The Panthers have the unenviable task of trying to game plan against a coach with no NFL tape to look at.
So they’re scouting old Rutgers games to see what Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano’s all about.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera said they’ve looked at his college work for clues heading into this weekend’s opener in Tampa.
“We have spent time watching the Rutgers tape,” Rivera said, via Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer. “He’s grown and changed as a coach as well. If there’s one thing you can say about what Coach Schiano is going to do, they’re going to go out and be a hard-nose, physical football team.”
Depending on which game they watched, they might see a coach that wants to establish that toughness to the point of stubbornness.
When Schiano brought his Rutgers team to North Carolina last year, he showed just that. The Scarlet Knights lost 24-22 to the much-more talented Tar Heels, even though they left easy points on the field.
In one case, an interception which was returned to the UNC 2-yard line yielded no points, when an incomplete pass was followed by three straight unsuccessful runs. Going for the fourth down in the first half instead of kicking a chip shot field goal would have been the difference in a road upset.
“Would we have taken a field goal? Yeah,” Rutgers quarterback Chas Dodd said that day. “Looking back at the score now, yeah, it probably would have helped us. But we were trying to get the ball in, we thought we had a good shot at it, and we just missed it. That’s got to be something we work on and find out what the problem was.”
That’s also the kind of tendency the Panthers are looking for, and one Schiano will doubtless be trying to mask.