Josh Freeman

Posts Tagged ‘greg schiano’

Schiano: Nothing To See Here

May 31, 2013 at 11:43am by Scott   •  3 Comments »

Greg Schiano is adept at making bird calls.
Greg Schiano and the Bucs were “accused” of running their practices too hard and violating NFL rules on contact during practices (which will be how the actual game is played in ten years, I’m sure). I can’t find the original story on it, so I don’t know if the NFL actually investigated it or if it was some news report that just casually threw it out there. Either way, it doesn’t look like there will be any consequences to it and Schiano is pretty much dismissing the whole thing.

“We had one that got kind of fanfare or whatever you want to call it in a young guy mixed up with Jeremy Zuttah, and Jeremy educated him, maybe not the right way, like you don’t do that. But we spent a lot of time about keeping your headgear, keeping your shoulders out of it.”

“I feel confident that we’re doing it the right way,” he said.

I like the “Jeremy educated him” line. NFL.com has a video of Schiano basically saying the same thing.

A phrase coaches have been saying since the beginning of football is “You play like you practice”. Guys shouldn’t be forced to go full speed and completely spend run themselves to death during practices, but most players say they get more out of practices when they’re a little rough. I’m telling you, the player that Zuttah manhandled learned a lot from that encounter. Football is not for the meek. The NFL (and the reporters who get off on spotting rules violations and reporting them (I’m looking at you Florio)) need to learn this or the game that they make a living on will abandon them.

Schiano Eases Up

February 27, 2013 at 12:13am by Scott   •  5 Comments »

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Greg Schiano explained at the combine that he is going to loosen up some of the rules that he had been enforcing last year, turning the dial down from “dictator” to just “dick”. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a dick. We saw what happened when the Bucs had a buddy as their coach.

“We had one big thing we had to do. We had to establish a culture in the building,’’ Schiano said. “Sometimes, you have to go overboard one way or another to get that culture established. But I think at this point, our football team understands who I am and how our football program is going to be run. I think that happened as the season went on.’’

I like the fact that he knows he was going overboard and that it was for a purpose, and now he knows when it’s time to stop. He needed to weed out the Kellen Winslows of the team who wouldn’t buy into a more disciplined philosophy. And now Schiano is relaxing stuff and Winslow is unemployed.

“Oh, just some mandatory things I don’t think grown men need,’’ Schiano said. “Take mandatory meals. If a guy is meeting his weight — we have goal weights a guy has to meet each week — if a guy is meeting his weight, I don’t think they need any of our staff making sure they check in for breakfast and for lunch. They’re grown men, they’re professional athletes. But again, we had to establish a culture of accountability. But now they understand. And if your weight isn’t where it’s supposed to be, you will get checked in.’’

I spent a few minutes trying to think of a way to make fun of this, but it all sounds very reasonable. If he doesn’t give me some material soon, I’m going to have to start in on the gap in his teeth, and that’s just childish.

All In The Family

February 21, 2013 at 11:50pm by Scott   •  4 Comments »

Coach, how many Rutgers players would you like to draft this year?
In a short interview with JoeBucsFan.com in Indianapolis, Greg Schiano addressed the fact that he has hired everyone who has ever coached at Rutgers in the history of time to join him in Tampa.

JoeBucsFan: Some people think, and have written, that you are hiring a bunch of cronies; your assistants. What is your reaction to that allegation?

Greg Schiano: I think it is, you know, people need to sometimes step away from the situation and look at the end. In the end, if you don’t win, what happens? So you are going to surround yourself with people who you think can do the best job to help you win. Now often times those are people who you have experience with and that is how you know that can happen, you are not guessing that can happen. So, often, our staff, a lot of guys I had worked with and a lot of guys I hadn’t, which is fine. The guys I hadn’t worked with certainly had relationships with guys I had worked with who knew their work ethic, who knew what kind of people they are and what kind of teachers they are. And that is really how I go about it.

First off, hats off to the JBF for asking a question that everyone has been thinking about, and in a direct way — the way it should be asked. Second, I don’t know what the hell Schiano is saying there in the middle of that quote. He starts off talking about winning, then he has a stroke, then he talks about experience and work ethic. That last part seems to be the most meaningful piece of his point. He wants to work with people he knows and knows what to expect from. And that’s understandable. But I find it hard to believe that each one of the 11 coaches on the team from Rutgers (including the Director of Football Operations) were the best people available for their respective jobs at the time. Maybe they’re all great and this season will kick ass and I’ll look like a complete tool for doubting Schiano. I hope so. But it seems like they could have looked around a bit more to fill some of those positions.

Speaking of nepotism, the Bucs need a cornerback and one of the draftable corners with a halfway decent grade is Logan Ryan out of Rutgers. He’ll get discussed in the first round, but will most likely fall to the second. He’s a good character kid with solid tackling skills and a great work ethic. His highlight reel is good in coverage, but he has also been beaten more than once. He doesn’t have elite speed, but he’s fast enough. The combine will answer some questions about his measurables, but in a draft that’s pretty light on corners, he would have to mess up pretty badly to fall out of the second round, I think. If the Bucs don’t take a first-round corner, I think there’s a good chance they’d fix on Ryan.

REAR ENTRIES: Better Late Than Never

October 09, 2012 at 08:54am by Scott   •  3 Comments »

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TRUEBLOOD SICK: This article said the Bucs are “mulling over some possible changes”, which sounded really juicy and potentially big, but it’s just the right guard stuff we discussed last week. And now, they won’t even have Jeremy Trueblood to try out at right guard because he came down with a stomach virus. You know it’s been a slow week when this is my third mention of Jeremy Trueblood and one of them has to do with the flu.

FEWER PLAYS: Also, according to the same article, the Bucs are adjusting the number of plays Josh Freeman gets. The article says “streamlining”, but that’s just fancy talk for “reducing”. I’ve been streamlined out of every job I’ve ever had.

Has that been the problem? Too many plays? It doesn’t look like the offense is totally out of synch, it just looks like the receivers can’t get separation and Freeman can’t hit them in the right spot. But hey, if that’s the result of their brains being too full, then by all means, takes some plays away. Hell, just give the receivers wristbands with “GET OPEN” written where the plays used to be and give Freeman one that says “THROW”.

REPLACEMENT REF ON SCHIANO: It’s been a couple weeks and now the replacement refs are kind of an afterthought. But one of them had a parting shot for Greg Schiano on last week’s Inside the NFL.

NFL replacement refereee Jim Core said Bucs coach Greg Schiano was the toughest coach to work with during thress games he called in the regular season.

Appearing on Showtime’s Inside the NFL, Core was asked by James Brown which NFL coach was the toughest to work with?

“Coach Schiano,” Core said. “He’s college. I mean, the rest of them acted at a different level. You just tell working with them they were at a different level than I thought he was.”

That’s not a friendly little jab about him being loud or argumentative. He called him “college”, as in, “He should have stayed in college.” Every head coach yelled at the replacement refs because most of the time they deserved it, but you’d hate to think that our head coach is particularly abusive or disrespectful. Unless it’s really funny.

INTERESTING UPDATE: Greg Schiano’s son, Joe Schiano, a student and linebacker at Berkeley Prep, has been suspended for six games for swearing at an official during a game. Wonder where he learned that.

I know the officials have to maintain control, but SIX GAMES for swearing? How big is the paddle they hit the players with for bumping a ref during a game?

REAR ENTRIES: Figuring It Out

October 04, 2012 at 09:36am by Scott   •  1 Comment »

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BARTH GETS PROPS: If you had to pick an MVP for the first quarter of the season, you’d have to give strong consideration to Connor Barth, which might make some of the guys who actually make contact on every play a little upset, but it’s the truth. Placekicking is an all or nothing game. If he had missed a couple key field goals, no one would have a problem making him the goat of the first quarter, so he should also get the credit when he is doing well. This article is about Barth’s preparation and kicking process and gives more attention to the position than it gets in a full season. Here’s the best part of it:

“I’m not an expert on kicking,” said Schiano. “I know just enough to be dangerous. But I also know enough to stay away from him and let him keep doing what he’s doing.”

Exactly. Let him have the mustache and the yoga and the goat’s blood (I may have imagined that last one) and get out of his way.

TRUEBLOOD INACTIVE: It’s not often you see a five-year starter inactive when healthy, but that’s what’s happening to Jeremy Trueblood now. Demar Dotson is entrenched as the starter at right tackle and Trueblood wasn’t even active as a backup. He explains why.

“I’m a right tackle,” Trueblood said. “That’s just what it is. I’ve never played anything else. (Schiano) told me straight up. He said, ‘The other guy (Jamon Meredith) can play guard and tackle, so you’re inactive.’ I can’t question a man’s decision.”

No, I guess he can’t. And Trueblood is being a good teammate about it. I looked at the roster and the only backup linemen they had active were Meredith and Cody Wallace, who plays both guard and center. So Schiano’s lineup makes sense as long as Meredith is also the superior guard to Wallace. If Meredith gets hurt, they’ll definitely activate Trueblood to start the following week. But Trueblood is very likely looking at his last season in Tampa. And that’s a shame because I’ve still got a whole file full of false start jokes.

STEVE WHITE BREAKDOWN: Ask and ye shall receive. After wondering how the breakdown in the last drive of the Redskins game happened and who was to blame, Steve White laid it all out very neatly (with photos!) in a blog entry. On the tight end pass, he shows what happens but can’t tell who the guilty party is. But on the quarterback run up the middle, he makes it more clear even if in the end he still clams he doesn’t know who is right or wrong.

Remember again that with a zone blitz that the blitzer comes from one side and the defensive line slants in the opposite direction. Well the defensive linemen all slanted to the right this time but there was no blitzer coming from their left (red line).

Instead Ronde (again blue arrow)came up and appeared to be blitzing from the right (orange line) which is the same direction the defensive linemen were slanting towards.

Complicating matters further is that the right defensive end (red arrow) dropped (red line) as a curl/flat defender as he would if the blitz was supposed to come to the left. So even if Ronde was just coming up to cover the running back as he eventually did, there was no need for him to be there in coverage.

So at least the scheme indicates that Ronde should have come from the other side. Now, Ronde is a 16-year veteran and knows how and where to blitz, but he’s also new to this scheme and new to his safety position. So maybe he just screwed up. It happens. White also takes a second to lay a little blame on the coaches for the call. Not much, but he does mention it.

I don’t know how much the Bucs practice two minute drill during the week but the only blitzes you run during such a critical time of the game are the ones the players have shown you they know in their sleep. There is no excuse for this happening not once, but twice, at the end of the game.

If the blitz had worked and RGIII was sacked on that play, the call would have been brilliant and we’d all be praising Schiano for maintaining his aggression even through the last second. As it is, people are calling him too aggressive and pounding him for blitzing too much. But we’ve seen lots of examples where defenses sit back soft and the quarterback just picks them apart underneath. The Redskins only needed a field goal and they had plenty of time to get there (and that clock management bullshit is totally on Schiano) so he wanted to put the game in his hands and live or die on his own terms. And this time he died by them. But I at least respect going down swinging and I think others do as well.

But make no mistake, that kind of feeling doesn’t last long if you don’t get a few wins using that strategy. It’s a short step from aggressive to foolish.

Blame And Adjustment

October 02, 2012 at 10:41am by Scott   •  4 Comments »

This isn't the play I'm referring to. No defender can be seen around Griffin in that picture.
Robert Griffin III‘s run up the middle for 15 yards with 38 seconds left was the play the Bucs couldn’t allow. With a tackle for minimal or no gain, they either have to burn that final time out or spike the ball and make it fourth down. But everybody went to the offense’s left, so he went to the right and saw nothing but grass. And as Americans, we have only one question on our minds: Who is to blame? Well, it depends on who you ask. If you ask Michael Bennett, he would tell you he probably wouldn’t have called a blitz in that scenario.

“You run a blitz and it was just wide open,” defensive end Michael Bennett said of RG3′s run. “I knew myself. I was like, ‘I don’t know if I should run this play or not, but I did my job.’ I knew he was going to get outside. That’s what he does. The edge was too short. The whole defensive line slanted.”

And if you were to ask Greg Schiano, he’d tell you it wasn’t the playcall at all, but the execution.

“They’re not calls I wish I had back,” he said. “We have to execute them. Suffice it to say we made mistakes on two of those plays that were critical.”

So this could get awkward. Without knowing exactly what was supposed to happen on the play, we can’t know who was really at fault here. But what we do know is we have a player and a coach throwing each other under the bus, and that seems unusual for such a briefly-tenured regime. Isn’t there some kind of honeymoon period that everyone gets before they start hating each other in public? I may be making too big a deal of this, but the usual response by players to questions about why something didn’t work is, “We just have to go out there and get it done,” and by coaches is, “I need to look at the tape, but we can all improve.” When a coach says they need to “execute”, that is always code for blaming the players. And again, maybe they are to blame. But it seems early for this kind of talk.

Schiano may not make any friends on the defense this week with that comment, but Josh Freeman is about to get the Gerald McCoy treatment of being allowed to do more of what he likes.

“He came out gang-busters the first three games, the first series,” Schiano said. “This game – not. … But if it were one thing he were comfortable with or not comfortable with, we’d just cut it out and we’d up more. … But I did think the deep shots that he hit were as good as you can throw. Some of the lasers he threw in there were as good as you can throw. We’ve just got to get, as you said, I do think there is some of that really pinpointing what we know he’s most comfortable with and what our offense is most comfortable with. So that’s our job to do and make sure we get it right quickly.”

If Freeman likes the deep shots, that’s fine. But he has to be able to make the decision to throw it quickly and confidently and to put it on the money when he does. As Schiano said, a couple of the ones he threw were pinpoint perfect. When Freeman’s ass is on fire and he has five minutes to save the game, he does amazing things. The trick is to be able to play that way even when they’re ahead.

REAR ENTRIES: Working On My Night Posts

September 20, 2012 at 08:11pm by Scott   •  16 Comments »

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STROUGHTER TO IR?: According to Rick Stroud, the Bucs are about to sign a wide receiver named Chris Owusu off of San Diego’s practice squad, which means he’ll have to hit the Bucs’ regular roster, which means they’ll have to remove someone from that roster to make room for him. And Stroud suspects Sammie Stroughter will be moved to IR.

Stroughter, a seventh-round pick from Oregon State in 2009, had served as the Bucs punt returner before injuring his right foot in Sunday’s game against the Giants. In four seasons, he caught 60 passes for 639 yards and one touchdown.

But injuries have plagued Stroughter. He broke the same foot last season in a game against Seattle and appeared in only six contests.

Suddenly, the bottom half of the wide receiver depth chart is looking a lot different than even a week ago. Jackson, Williams and Benn are still in place, but instead of Stroughter and Parker, we have Underwood, Shipley and Owusu (probably). Not that it matters much. Jackson and Williams will still get the majority of the looks. After those two, the next most active pass-catchers are a tight end, fullback and running back. Those last three guys could probably just throw their jerseys on some sex dolls and sit them on the bench and watch the game from a Dallas strip club and no one would know.

PRAISE FROM CARROLL: People are still yacking about the last play of the Giants game. Apparently this was some revolutionary concept — you know, playing the whole game — because Pete Carroll says he would do exactly the same thing in that situation.

“I’m glad it was brought up like this because I think it was a competitor competing and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that,” Carroll said. “That’s exactly what you should do: Try to win the game. And there was a chance to win the game on that play and I thought Greg did exactly the right thing. And I would do exactly the same thing if in the same situation. So I don’t see where there’s any reason to think other than that. It’s about competing to try to make the play to win the football game. That’s it. And protect your quarterback.”

As PFT points out, Carroll could have done the same thing last week. The Seahawks were losing by 4 and the Cardinals took a knee on the last play of the game. And Kevin Kolb was the quarterback, not exactly the definition of a player who doesn’t get rattled. But he didn’t because he didn’t think of it. Our coach did. And if Carroll doesn’t shape up, Schiano’s going to cut him. Don’t think it’s possible? Just try him, buddy.

I LOVE THIS COMMERCIAL: Jon Gruden is doing a bunch of commercials for Corona (and Hooters and some more ESPN stuff and he’s basically a really high-priced whore right now) and they’re all very Gruden, but this one is the Grudeniest of them all. The last two seconds are the fucking best.

REAR ENTRIES: Play For 60 Minutes

September 18, 2012 at 11:21pm by Scott   •  3 Comments »

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VICTORY AGGRESSION WORKS: According to Greg Schiano, the defensive line playing the victory formation like a regular play and trying to cause a fumble actually has caused a fumble for his teams four times in the last five years (although for some reason, Ian Rapaport says it only worked twice in 11 years, but I’ll take Schiano’s word over someone named Ian). If it’s a blowout, then it’s pointless. But if the losing team is down by a touchdown or less, fuck yeah. The miracle at the Meadowlands wouldn’t have happened if Herm Edwards hadn’t been playing that play for real and scooped and scored. If the replacement officials are going to be absolute shit and drag the game out for five hours, the least they can do is reward the viewers by making the last play worth watching.

SHIPLEY IS BACK: The Bucs have brought Jordan Shipley back to the team, supplementing a position on the team that didn’t seem to need any help, but I guess Preston Parker has a foot injury that necessitated it. Fun fact: Shipley spent so long at Texas that he actually earned a Ph.D. in Being Gritty with a minor in Having a High Motor.

DOTSON IS STARTING: Demar Dotson started at right tackle last week since Jeremy Trueblood was injured. But even if Trueblood is ready to go for this Sunday, Dotson is still starting.

Regardless of Trueblood’s status in Week Three, Dotson won’t have to wait long for his next start. The Buccaneers released an updated depth chart on Tuesday afternoon, and Dotson has moved to the first spot at right tackle.

It’s much harder to get a penalty from the sideline, but not impossible. If you see a size 19 shoe fly in and peg the line judge in the head, you’ll know who it was.

Those Beautiful Boston Accents

August 24, 2012 at 12:22pm by Scott   •  3 Comments »

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All the talk over the past couple days has been the joint practices with the Patriots, which I suppose is an interesting nugget of information. But holy shit, the Patriots are the least interesting team in football. Unless you’re a fan of the team (and since you’re reading this, I’ll assume you aren’t), the Patriots are boring as hell. Stability at the head coach and quarterback positions, no drama, no controversy, and everyone who is a part of the organization has their personality surgically muted as part of their contract. Chad Johnson went there and became invisible for a full year. They let him loose and boom, he’s swearing like Dice Clay in press conferences and headbutting his wife. So yeah, I didn’t cover their visit to Tampa with the rapt attention given by the papers.

And boy did they cover it. Say, did you know Bill Belichick and Greg Schiano have a history together and that they respect each other? If not, you must be the Who’s Tommy because being blind, deaf and dumb is the only way you could have missed that story over the last seven months. And still, we got a huge dose of it this week. The biggest serving came from Martin Fennelly, which is a joke that writes itself.

Belichick heaped praise when the Bucs reached out to him while considering Schiano. Think Mr. Bill’s words didn’t fire the cannons? I bet Schiano didn’t even have to take the written after that.

Belichick is well-respected around the league, but he’s not a kingmaker. I’m sure he had great things to say about Josh McDaniels who got fired from Denver and Charlie Weis who got fired from Notre Dame and Romeo Crennel who got fired from Cleveland and, well, you get the point.

Credit where credit is due: I rip on Fennelly a lot for being awful, but this was funny.

I have no idea what it means when Bill Belichick says you have a good personality …

According to Schiano, practicing in the summer against another team may become a regular thing.

Like Belichick, Schiano has an interest in making joint workouts a regular part of his preseason routine. The key to doing that, though, is finding a good partner to work with.

“You’ve got to have the right relationship with the other head coach and trust that what we do together is amongst us,” he said. “Certainly, down the road, we can end up playing each other, and that’s fine, but you can only do this with people you trust.”

And if there’s one thing Bill Belichick is known for, it’s not illegally using information from practices to gain an advantage against an opponent.

The joint practices culminate in a preseason game tonight at Ray Jay, probably the last action the starters will see until the regular season. I was going to watch it live tonight, but I don’t think it’s being broadcast live anywhere except Tampa. The Falcons are being broadcast here, which not only means that I have nothing to watch but that the Matt Ryan voodoo doll I bought and ripped the head off of was a scam.

Go Ahead And Jump Offsides. It Doesn’t Matter.

August 16, 2012 at 09:02am by Scott   •  1 Comment »

It's not illegal hands to the face. It's just playing hard with a hand full of face. There's a difference.
I’ve been saying that with the new emphasis on discipline at One Buc, Greg Schiano is going to start blowing a gasket over these practice and preseason penalties soon. Then just to make me look like an ass, Schiano goes on the radio and says not necessarily.

“It’s a fine line between being a physical, aggressive football team and getting a flag. You gotta be careful. I don’t ever want to be the least penalized team in the league, because I don’t think you’re trying hard enough then,” Schiano said in an interview with WDAE in Tampa, via SportsRadioInterviews.com. “But I certainly do want to be in the top 10. That’s where you should be. You should be — five through 10 is a great place to be as a penalized team.”

After looking at the penalty stats for last year on NFL.com, I see that Green Bay was the least-penalized team in the league and they went 15-1. I was all ready to tell Schiano he was full of shit, but then I read the next line and saw that Indianapolis was penalized exactly as much as the Packers, actually had fewer penalty yards, and went 2-14.

Wanna keep going? The Lions and the 49ers were ranked #2 and #4 in most penalties assessed last year and both of them went to the playoffs. And the Saints, another playoff team, was smack in the middle at #17. So after reading all this, I can’t think of a less useful stat than how many penalties a team got. If you’ve got a good offense, an extra ten yards isn’t going to kill you. And if you’ve got a good defense, you may give up the field goal with an extra ten yards, but a penalty can’t put the other team in the endzone, so it’s not a backbreaker, either.

None of this is going to matter in a few years anyway. Now that they’ve got chick officials on the field, they’ll all be looking at their fingernails or checking out the cheerleaders’ asses to see if they’re better than theirs or on their phones Facebooking snide comments about those same cheerleader asses… pretty much looking at anything except what’s happening in the game. There could be an on-field beheading and the chick ref would still be taking a poll as to whether black stripes make her look fat.