One of the criticisms of the Buccaneers when Raheem Morris was the coach was that the team wasn’t disciplined enough.
They had the fourth-most penalties in the league last season, losing lots of yardage the team couldn’t afford to lose since so many other things were going wrong on the field. Since Greg Schiano took over as head coach, there’s been a lot of talk about a more disciplined approach from the top down. That doesn’t mean Schiano wants his team to drastically cut down on penalties, though.
“It’s a fine line between being a physical, aggressive football team and getting a flag. You gotta be careful. I don’t ever want to be the least penalized team in the league, because I don’t think you’re trying hard enough then,” Schiano said in an interview with WDAE in Tampa, via SportsRadioInterviews.com. “But I certainly do want to be in the top 10. That’s where you should be. You should be — five through 10 is a great place to be as a penalized team.”
Schiano recognizes that there isn’t actually a line between being a physical team and getting a flag. If you want to play the aggressive style that Schiano has been preaching, there are going to be penalty flags thrown in the course of a game. Schiano was really drawing the line between penalties like lining up offside or losing your temper and those that come when “you’re playing hard and you happen to fly over the top and hit somebody out of the hit zone.”
He can’t penalize players for the latter if he’s asking them to play a certain way. The league can, but that sounds like a problem Schiano is willing to deal with.