Greg Schiano: Family Talk In NFL Is A Crock

May 23rd, 2023

Preaching family in the NFL is nonsense, Greg Schiano said.

So yesterday Joe brought a story of former Bucs commander Greg Schiano confessing he wasn’t ready for the NFL when he took the Bucs’ gig in 2012.

In an hour-long sitdown for the podcast Next Up with Adam Breneman, Schiano detailed things he was unprepared for when he came to Tampa.

The first was contract size and how on-field performance doesn’t command respect in the locker room.

“I didn’t understand the business aspect of the league, that’s No. 1,” Schiano said. “In the National Football League, the No. 1 respect comes from the contract size. In college football, the No. 1 respect comes from what did you out there on the football field last week.

“But if you sign a monster contract, everyone in that locker room looks up to you, regardless if you are playing like dog doo out there right now. You are still the guy who has the biggest contract. That was one.”

The second element Schiano was unaware of is rallying a team around family. Schiano said the idea of pitching family to an NFL team is a crock.

A family atmosphere around his teams and the pedestal that Schiano has always placed family while in college was meaningless in the NFL, he said. And it seems Schiano struggled with that.

“I can remember talking to the players early in my tenure about what I talk to players about here,” Schiano explained. “About being a good husband and a good father. These experiences will prepare you for that.

“I made a comment like that and one of my established players who I respected a great deal, he said, ‘Coach, you do things the way you want. But if I could give you a little advice, these are grown men. Some of them have been husbands and fathers for 10 years.

“They don’t need you — what they need for you to do is make sure they are in a good position to make plays. Get ’em coached; get ’em aligned; get ’em ready to play and let their skills take over.

“‘This is the elite of the elite. They don’t need your life advice. They need you to help them make plays.’ And that really struck me.”

Schiano always had the Bucs break down the end of practices, “Family on three!” After his chat with the “established” player, Schiano immediately stopped that.

“I stopped because that was hypocritical,” Schiano said.

Besides, Schiano said, if a college player is struggling you help him and encourage him and give him all the resources you can to help him get over the slump because he’s part of the football family. In the NFL, Schiano said, guys like that you dump and kick to the curb.

As former Bucs coach Dirk Koetter once said, the NFL is a “production league.” Produce or leave.

“This is a business,” Schiano said. “Every Tuesday we would bring in 10 or 12 guys to work out. During the season. For your job. If you are Player No. 53 through 40, your job is on the line every week and we’re having guys trying to take it on Tuesday.

“I remember I would always grab something to eat and go out onto the field on Tuesdays at lunch and watch the workouts. That struck me too. Like, wow. This is truly a business.”

Schiano stressed this did not mean he hated his time with the Bucs. Instead, he said he enjoyed it.

28 Responses to “Greg Schiano: Family Talk In NFL Is A Crock”

  1. Stanglassman Says:

    Rushing the line on a kneel down was a bad look and the players knew it.

  2. TDTB2022 Says:

    A narcissist full of crap.

  3. Leighroy Says:

    Schiano was always a fish out of water. The thermostat, toes on the line, MRSA, rushing the victory formation, etc…. What it took to make Rutgers a respectable program in D1, was a far different animal than what it takes to be successful in the NFL.

    I wonder who the vet was who convinced Schiano that he was out of his depth?

  4. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    This is pretty insightful. Players feel completely different about the team than do the fans, especially the part about the contract commanding more respect than production. Makes me wonder how many of them hold the fans in contempt. I think you can assume that Antonio Brown did. Perhaps this can explain Devin White a little bit.

  5. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Leighroy, sounds like a Vincent Jackson comment. Smart veteran.

  6. CrazyHorse54 Says:

    The gladiator mentality most fans perceive is in the mind of players is a myth. Players, by and large, come across as uneducated, narcissistic Neanderthals with a bunch of money. This version of highly paid, but miserable athletes has left me.

  7. ModHairKen Says:

    It’s a dangerous and life altering way to make a living. Rare is the player who does not suffer a permanent injury. It’s not 18-20 year old players.

    That they didn’t need his rhetoric on family is not a surprise, given how he delivered other aspects of his personality.

    Why did it work with Dungy and not him? Because of him.

  8. Thomas Edrington Says:

    Why all this Schiano talk???? Quit livin’ in the past!!!!!!

  9. Smashsquatch Says:

    Thanks for sharing Joe. I knew Schiano struggled adapting to the NFL, but this interview reveals a more unprepared coach than previously thought. His mind was clearly back at Rutgers while he coached the Bucs.

  10. SOEbuc Says:

    Who cares about Schiano crying about how bad he was as NFL coach.

  11. Lt. Dan Says:

    Very insightful Joe – well done and thank you. Unlike Thomas I don’t see this as living in the past. I just appreciate any content that you provide us with during the doldrums of the off season.

  12. FlBoy84 Says:

    Appreciate his openness and the small look behind the scenes. Much prefer the occasional article like this than constantly being fed a “this guy is going to break out” fluff ones.

  13. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Enjoyed hearing that Schiano learned from admited mistakes and has grown and that is part of life. LOve these throwback ish articles of the bucs history; still waiting on the D Jax story

  14. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Swag works nicely when you are a winner……not so much otherwise…

  15. Jeff’s grandpa Says:

    Sorry but your toes on the line tough guy act don’t work with grown men

  16. ATLBuc Says:

    Or, Rhonde could have said it.

  17. Leighroy Says:

    Good call Jack, I bet you’re right that makes sense.

    ModHair, family wasn’t necessarily Dungy’s galvanising message so much as it was an underlying ethos of who he was/is. Dungy still played in the league and won a ring, came up as a DB coach and DC for multiple teams in the league over 15 years. He had credibility, Schiano to your point, had none.

  18. TOMMY MORDUE Says:


  19. Arians4President Says:

    Thanks Joe! I appreciate seeing some clarity from the horses mouth regarding the 2012 and 2013 seasons. Schiano should write a book or article on why NFL coaching is different than college. Have it be a peer-warning to other college coaches thinking of going straight to a NFL HC job

  20. gofortheface30 Says:

    CrazyHorse54 – agree 1 MILLION percent. As I’ve gotten to middle age with my own career, my own money to burn, family, etc looking UP to 25yr olds who are predominantly kind of annoying, like 99% of them I would never want to hang with them at a bar (NO I dont wanna wear jewlery like a lady and do the super griddy like 13 yo chick on tiktok) with most having average at best intelligence. My investment in these dudes goes as far as just win for my city on sundays and win me a little cash on fanduel.

    As an aside, things like the NFL draft have become unbearable to watch, taking on an olympic style, cliche backstory approach that caters to broads and children. Players coming out in their feminine fits and grills. Just awful. I do not care about these people in any way on personal level.

  21. Mike C Says:

    Thomas, those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

  22. Brandon Says:

    I kind of liked Schiano when he first came to the Bucs. He had fire and held players accountable. I didn’t like his hires… Sheridan, his DC was fired from the Giants a few years earlier for his D being awful, and the D’s directly before and after his were good enough to win Super Bowls. He was awful. His OC was equally bad, was it Mike Sullivan? No combo routes, very little use of motion pre-snap, no misdirection, QB sets were always the same… it looked like a classic Big 10 offense. That being said… it wasn’t much worse than Arians’ four vertical offense where often all eligible receivers would run the same routes and relied on players being physically better than those covering them. It only worked because we had quite a bit of talent on that side of the ball.

  23. westernbuc Says:

    NFL always wants it both ways, they want you to think it’s a family but then when it’s about money it’s a “business.” Devin White is a great example of this. If you criticize him then it’s “hey let him get the bag” or “you’d be no different.”

  24. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Stanglassman Says:
    May 23rd, 2023 at 4:11 am
    Rushing the line on a kneel down was a bad look and the players knew it.
    The difference was 7 points…Why would the Bucs just quit when there’s still time on the clock? Because the Giants wanted them to quit? Bad take, IMHO, Schiano absolutely did the right thing, unless you like quitting.

  25. Rand Says:

    I liked him. At the time all the local reporters were calling for a disciplinarian type head coach and when Schiano came in with that style all of these local reporters all of a sudden changed their minds and began to cry foul. They cried like babies loud enough for the national media to pile on. It was ridiculous and it only proved to me that these pundits use their bully pulpit to shape a team the way they want with their constant gripes aired out across their columns and air waves. I remember how Steve Duemig acted like a real doosh about Schiano. The media can be so negative and will try to squash you in the court of public opinion.

  26. Stanglassman Says:

    Everybody in the NFL before and since Schiano liked quitting I suppose. Joe in MI and Greg Schiano are the only real fighters out there.

  27. unbelievable Says:

    I mean this all just really reinforces what we already knew- he tried to coach a professional NFL team the same way he did with college players, and it didn’t work.

    I guess it’s good to hear him admit these realizations himself though.

  28. Drunkinybor Says:

    Whoever gave the thumbs up to hire this guy…not good