Hey remember when Greg Schiano was head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and they were awful with no hope for improvement? So unlike this season, that was. Well, Schiano talked The MMQB's Pete Thamel, which resulted in a pretty interesting profile of how Greg Schiano views football, coaching, and getting back into coaching.
Unfortunately, Schiano didn't say too many things about the Bucs. Or any negative things about anyone not himself, so the profile's not full of juicy, gossip-y details and petty revenge-seeking. That would have been entertaining, but Schiano's no Steve Spurrier.
Instead, we basically get the following three paragraphs on the Bucs.
In his first year, Schiano began every meeting with a support staff member taking attendance of every player by calling out his number. One of the players wrote on his survey: "I felt like I was going from cell block to cell block." Another player chafed at the mandatory meals-a college staple-saying he'd rather have breakfast with his family. So before his second season, Schiano ditched the roll call and made pregame meal the only mandatory one.
But Schiano doesn't feel like the reality of the 2013 season outlasted the reputation from 2012. "You know the saying, You get the reputation for being an early riser, you can sleep till noon," he says. "Well it goes the other way too. If you get a reputation for being a jerk, no matter how well you treat the players..."
Schiano set up a strict program for the rookies in that second season but gave the veteran players much more freedom. If he ends up returning to college, he'll give established upperclassmen more leeway. "I think you have to do that a little with juniors and seniors," he says. "And I did. But probably not as much as I will when I go back. When they're with you for three years, they're grown up. They get it."
Schiano sounds like someone who's learned a few things in his year out of football. He's a little introspective, though far from candid. I'm not sure whether he's saying he was too lax with his players in his second year -- somehow I doubt that. But he certainly loosened the reigns a little in his second season.
But while Schiano came across as a jerk and overly disciplinarian, those weren't the reasons the Bucs lost football games. They lost football games because players couldn't execute his defense, because he consistently misused his players, because his offense was horrendously awful and because, shock of shocks, the team kept finding ways to lose. Over and over and over again. Almost like this season.
As bad as Greg Schiano's second season was, the net result after eight games was barely worse than Lovie Smith's this season: the Bucs were 0-8 under Schiano, finishing 4-12, while they're 1-7 under Smith right now. That has to make Schiano chuckle, even if he insists he doesn't follow the Bucs.