Bringing Rutgers To Tampa BaySeptember 13th, 2012
One cool thing Joe enjoys is reading the papers that cover the next Bucs’ opponent each week. Given the fact the Bucs are facing a team from the largest media center in the western hemisphere, there is no shortage of Bucs-Giants related content.
Since Bucs coach Greg Schiano coached, basically, the college football program that represents the greater New York metropolitan area, as the sport is down the totem pole of sports attention there, guys who knew Schiano or covered Schiano are here in the Tampa Bay area now to write stories on the former Rutgers leader.
So it’s an interesting perspective Joe is getting from the likes of Steve Politi of the Newark Star-Ledger, the favorite newspaper of Tony Soprano (played by Rutgers alum James Gandolfini) who explains that Schiano didn’t leave for the NFL, but Rutgers joined the NFL.
Was this really an NFL training complex in South Florida? Or was this another football practice in Piscataway?
Greg Schiano, it turns out, didn’t leave Rutgers. He brought it with him, and the similarities are so overpowering you don’t know where to begin. The same chant — “one-two-three family!” — to break the huddle before practice. The same locker room clock counting down the seconds to the next game. The same manic attention to detail, including setting the temperatures in the meeting rooms to 68.5 degrees. Some of the same people, even — 11 of them, to be exact, from the players to the trainers to the assistant coaches to the front-office staff.
Even the same corny catch phrases. Ronde Barber, an NFL veteran of 16 seasons, went on his radio show and preached about how each game was its own season and that this week was the Giants season, sounding so much like his new coach it was like he was reading a script.
This just speaks to Joe about the man that Schiano is. He learned from coaches like Joe Paterno and Bill Belicheat, among others, what it takes to win, and he isn’t deviating from what has worked for him in the past.
Schiano is a man of character and it’s cool that he hasn’t changed his ways just because he’s in the big leagues now.