Schiano The Rock

November 29th, 2013

It’s Part II of Joe’s exclusive chat with Bucs special teams coach Dave Wannstedt, who’s in his 39th year of coaching. The man has ridden major highs and lows of the business, including Super Bowl rings with the Cowboys and three AFC East titles with the Dolphins and Jay Fiedler, of all quarterbacks.

In Part I, Joe talked all things special teams and Mike Glennon with Wannstedt (here if you missed it). In this segment, Wannstedt explains his insider perspective on Greg Schiano righting the Bucs’ ship. Forgetting about what got the Bucs to an 0-7 start, what does the turnaround evident in the last four games say about Greg Schiano, from the perspective of you being a former NFL head coach?

Dave Wannstedt: I think the real key to success doing anything, and it’s the same as a head coach, you gotta be consistent. You can be a little bit flexible with some of the intangible things on a week-to-week basis. But as far as your core foundational things, you have to be consistent with those things. And I think that Greg has. I mean even when we were 0-6 and 0-7, when you walk in that door you know you have 15 assistant coaches and you got 60 players and another 40 or 50 staff members that are looking to you to be that upbeat, positive, we’ll-get-it-turned-this-week type of person with that type of attitude. I think Greg is steady with his attitude, his positive attitude, as he was reinforcing the things we believe in and we know will win for us as a football team on the field. That may have been his big positive quality that he demonstrated to everybody. Coming in every day when the papers are on you, and the fans are on you, and still being able to have a positive outlook to motivate people and get people giving their best in very difficult situations. What were you personal feelings through that time, knowing Schiano for so many years?

Wannstedt: I was sick about it. I mean, from my perspective I’m just trying to think and sometimes, you know, what he doesn’t need is a lot of people telling him what’s wrong. You can figure that out. That was pretty obvious to us. You know, so you might say with [my] 39 years, with head coaching experience and Super Bowls and national championships, I knew the obvious things that are wrong, he knows them. I felt terrible about it and my whole approach was, ‘What can I do from a positive standpoint to help send the message and keep the message alive?’ whether it was with the coaches or with the players or with the fans or the people in the building. That was the mindset I had, to support the message and stay the course. At the same time I got a professional relationship with Greg, but there’s also a personal relationship but that even makes you feel worse. You feel his pain. And when you’ve been in that [head coaching] chair, it even compounds it more. It’s just exciting. I’m so happy for him right now and for the players that we at least got a little breathing room here and kind of got it turned back the other direction.

Joe: Are you having fun in this special teams coaching role? Can you do this for 10 more years?

Wannstedt: You know what, I still enjoy coaching. For me to continue coaching, I made up my mind when I left Pitt, it was going to be with people that I wanted to be with. I’m doing this because I want to do it. I’m very blessed. I don’t have to do it. My only motive is to try to help Greg and to try to help the Bucs. I enjoy what I do, and the special teams is great is because I get a chance to get involved with all the players, from [Russell] Shepard, a receiver, to Mike James, a running back, to Donald Penn, an offensive linemen on field goal team. So I enjoy that part of it.

6 Responses to “Schiano The Rock”

  1. Bucfan#37 Says:

    Thanks Coach Dave, its a pleasure to have you here in Tampa. Your experience is greatly appreciated. The Bucs have improved with your addition to the team.

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger!!!

  3. Pyrda Says:

    This guy is a champ love the attitude he brings to the team.

  4. Bucfan#37 Says:

    A close buddy of mine is from Pittsburgh and is a huge Pitt Panther fan. He wants Wannstedt back at Pitt. The team has faltered since he left. He was a good recruiter of talent, especially with his Florida connections.

  5. andres Says:

    I was happy when they they hired him. Love those block punts WannY!

  6. Jim Says:

    Dave is the best special teams coach we have had since Rich Bisaccia, and could end up being even better.