Amid all the talk about the draft prospects, there’s a significant story out of the combine that’s related to the NFC South.
In this story, Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano admits he might relax some of his methods in his second year. After his hiring last January, Schiano quickly gained a reputation for taking a hard-line approach.
“We had one big thing we had to do. We had to establish a culture in the building,’’ Schiano said. “Sometimes, you have to go overboard one way or another to get that culture established. But I think at this point, our football team understands who I am and how our football program is going to be run. I think that happened as the season went on.’’
Schiano said he might cut back on some of his rules going forward.
"Oh, just some mandatory things I don't think grown men need,’’ Schiano said. “Take mandatory meals. If a guy is meeting his weight -- we have goal weights a guy has to meet each week -- if a guy is meeting his weight, I don't think they need any of our staff making sure they check in for breakfast and for lunch. They're grown men, they're professional athletes. But again, we had to establish a culture of accountability. But now they understand. And if your weight isn't where it's supposed to be, you will get checked in.’’
This might not seem like all that big a deal, and I don’t expect the atmosphere around One Buccaneer Place to return to the way it was when Raheem Morris occupied Schiano’s office. Schiano still is going to be a stickler for detail, but he sounds like he knows it’s time to ease off the accelerator just a little bit.
This could be significant. As I read Schiano’s quotes I couldn’t help thinking of New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin. In his first year with the Giants, and throughout his Jacksonville tenure, Coughlin ran what might have been a tighter ship than Schiano.
But, after that first season in New York, Coughlin eased up a bit and the Giants have won two Super Bowls since then.