EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 16: Head coach Greg Schiano of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers directs his players in the fourth quarter against the New York Giants on September 16, 2012 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
The excellent Mike Silver of Yahoo! Sports penned an interesting column on Greg Schiano this week. The Tampa Bay head coach is in the spotlight right now, because the league appeared to riot after Greg Schiano decided to not see a kneeldown as good reason to stop playing. This story isn't about that, though. It's about how Greg Schiano was a generally unpleasant person toward NFL scouts who came to Rutgers. The whole story is full of interesting quotes, as "bully", "pure misery", "unpleasant" and other glowing terms are used to described Schiano and Rutgers. It's quite fascinating - and its relevance is about 0.
The gist of the story is this: Greg Schiano forced NFL scouts who came to Rutgers to be far away from the field, treated them disrespectfully and forced them to toe the line. You know, the my-way-or-the-highway-style we've all come to know and in some cases love. And despite that style, he sure seemed to get quite a few Rutgers guys to the NFL - so hey, it didn't hurt too bad.
Here's why this doesn't matter: Schiano isn't at Rutgers anymore. What he did at Rutgers, he did for the sake of that program - not for the sake of pissing people off. And what he'll do now in Tampa Bay will be done for the sake of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers - not for the sake of Rutgers. There's no carry-over here. His players won't feel insulted because he forced some scouts to wait in a box at Rutgers. His assistant coaches won't feel denigrated because he couldn't be bothered to be nice to NFL personnel executives in college.
Overall, this is just a bunch of meaningless whining. Fascinating whining, nonetheless, but meaningless. His players don't care how he treated scouts at Rutgers, and his team doesn't - or at least, it shouldn't. Schiano is here to build the Bucs, not play buddy-buddy with NFL scouts.
Greg Schiano is an uncompromising control freak. We all know that. I've been cautious about him because of that, as that kind of style can blow up in people's faces. He doesn't like giving information to the media, especially on injuries, and he doesn't like players who won't (literally) toe the line. But none of that has anything to do with how he treated scouts at Rutgers: it's just how he is. If he constructs the right roster with players who buy in to that kind of thing, it will work. If he can't do that, or if the losses pile up and he loses credibility, then it won't work. See Bill Belichick's disciples to see how this can fail miserably - and see Bill Belichick to see how it can work, too. Time will only tell if Schiano will work in the NFL, but his success or failure won't be determined by how much NFL scouts like him.