Greg Schiano Has An Ace In His PocketFebruary 22nd, 2013
For the vast majority of NFL head coaches, interviewing players at all-star games and the combine is critical to not just know possible targets but to get inside their heads.
Few, if any, NFL types really know the college players aside from their athletic abilities.
Not so with Bucs coach Greg Schiano. Just one year removed from the college ranks, Schiano knows many of the players at this weekend’s largest indoor track practice after recruiting them when they were high school juniors and seniors (much like how he knew Bucs cornerback Leonard Johnson since the Clearwater native was 15).
In some cases, these same prospects played for Schiano, who didn’t dismiss he may have an advantage over his coaching brethren, during his press conference at the NFL Scouting Combine yesterday.
“It may have [been an advantage], maybe not so much the player we did select, although we did select two West Virginia players we played against. But more importantly, knowing information, knowing backgrounds, so you kind of cut to the chase on things,” Schiano said. “The other thing is the relationships I had with college head coaches, I think that’s critical, whether you went through league meetings with them or you went through national meetings with them, but you built a relationship through time to be able to talk to those guys and gain insight into the player that you maybe couldn’t have otherwise. That’s helpful.”
With the exception of Johnson, Joe isn’t so sure we have seen the benefit in Schiano knowing players and coaches.
Yes, Schiano and Dominik drafted a pair of Mountaineers, who played in the same conference (at the time) as Schiano’s Scarlet Knights of Rutgers. But at best, the jury is still out on linebacker Najee Goode and cornerback/safety Keith Tandy.