"Everybody's entitled to their opinion," said the five-time Pro Bowler as he jogged off the field Monday. "That's his."
Schiano served as the Bucs' head coach in 2012 and 2013 and is currently the Buckeyes' defensive coordinator. His Bucs teams finished with 7-9 and 4-12 records before he was fired following the 2013 season.
In an interview with the Big Ten Network on Saturday, Schiano was asked whether this year's OSU defensive line is the most talented group he has coached at any level.
"It is, and that's not a joke," Schiano said.
In 2012, Schiano's defense gave up an average of 379.9 yards per game, 29th in the league, with 297.4 yards given up through the air -- the most in the NFL. Tampa's 27 sacks also ranked tied for 29th in the league (with the Kansas City Chiefs). But the Bucs' run defense gave up a league-best 82.5 yards per game.
In 2013, his defense showed sizable improvement, giving up an average of 348 yards per game (ranking 17th), including 237.9 yards through the air (17th) and 110 yards on the ground (15th). The group also registered 35 sacks (23rd).
"Being great in college and the NFL are two different things," said Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Roy Miller, who played for Schiano's Buccaneers in 2012 and won a national title with the Texas Longhorns in 2005. "I think it's unfair but if that's how he feels he has the right to his own opinion."
Defensive end William Gholston was a rookie when he played for Schiano in 2013. He believes Schiano made the comments as a motivational tactic.
"Hey, it's an opinion, it's not a fact," Gholston said. "I don't really care to give energy towards it. He's a coach. Those are his guys. And I can understand. You're supposed to believe you're the best at everything you do.
"When you're a coach, you've got to rev your guys up the best way you can. If it was [meant as disrespect], I don't put any energy towards that right now because we're trying to win the Super Bowl."
Weakside linebacker Lavonte David played for Schiano in 2012 and 2013 and became an All-Pro his second season. He doesn't believe Schiano meant any disrespect to the group.
"I really have nothing to say about that," David said. "I'm sure Coach Schiano has a great group of kids down there. I'm sure he didn't mean anything bad by it, because we know him personally as a guy, but the group we had here -- [those were] grown men.
"I'm sure he didn't mean anything mean by it. He probably said it to the get the media riled up or something like that, but I really don't know what was his purpose [in saying that]."
"For him to make that statement, I mean, he generally feels that in his heart but hey, that's no shade to me, Gerald [McCoy], any of the guys I played with because I know those guys I played with in Tampa, those guys are great players such as A.C. (Adrian Clayborn), Gerald, Gholston and some of the guys I can't remember. I played with some talented guys and for Schiano to say that, man, that's just his opinion," he said.
ESPN's Michael Rothstein contributed to this report.