Greg Schiano admits this week's three-day mini camp is a critical part of the learning process – not only for the players, but for the coaching staff.
It's a staff that right now playing catch up.
"I'm certainly behind guys that have coached their team before," Schiano said. "There's no doubt about that. So from a personnel standpoint, I have some real catching up to do. I'll watch these tapes a lot harder than I might if this was my second or third year as a head coach because I would know these guys.
"I'm trying to figure out how they
move, how they react and how they do when they get a little bit
fatigued," he continued. "There is more to learn than just the scheme
when you are watching the tape. The other thing is that being a new head
coach in this league, everything takes a little longer. I don't have
the familiarity with some of the tasks that I have to do. I look forward
to the second cycle, but I am enjoying the heck out of the first cycle.
After doing the same thing for 11 years this has been exciting."
This extra time on the field is also allowing time to experiment. Ronde Barber is getting a look at safety, and with calling some plays in the huddle. Mason Foster remains the starter at middle linebacker, but it's Quincy Blacks that's calling the defensive plays.
"They're very preliminary, but we are going to try different combinations," Schiano said. "Our goal is to get the best 11 on defense and best 11 on offense and the best 11 on special teams. So who they are, I don't think you can pigeon-hole guys into different positions because the scheme is going to be a little different than it's been. But we're going to try to figure out what the best combination is. That will take a little bit of time. You can't take too long because guys have to create a comfort level for themselves, but now is the time to mess around."
Schiano's offensive philosophy starts with the running game. But right now his backfield is a little bare. There are just two tailbacks left over from last year: LeGarrette Blount and Mossis Madu.
"Well, we actually brought in a third guy, he kind of is a tryout," Schiano said. "So that took a little burden off. We'll go some one-back and things and we'll mix it up. We're not going to put anybody in jeopardy of being exhausted and possibly injure themselves. It's a little bit of a strain, but again, we'll have to bolster that number to go to training camp for sure."
The Bucs will have a good chance to bolster that backfield two weeks from now in the NFL draft.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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