Schiano Man (Christian Izien) Came To Play

September 13th, 2023

No headscratcher why he’s starting.

Joe likes to joke around on this here website and refer to Bucs nickel corner Christian Izien as “Schiano Man” — because he was a Schiano man.

Izien played for the former Bucs commander at Rutgers with Todd Bowles’ son. It’s how Izien first appeared on the Tampa Bay radar. Bowles saw him play in person.

Izien is beginning to make a name for himself — on an NFL field. So Joe thinks it’s not quite fair to refer to him as “Schiano Man.”

Izien had a helluva NFL debut Sunday in Minnesota. Not only did he ball out against the run with a seriously good open tackle, Izien may have made the play of the game. With 23 seconds left in the first half and the Vikings with the ball at the Bucs-13, Kirk Cousins tried to hit K.J. Osborn down the middle.

It appeared Osborn had the ball at the goal line and Izien ripped it away with one hand for a pick. The Bucs would go on to win by a lone field goal.

Massive play by the rookie.

Joe spoke with Izien afterward and he seemed to give his teammates credit.

“My teammates kept constantly reassuring me,” Izien told Joe. “They told me I was out there for a reason. Just go out there and play like it.

“So I had the confidence to go out there and do my job. It’s always good to have confidence [from fellow players]. So I came out there to ball and came out there to prove.”

Yup, Izien, an undrafted free agent, sure appears to belong.

Joe wondered if Izien felt he was being targeted because he’s a rookie. If you are Cousins, who are you going to test in a critical situation, Carlton Davis, Jamel Dean, Antoine Winfield, Ryan Neal or a green as grass rookie?

Izien told Joe he never thought about that.

“I honestly didn’t think that at all,” Izien said. “I expected more targets than I got.”

If Izien continues to make big plays and drag guys down in the open field the way he did in Minneapolis, teams won’t be targeting him too much.

He’s no longer Schiano Man. He’s Christian Izien.

16 Responses to “Schiano Man (Christian Izien) Came To Play”

  1. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    All the commentators thought Izien would be the weak link on the Bucs’ defense. Boy, did he prove them wrong.

  2. Fred McNeil Says:

    Kid runs a 4.41 40. 5’10” but 210 lbs. Rocked up pretty good. Ferocious. I like him already.

  3. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    Christian Izien aka Bucs man,Bucs nickelback soon to be called by coach Bowles as Izzy doing Izzy things.

  4. Lord Corn Says:

    We look to have a special class – drafted and undrafted

  5. KiddG941 Says:

    Joe we have to give a standing ovation to Jason Litch. The man pulled off a robbery in this year’s draft. Is he the greatest GM we have ever had a s a franchise or what?

  6. Irishmist Says:

    Watching Cousins screaming in frustration on the sidelthe ines after that pick put a smile on my face for the rest of the day.

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We appear to have some fantastic young players…..with our salary cap situation, we needed a great draft and some contributing UDFAs…..we got both.

    Our defense and special teams could be really good this year.

    Our offense still needs some work….especially the run game.

  8. orlbucfan Says:

    Rutgers has a very good rep as an academic institution. I don’t follow college football so not familiar with that area. This young man came to play. Another UDFA courtesy of Mr. Licht. He deserves the NFL GM of the Year but won’t get it cos of politics.

  9. realistic-optimistic Says:

    Izien looked great! And that BS PI call on him should be expunged.

  10. EternalSon Says:

    Good job Izien, coaches, and Licht!

  11. David Says:

    He definitely had a blown coverage on one play, but he also balled out most the time. Looked great.

  12. westernbuc Says:

    Schiano Man is great. It’s a deep reference from the Lost Decade and I love a good callback.

    Schiano’s time was a disaster but he was tough and tried to instill that in this team. Izien fully embodied that by literally stealing a touchdown. Everyone keeps saying he “got” an interception. No, the dude ripped the ball out of the wide receivers hands and stole it.

    How this guy went undrafted is beyond me. Do scouts not watch Rutgers? Whatever, can’t wait to see how much he grows

  13. stpetebucfan Says:

    I agree that Schiano’s time here was a disaster and I just think it’s because he’s a college coach that simply can’t adjust to NFL players. I actually have a lot of respect for Schiano as a College coach he just struggles with fully grown men who have become WEALTHY stars.

    BTW that’s not a dig at Schiano he’s hardly the Lone Ranger! Can you say..

    Nick Saban…Steve Spurrier…the list is long and full of GREAT college coaches who couldn’t coach in the NFL.

  14. Says:

    Great article Joe!

  15. Just Saying Says:

    Amusing Joe won’t disrespect a man by referencing a former Bucs head coach and a respected college coach but not problem using disrespectful nicknames for the goat and a ridiculous chicken reference for a D lineman. OK.

  16. Tap-Out Says:

    Christian29Izien (Izzy) …If you can ball you can ball! ….. ROOKI OF THE YEAR!