"There is going to be a Buccaneer Way, there are going to be Buccaneer Men."
Greg Schiano made an impression in his first press conference as a Tampa Bay Buccaneers' head coach. He was clear, collected, and had a presence to him. He looked like, for lack of a better term, a football coach. One thing was abundantly clear: this was not Raheem Morris, and things are about to change around One Buc Place. Schiano wants to build this team around three things: Trust, Belief and Accountability. TBA.
Schiano wants to build this team around a "humble, unselfish attitude of sacrifice". That Trust, Belief and Accountability will play a role in that.
"Trust. 100% honesty, there's no room for 99%. 100% honesty and do what you're supposed to do, when you're supposed to do it."
"Belief. Belief in yourself, number one. Belief in the Buccaneer way. There is going to be a Buccaneer way, there are going to be Buccaneer men. You've got to believe in that, otherwise this isn't the place."
"Accountability. All those things are great, but as a coaching staff and a team and an organization we have to hold each other accountable. That's not always easy, that's where it gets sticky, that's where it gets tough. That's my job as the head football coach, to make sure that's happening throughout the football team and the organization."
Schiano also has a clear vision of the team he wants to see on the field: great defense, winning the special teams battle, and being a physical offensive football team that takes shots down the field.
"It's very hard to go 12-, 13-, 14-play drives. If we miss on a shot we line up and play defense again, get the ball back, go after them again. Physical, run the football physically and take shots down the field. That formula works. As long as you play great defense and win the kicking game that formula works."
Schiano emphasized time, as well. Meticulous planning will be important. "Time is our enemy" was Schiano's message, a Joe Paterno quote.
On the assistant coaching search, Schiano said he wanted to find great teachers, great communicators and great people. "It doesn't matter how much your coaches know, it matters how much your players know." He will select his assistant coaches with the help of Mark Dominik, and he wouldn't comment on whether he would hire NFL or college coaches. Schiano will hire a defensive coordinator and offensive coordinator, and will oversee all three phases of the game.
In terms of building the team, however, it is clear he sees this the same way as Dominik did. "Draft and develop". He mentioned that several times, and wouldn't comment on any possible free agency additions, saying that that would be between him, Dominik and the Glazers.
It wasn't all football, though. He also talked about reconnecting with the fanbase. That's part of what he did at Rutgers. He built a fan base, he improved the public profile of that team and he turned it into a force in the Big East off the field. "We will earn your trust on the football field, we will earn your trust in the community. Something that you can be proud of."
"When our best is the best, we will be Super Bowl champions."
What I take away from this press conference is that Schiano has a clear idea of where he wants to go and how he wants to go there. He made it clear that the goal was to win championships, and he laid out a plan to get there. He clearly and concisely spoke on his vision for a football team, and how he would change the culture in the building.
Press conferences can only tell you so much. Con men are generally excellent public speakers, after all. There's a difference between saying the right things and doing the right things. But Schiano impressed me on first viewing, and that's a positive.