“It Was Always Uptight”April 18th, 2014
There is a long list of casualties of college coaches who came to the NFL and either wore out their welcomes or just plain flopped. The recent success of Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh had, then-Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik and Team Glazer hopeing there was a trend and they were hopping on the bandwagon.
Sure, Carroll was more of an NFL guy. And one could argue the same about Harbaugh. So when the Bucs tapped Greg Schiano to take over in 2012, part of the reason they did so was Schiano’s stint with the Bears as a secondary coach.
A lot of things went wrong for the Bucs last season, but it seemed the team just grew tired of the toes-on-the-line coaching by Schiano.
While appearing on “The Blitz” this morning, co-hosted by Bruce Murray and Solomon Wilcots, heard exclusively on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Bucs stud linebacker Lavonte David admitted many players had grown weary of Schiano and likely were tuning him out.
“It is a cool, laid-back situation right now,” David said of the difference between the professional approach of Bucs coach Lovie Smith and the Gunnery Sergeant Hartman-like Schiano. “Those guys [Lovie, defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, linebackers coach Hardy Nickerson], they have been through it, they know what it takes. They know we just have to put the time in to get to where we want to be. Coavch Lovie Smith has put together a great staff to do that.
Schiano’s toes-on-the-line style, “coming straight from college [and crazy man Bo Pelini], that’s all I knew. So, I just inherited it. Other guys were not comfortable with it but it was all I knew coming from college. He brought that collegiate atmosphere and I was fresh out of college, so that was my mindset. Talking to other guys and guys that had played a long time, they were saying, ‘You know, it’s not supposed to be like this.’ [The atmosphere at One Buc Palace] was always uptight.”
There were two interesting elements to David’s talk about Schiano and Lovie. The first was how David said his new coaches have been through the rigors of the postseason and know what it takes to win in the playoffs. That tells Joe right away the Bucs didn’t trust Schiano’s football acumen all that much.
The second was what Joe wrote last week, that David only knew what it was like to play for hollering, in-your-face, crazy coaches. Pelini makes Schiano look like a Publix cashier by comparison.