Upside to staff of former college coaches

Back when Greg Schiano was hiring his staff, the new Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach took a lot of heat for hiring so many assistants straight from the college ranks.

I didn’t think then the criticism was justified because some of those guys had previous NFL experience. I also didn’t think it was justified because them Schiano worked with in the past. He wouldn’t have hired him if he didn’t like them or didn’t think they’re good coaches.

But there’s another positive to having a staff filled with college ties and I didn’t really think about that until general manager Mark Dominik brought it up in his pre-draft session with the media last week. Many of Schiano’s assistants have been keeping close tabs on this year’s draft prospects since high school.

“We’ve had a lot of advantage in terms of getting to know these young men before they even went to college,’’ Dominik said. “They sat in their living rooms. 'I know where this kid grew up. He was from Miami-Dade’ or wherever it was. Because we have a lot of coaches that were with Rutgers, because we have a Bob Bostad (offensive line coach) and guys that were with very successful programs as well, they know who these young men are inside and out as well, on and off the field, and that’s an important element for us. It’s been a great benefit and I hope to be able to use that for the next four or five years as those guys are still going to know the incoming freshman class as they come into their current university.”