game tapes instantly, all these TV copies instantly so we scour the league and try to find situations that could apply. You can’t possibly practice everything on the practice field so you try to use technology as well as the situations we do practice.
“But these guys are into it. That’s the big thing. You can throw anything you want at them. If they’re not willing to learn, listen, but anyone who loves the game of football I think enjoys that part of it, the strategy and the situational football and we have a lot of guys on this team who love the game of football.”
According to Jackson, situational football (like preparing for overtime) is not really situational for them. Instead, it is something that they expect to find themselves in on any game day.
“I think guys bought into it from the beginning,” Jackson said. “Because if you look at the scoreboard across the league yesterday I am sure there were at least a handful of games that either went to overtime or came down to the last drive. That seems to be the way this league is played on a weekly basis. You look across the league so for us it is a reality. It is not something we are thinking oh maybe we will be in that situation. No, it is something we expect to be in each and every week. Of course would we love to win games by 14 [or] 21 points? Of course you would, but it is not something you hope for. You prepare for the worst and you will be ready for anything.”–Mark Cook contributed to this report
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