Gil Brandt Talks To JoeFebruary 2nd, 2012
Among the most respected football men on the planet is Gil Brandt. The architect of the powerhouse “America’s Team” Dallas Cowboys for three decades, Brandt was no less than a wizard when he came to evaluating players and finding hidden gems not just in the draft, but in free agency as well. Brandt keeps busy in football these days working for the NFL as well as co-hosting his own nightly radio show heard exclusively on SiriusXM NFL Radio. Brandt’s attention to detail, his meticulous memory recall and his storytelling is why NFL types refer to Brandt as “The Godfather.” Brandt, who signed Joe’s high school coach to play safety for the Cowboys at the team’s height of success, gave Joe a few moments during Super Bowl Media Day to talk Bucs football.
JoeBucsFan: Your thoughts on the Bucs hiring Greg Schiano as their new coach?
Gil Brandt: From what I know of him, I think it’s a good thing. I talked to [Bucs defensive tackle] Gerald McCoy who is here today and I told him I thought [Schiano’s hiring] was a good thing and he said, “I just hope he is organized.” I told [McCoy that Schiano] was one of the most organized guys in the world. So I think that one of the things [that went haywire with the Bucs] was that things were run kind of loose and the organization wasn’t there, the organization that you need to be successful. [Schiano] took over a [Rutgers] that never had a first round draft choice and the guy had three. He took over a program that never went to one bowl game and he won seven out of eight. His defense should be good.
Joe: Schiano seems like a guy who is really big on fundamentals as well as organization. It is safe to say he may have learned organization from his days with Joe Paterno?
Brandt: Oh, yeah. And he had experience with the Bears also with Dave Wannstedt. The biggest thing now is the staff that you get to help you. That’s the biggest thing now. People realize the importance of [assistant] coaches now.
Joe: Did the Bucs paint themselves in a corner? Are they in a pinch because they were the last team to hire a new coach? Or are there enough good coaches out there?
Brandt: There are a lot of good coaches out there. When I say there are a lot of good coaches out there it’s like talking about golf. There are a lot of good golfers out there but there are only a few zero handicaps. Guys that are a five-handicap are pretty good golfers too.
Joe: Just after Schiano was hired, there were two names linked to him and the Bucs, two guys that Schiano has a past with. One of them was Tom Bradley, longtime defensive coordinator at Penn State. What do you think of Bradley as a coach?
Brandt: I think he is a very good coach. I always thought he was a very good coach and I thought he had a very great knowledge of defense. That would be a good hire [for the Bucs].
Joe: There is also talk about Butch Davis coming in potentially as the Bucs defensive coordinator.
Brandt: Well, if Butch Davis is willing to do it and wants to stay in football and afford himself an opportunity to get back in [the NFL] someday as a head coach. I don’t think with the trouble he got into at North Carolina he can get back in the college game, but I do think he can be an NFL coach even though he didn’t do all that well in Cleveland.
Joe: Well, you worked with him in Dallas and he seemed to do a good job there as a defensive coordinator.
Brandt: Oh, there’s no question about it.