On Tuesday, September 4, the Clearwater Regional, St. Petersburg and Greater Tampa Chambers of Commerce came together to celebrate the 2012 NFL season with the annual Chalk Talk with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Buccaneers Co-Chairman Bryan Glazer, General Manager Mark Dominik, Head Coach Greg Schiano, 2012 first round draft picks S Mark Barron and RB Doug Martin, and WR Vincent Jackson gathered with fans and local elected officials to discuss the excitement surrounding the upcoming season.
The event included a question and answer session with the Buccaneers representatives as well as autograph opportunities for event guests.
Below are some of the highlights from today’s luncheon.
Head coach Greg Schiano: “High standards,” Schiano said. “I think that comes in the family. I think the parents or the mentors whoever it is that has an effect and that’s one of the things that All Dads talks so much about is teaching your children how to aspire for something greater. I think one of the things that as I went around as a college coach and went to a lot of the schools is [that] there is a real big problem in the country—lack of hope. There are a lot of young kids that just don’t have hope. Not necessarily the guys we are recruiting because they do have hope. They had an opportunity to get into a college, but you go through some of the schools and I think that’s just so important. Whether it is parents and sometimes that’s not always the people that are in place to do it, but mentoring and certain organizations I don’t think we can put enough emphasis on that. Those young people they are our future.”
Schiano on the Buccaneers choice to forgo individual introductions at home games this season: “That would be right here,” Schiano said. “I think one of the things that Vincent (Jackson) talked about is an unselfishness on that team. I know that maybe that isn’t quite as exciting as the individual introductions, but I hope that we can make it a Bucs tradition. That is the best introduction in the National Football League when the entire team comes out together as one. That to me is symbolic of what we are trying to build.”
Schiano on the biggest challenges or changes for you moving from college into pro football: “I guess the two things would be kind of what I mentioned earlier the different rules and things,” Schiano said. “I wasn’t aware of certain rules that you couldn’t do this in spring training or you couldn’t do this in your mini camps. So getting adjusted to that. Then the stuff that I talked about; the personnel stuff. Stuff that Mark (Dominik) has been such a big help on. In college football you go recruiting the class and you do it all. Here you have the whole personnel department that kind of walks you through it and takes your input. That to me is something that is really neat, but there is a lot to learn about it. I am still learning.”
General manager Mark Dominik on leadership and professionalism of college captains and military families? “Just talking about the NFL draft and some of the qualifications, the things we look for is not a check the box has to be,” Dominik said. “But little things that we think are important when we are looking into the character of a player and what they can be. One of them is obviously how many times have they been made captain of their football team. That’s an honor that we think is very important. I know that Coach (Schiano) is going through that right now with our football team [and] establishing who our captains are. So young players at the college ranks who can be captains on their football team have an extra special star by their name or a color by your name. Same with military families. Again, it comes from a person who has come from a lot of structure probably in their home. Just little elements little things that we can take that can help us to try to make the right selections [and] the right decisions…those elements right there alone helped us take the two men (Doug Martin and Mark Barron) down at the other end of this table.”
Safety Mark Barron on what he likes best about Coach Schiano’s coaching style? “What I like most is the attention to detail,” Barron said. “He is pretty much tuned in on everything and I know that they are important to winning. So that’s the thing that I like most about his coaching style is the attention to detail.”
Wide Receiver Vincent Jackson sharing his thoughts on Schiano and the family atmosphere they are building: “One thing that coach always says – and I hope he doesn’t mind that I let this out of our building – but we get this wrist bands and other things [that] we all seem to wear,” Jackson said. “Part of it is for Eric LeGrand and it has some other meanings to it as well. He always wears one that says family. And what that stands for is, forget about me, I love you. Or forget about me, I sacrifice for you, and that’s kind of his approach to each and every day. We have to have each other’s back. You feel like he cares about each and every man in that building [and] each and every person in our organization he treats you with respect. He wants to see you reach your full potential. He wants to see you do things the right way. Represent it the way he envisions you to represent it. So I think that’s fun. I think it is fun to play for a coach like that, who has a passion and the leadership skills [and] the attention to detail. He still does it in a manner that makes you want to play for him. That makes you want to go out there and lay it on the line for him. So I appreciate that.”
Co-Chairman Bryan Glazer on the new Bucs Life theme: “A Bucs life is just all our fans and the way they can interact with us,” Glazer said. “A Bucs life is a fan painting his face. It’s Big Nasty. It is the guy in the upper deck with his two kids. It is the guy in the club seats. It is the guy in the suites. It is the guy who is selling beer at our stadium who has got an eye on the game and maybe not focusing on the beer. And the girls, and the wives, and the mothers who bring their children to our games. The family sitting in front of the television set. The family that is coming to the game who maybe can’t afford to come to the game. The husband and wife are making sandwiches during the week so they can come to the Bucs game with their kids on Sunday and see these great players play. It is raising the flag in front of your house. All our season ticket holders got flags in your season member packages this year and people are raising them…it is men, women, parents, children, grandparents since 1976 [there] are great fans in this community that love the Bucs.”
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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