Buccaneers head coach addressed the media at One Buc for the first time since early January. Tampa Bay's second-year coach talked about ways to improve the football team, passing on some free agents and how the Bucs will be counting on Eric Wright this season.
The Buccaneers welcomed back the players to One Buccaneer Place for the first phase of their 2013 offseason workouts and head coach Greg Schiano took a few minutes with the media to discuss the offseason thus far.Opening Statement:
“Good to be back, good to have the player in the building again. That’s certainly a big difference from what I was accustomed to the last 12 years before I came to Tampa, so it’s fun to have them back here and get to work with then, There are different phases. We’ll work through those but we get more involved with them as you move to the big phase, phase two and three. As far as attendance, everyone was here, except one person who was accounted for with a family, a good family situation, a birth. Erich Wright and his wife had a baby yesterday so, it’s all good. Everybody’s excited to get back to it. I include myself in everybody.” Did Ronde Barber show up?
“No. 20 did not show up. He’s not under contract so he was not here.” Where does the Barber decision stand?
"We’ve been in communication but there’s no developments. It’s just kind of where it is, which is fine. It’s kind of where we left it and we’ll continue to keep in communications. Certainly there is no silence or anything. It’s just the process of figuring it out.” Is there a deadline with Ronde as far as re-signing with the Bucs?
“No. I guess at some point down the road, but we’re not anywhere near that now. For planning purposes only down the road.” How comfortable are you with the team you’ve put together?
“There are always going to be areas that need to be addressed. You can stack up Lombardi Trophies, and when you evaluate the tape you still need this and you need that. As an organization we’re building a team and an organization to the vision of what kind of men do we want in here, what kind of players and people, And I’m, pleased that we’re going in the right direction. It’s one step at a time and sometimes you don’t get everything you want. It doesn’t always unfold the way you want. But I’m pleased with the direction we’re headed.”
What was the reasoning on why you passed on some starters at positions of need in free agency?
“The key word you said is the big picture view. I think what happens is free agency comes up and all the focus is on that period of time and what goes on in that period of time. There’s three ways, really, you draft, go through free agency and the third way, regardless of whether you draft them or get them in free agency, is developing them as players. So we have to draft, draft well again, I think we were very selective and process with the way we went through free agency. And then we have to develop all the players in this building. There are some guys in this building that maybe aren’t household names yet that need to improve and that we need to develop as coaches and they need to play for us. No every guy has to be a first-round pick or a high profile; free agent signing. But at the end of the day, you need to add those pieces up and play winning football and certainly that’s with every decision we make, that’s the goal. What gives us the best chance to win. Sometimes, as I said earlier, you make the decision and then you don’t get what you decided to get because you’re not the only guy in the process. But again, I’m pleased with where we’re going and we just need to keep moving in that direction.”What is the latest on the Darrelle Revis trade possibility?
“Again I hope you understand why I have to answer the way I do, that’s the rules. And I understand certainly why you ask the question – you have to ask the question. Generically I will answer to that, not in this situation (but) in that whenever we can get better – we are going to do it. I don’t care if it’s midnight or if… it doesn’t matter. If we can get better and we have an opportunity to get better then we are going to do it. That kind of is our philosophy – period. Covering all trades, all acquisitions, all things we can do as a team and as a program.”On the cornerback situation, do you need more?
“Well we do. Again like I mentioned – free agency, draft and development of your current players, we need to do that. The point I was making (at the owners meetings last month) was the sheer numbers, we didn’t have enough. Now that Eric (Wright) is back in the fold that is one more number for sure. And I agree with you that Eric Wright is a starting cornerback caliber talent. He just had some bad luck last year. I’m excited. I think he is going to come in here and he is going to work hard and perform well. God willing he stays healthy, I think he is capable of playing well.”Defensive line situation, how do you feel about the overall players and depth?
“I feel good about the D-line. Certainly there are some guys coming back, like A.C. (Adrian Clayborn) coming back off the injury, but he looks good and feels good. We are young, I think we have an opportunity to be really good there. Again, I think we have some players that we are developing that we feel good about. And you have to look at every decision and certainly all those decisions were organizational decisions – but it’s not just this just position you are looking at. You are looking at the whole football team. So sometimes there has got to be some give in that area, for some take in that area, and vice versa. I think that is the hard part. You can’t look at all of these decisions in a vacuum, you have to look at them in a more global position.”Overall health of the injured players Adrian Clayborn and Carl Nicks and will they be available for the offseason workouts?
“Yeah I do think they are going to be able to do that. Certainly if anything comes up between now and then that would risk them or harming themselves in any way then we would pull back. It is my plan that they are going to be able to do that. But I am pleased. They are coming along well, both of them. I think this is a chance to brag on Todd Torricelli and our medical staff – I think they do a great job. I am confident they will be ok.”What are your goals as you enter the first phase of the offseason?
“It’s definitely different. Any time you begin a repeat of something you feel much more comfortable. We are in this process now as we are repeating all these different everything as a staff, and I as a head coach. We feel much better about that. And certainly when you are a new head coach you get those two extra weeks, as the teams that have new head coaches have this year. I wouldn’t trade the continuity and having all of our systems in place for those two weeks. Not even close. Just today we started meetings with the players and we are watching video of us. We’re not watching Giants video, Rutgers video and Miami Dolphins video. We’re watching Bucs video. The fact that you are teaching your players on their tape is a huge advantage. Things are installed and we have some new guys that need to get up to speed. I feel good about that. If you look at phase one, it’s just meeting with them and they work with our strength staff. Then you go to phase two, and it’s meetings, strength and conditioning and then we get to go out on the grass with them a little bit. Then phase three is meeting and training, but then you have OTA practices. With all of that there are limitations. It’s not like real training camp practice. There are just certain things you don’t get to work on and that’s the way it is. The way I look at it, everybody has the same rules. Nobody’s got an advantage or a disadvantage. You go out and make the best of it, and that’s what we’ll do. We have nine weeks to get it done. That’s our biggest challenge. How do we best utilize our time? Because the time is limited by the rules. How do we best utilize our time and be the most efficient and get the most good work done that we can in these nine weeks?”You haven’t done much to increase the competition at the quarterback position. Is the draft an avenue for the team to do that?
“There are always opportunities. I’m not saying that and have this guy I’m thinking of. No. There are always opportunities in the draft. I believe in competition. That’s just the core belief of mine. I’d like to have a lot of things. Dan (Orlovsky) is an excellent backup. I believe that. At this stage of his career is he going to go like (motions upward)? I don’t know. Who knows? But I wouldn’t say that’s the plan. So if we get somebody [else] in here, we do. And if we don’t, we don’t and I’m good with that. Again, I clarified it once and I probably need to do it again because the quarterback is such a focused-on position. That wasn’t my intent the day after the season (to suggest that Josh Freeman needed to compete for his job). My intent was just to express that I believe in competition and wanted it to be prevalent. One of the things that I told the players was that we needed to compete with ourselves right now. How do we get better? You compete. You compete with yourself and you compete with the guy next to you. That is really kind of more my message to them. The one thing I know is the more good players you put on one team the better the whole team is going to be.”How does Josh look, other than like Michael Jackson?
“He looks good. He looks like he’s in great shape. He has stayed lean and physically fit. I’m very excited about getting back at it.”How condusive is your system to having a rookie come in and learn the system and start at cornerback?
“I don’t think it’s any more different than anyone else’s system. We were fortunate last year. You look at something that usually doesn’t happen. You have three rookies come in and start all 16 games. It might be a little naïve to say, ‘Let’s go do it again.’ But you really want to get guys that are capable of coming in here, especially with those early picks. If they aren’t starting, they are playing a substantial role on Sundays. That’s the goal. If it ends up being a cornerback – just like the guy that started at Will cornerback – that’s about as complicated as it can get and Lavonte [David] did an extremely good job. So did Mark [Barron], and safety is very complicated – more so than corner. Both of those are more complicated than cornerback. If that’s the way the draft ends up going, I think that guy would be capable – whoever that guy is.”
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