Greg Schiano spoke to Dan Pompei of the National Football Post, who used the conversation as a basis for his NFP Sunday Blitz column this week. Any Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan should really read that column, as a lot of interesting things were said by Schiano. Mostly, Schiano talked about the culture he wanted to establish at One Buc Place. One of the consequences of that culture change appears to be that Kellen Winslow Jr. no longer fit the team. Here's what Schiano had to say:
Winslow was not a Buccaneer man, so he was traded to Seattle for a seventh round pick that could become a sixth rounder. Schiano explains. "I thought he complied well. The time he was here, he did everything I asked him. He did it the way we asked him to."
But Winslow was not working out with the team for much of the offseason. "Some of it his voluntary," Schiano said. "I can't make them be here for every part. Would I have liked him here? Sure. We had 87 guys here. But that wasn't the only reason we decided to do what we did. We just didn't think it was the best fit for us. It was a bunch of things, an accumulation of things. Some of it is projecting, how will this project moving forward."
While Schiano was not trying to make an example out of Winslow, he is trying to establish a culture. As a result, he isn't in a position to make exceptions for players like Winslow.
"The key I learned early is when you are establishing a culture you really have to make sure it's non-negotiable," he said. "After you have established the culture and built a program, then a program can accept one or two guys who maybe aren't seeing things the exact same way. Usually that strong culture either transforms that person or spits him out. We're nowhere near that. We're just establishing who we are, what we want to become."
The Bucs have made it clear that this culture is indeed non-negotiable. They said goodbye to two talented, key players this offseason in Tanard Jackson and Kellen Winslow Jr. Both players were let go in part because of their declining production, but also because the team did not appreciate the way they were working out. Winslow preferred to work out on his own, while Tanard Jackson was rehabbing, but not in the way the team wanted - supposedly.
Will there be more victims of this culture change? I would guess so, but some of those victims may not come immediately. The Bucs can't completely overhaul the team in one offseason, although they sure are trying. It's clear, though, that Schiano wants players that buy into his way of doing things, and those that don't need not apply.