Report: Schiano was perceived to be a bully when at Rutgers

Getty Images

When the Buccaneers hired Greg Schiano from Rutgers earlier this year, few league insiders had much to say.  Now that Schiano has ruffled the feathers of two-time Super Bowl winning coach Tom Coughlin by telling Schiano’s guys to play football during, you know, a football game, those who had previously been silent are teeing off.

Mike Silver of Yahoo! Sports writes, relying on multiple unnamed sources, that Schiano was considered to be a bully during his time at Rutgers.  Silver reports that Schiano was “universally viewed as unaccommodating, intimidating and downright disrespectful by NFL representatives who paid visits to Rutgers.”

“It’s his way or [expletive] you,” an unnamed veteran coach told Silver.  “He needs to back up a little bit, or he’s going to have a very hard time in this league over the long haul.”

We’ve got no reason to doubt Silver’s reporting, although we wonder whether the opinions expressed would be quite as strong if not anonymous.

That said, coaches are often jerks.

It’s a point we made last month, when ESPN devoted a segment of Outside The Lines to the scintillating question of whether suspended Saints coach Sean Payton is a nice guy.  Plenty of football coaches aren’t nice guys (cough . . . Parcells . . . cough . . . Belichick), for a variety of reasons both strategic and psychological.

Though Schiano has yet to establish much of a track record at the NFL level, his 11 years at Rutgers rubbed scouts the wrong way.

“Penn State was off limits for all but two days a year, but they didn’t make you feel as unwelcome,” another unnamed source told Silver.  “At Rutgers, it was a really unpleasant day.  You were made to feel like an outsider, like you weren’t welcome. And everyone was scared to talk to you.

“[Schiano] tried so hard to be a hard ass and went out of his way to be rude.  When you’d pass him in the hallway, you might say, ‘Good morning,’ and he’d look at you like you’re a [expletive] idiot.  A guy like him doesn’t realize that probably half of us played the game at a really high level – it’s completely condescending.  He would go out of his way to make you feel as uncomfortable as he could.”

The disrespect, per the report, went farther than interactions.  Scouts were given strangely limited access to Rutgers practices.

“There’s a box, a little bitty box, way away from the field,” one of the sources told Silver.  “All the scouts had to stand in that box like a bunch of little kids.  You couldn’t step out; you literally had to stand in it.  My feeling is that given who was chosen to coach the Bucs, all Tampa scouts should have to stand in a box at every college in America.”

Of course, none of that stopped Buccaneers G.M. Mark Dominik from hiring Schiano.  And if Schiano is successful at the NFL level, he’ll be no different than any of the other coaches who were primarily known for being big jerks until they put pelts on the wall — and even after.

Let’s face it, while the resentment of Schiano has caused many to embrace Coughlin, he was regarded as a big jerk, too, until those Super Bowl trophies started to pile up.

Bottom line?  Plenty of football coaches are big jerks.  (Not all, but plenty.)  Some are worse than others.  And winning is the best way to get people not to notice, or to care, about any antisocial tendencies that so many football coaches seem to have.

For Schiano, that puts even more pressure on him to win at this level, or he’ll soon be back at a college program, possibly making NFL scouts feel even less welcome.

66 responses to “Report: Schiano was perceived to be a bully when at Rutgers

  1. The last college guy to come into the league with the express intention of alienating his peers was Steve “You won’t find me sleeping in my office during the season like Jimmy Haaaayslett” Spurrier and he lasted two years.

  2. I think he keeps that play in the playbook because he expects to be in that situation about 10 times this season !

  3. The difference lies in on-field vs off-field. Coughlin was always seen as a jerk during practice and games… but players have mentioned many times how off the field he is a considerate guy, “family” man, philanthropist (Jay Fund). I don’t know much about Schiano, but those quotes seem indicative of an all around ego complex. For the record, I’m a Giants fan and was ok with the non-kneeldown.

  4. We get it Florio, you think its an actual football play. But if its such a great idea, why is a rookie head coach doing it for the first time in week 2? There is an element of integrity to the game, a set of unwritten rules. What if Eli came out of that with a knee injury or the bucs center had an injury? The probability of a turnover in this scenario is something along the lines of winning the lottery and an injury would be a far more likely outcome.

    Does anyone think that this mastermind is the first one to ever think of it? There is a reason we haven’t seen it before and its obvious. Don’t disrespect the game or the one’s that came before you that made it great.

    And yeah, news flash… schiano was perceived as a bully. Shocker. I never would have guessed lol!

  5. Well written.

    Lets be honest, if you got rid of all the jerks on the field and sidelines you’d have a hard time filling out a team roster and coaching staff, far less 32 of them.

  6. Wait wait wait…so you’re telling me a football coach is demanding, intimidating and entirely focused on his team to the exclusion of outsiders?

    Oh the humanity.

  7. Coughlin was perceived as a jerk by players.
    Schiano is perceived a jerk by his colleagues, the coaches.
    Big difference.
    In the beginning, the media opinion doesn’t count. However, as time goes by and the media manages to marry coaches to negative comments about Schiano, the only thing that will save him is winning.
    It’s Tampa Bay.
    Schiano has three years, at best. Maybe two. The Bucs are not a playoff team.
    Schiano will return to college bullying.

  8. He changed rutgers from a laughing stock to respectable. People are hoping he does the same for the buccs. I wish him good luck because what he did for eric legrand shows that he might front as a jerk but he does care for his players.

  9. Tom Coughlin, it seems lately, has a thing for unwritten rules in the NFL.

    The kneel down is completely legal, yet Coughlin objected vehemently.

    When Bill Belichick claimed TE Jake Ballard off waivers in the offseason, that was a completely legal move, but Coughlin thought there was some unwritten rule that other teams shouldn’t take his players.

    Maybe he should start following some of the rules that are actually in the books – like not having two of his defenders fall down with “injuries” as if they had been shot, just to stop the Patriots’ no-huddle offense.

  10. All the talk about Schiano respecting the game is nonsense. He doesn’t need to follow the lead of anybody. God forbid that he comes into the league and tries something new. Ultimately he will be judged on wins and losses, not how many other coaches like him.

    Give ’em hell Schiano!

  11. When reporters wig out about the duration of coach handshakes, I think back to Chuck Noll. He never shook hands with opposing coaches. But he won my Steelers four Super Bowls. Many people think Alabama’s Nick Saban is an SOB. Maybe … but he’s my SOB and he’s brought us two championships in three years.

    If Schiano wants to be an NFL bully but have people tolerate his quirks like they do Belichick’s, all he has to do … is win. Right now, he’s getting a little ahead of himself.

  12. You write this post as if all jerks are doing it consciously and deliberately as a ploy or an intimidation factor. Don’t let them off the hook like that. Some people are just huge jerks and don’t have to work at it.

    Also, jayman8…don’t worry about it. Eli didn’t get any boo-boos.

  13. guys who pull that high school / college bully crap never survive in professional anything…

    it’s one thing to be tough on the players… it’s totally different when you get known as a completely unreasonable child by the people you have to work with, trade players with, have enough relationship with to get another job down the line, and everything else you rely on professional relationships to get done in the real world…

    they always pay for it…

  14. People who talk about the “unwritten rules” in football are mistaking it for baseball.

    There’s one golden rule in football:

    Between the lines and the whistles, you’re live. Keep your head on a swivel.

    Remember when New Yorkers were known for being tough and not whining about a defense playing defense?

  15. Who the hell gives a crap what scouts think?

    You got to understand that this guy was hired because Raheem Morris LOST his team. There was no discipline. They practiced with rap music and were lax. Curfews were routinely missed. Players were constantly late for team meetings. etc, etc.. The Glazers wanted someone that would enforce discipline, accountability, and bring toughness back to the program.

    Schiano is doing exactly what he was hired to do.

  16. It’s not all that hard to be a courteous person, but it takes effort to be rude. With guys like this what goes around often comes around. He’s built up no goodwill anywhere, so he’d better win.

  17. No but actually, Greg used to bring his guys and attended the same church as me back in Somerset NJ. He’s actually a great guy, but he has a fiery streak about him. Nearly broke my hand (and I’m not a weak dude) the first time I shook his hand.

  18. farty5 says: Sep 22, 2012 9:51 PM

    Schiano, Schwartz, Shanahan, and Payton all strike me as unabashed dirtbags
    ———-

    Plus Payton is a player scab from 1987. Watched that sadness with my own two eyes.

  19. With that secondary in Tampa, he’s gone in two years. If Eli hadn’t thrown three picks and had the replacements known that grabbing a WR’s jersey and holding it all the way down the field is a penalty in the NFL, NY would have won by 28 and Eli would have had over 600 yards. Talib held Nicks on every single play and Hakeem still lit him up for 199 on one foot. Did it ever occur to this “brilliant” rookie coach to give Talib help in covering Nicks? Nope. His “brilliance” is “playing hard to the end” even though the week before HIS team took a knee THREE times from the 2 minute mark on. Tampa’s allowed to take a knee ahead by 6 with 2 minutes left against Carolina, but NY is not allowed when they are beating Tampa by 7 with 5 seconds left. That’s wrong. The hypocrisy of this is just mind boggling.

  20. Why is it that a quarterback running in the open field who goes into a feet first slide can’t be touched or a kick returner who catches a kick off in the end zone and takes a knee can’t be touched, but it’s ok to plow into a quarterback who is trying to take a knee to run out the clock?

  21. Mike Silver of Yahoo! Sports writes, relying on multiple unnamed sources, that Schiano was considered to be a bully during his time at Rutgers.  Silver reports that Schiano was “universally viewed as unaccommodating, intimidating and downright disrespectful by NFL representatives who paid visits to Rutgers.”

    “It’s his way or [expletive] you,” an unnamed veteran coach told Silver.  “He needs to back up a little bit, or he’s going to have a very hard time in this league over the long haul.”

    BECAUSE IN HIS WILDEST DREAMS Schiano NEVER BELIVED HE’D EVER BE NFL-INVITED!

  22. “Penn State was off limits for all but two days a year, but they didn’t make you feel as unwelcome,” another unnamed source told Silver.

    ——————————————————

    What? Do you think they were trying to hide something at Penn State?

  23. Sorry but the scouts in the box is straight up hilarious.
    —————————————————–
    “Scouts in the Box”…Sounds like a Timberlake/Samberg SNL song…

  24. GO BUCS! It’s not schianos fault the giants offense didn’t notice the bucs ready to jump in. The didn’t line up to kneel down. Coughlin should be pissed at his offensive line for not manning up on the “LAST PLAY”.. Haha get it “manning” up.
    GO BUCS!

  25. “Let’s face it, while the resentment of Schiano has caused many to embrace Coughlin, he was regarded as a big jerk, too, until those Super Bowl trophies started to pile up.”

    There’s a huge difference between the two though, which should be obvious. Coughlin is an old-school disciplinarian, which rubbed some guys the wrong way. Schiano is nothing more than a true jerk – abusive, degrading, disrespectful, and there’s nothing classy or strategic to it.

    And before you start blasting me as a Gints homer, I’m a steeler fan who hasn’t forgotten the grief Coughlin gave me while he was in Jacksonville all those years. Respect well earned, unlike Schiano.

  26. There’s more and more of these bullies around nowadays.

    They’re raised with never hearing the word no, always getting their way.

    He won’t last long.

  27. I remember a looong time ago Dallas did a rush on a kneel down and the other team fumbled the ball and a Dallas defender ran it into the endzone and won the game. It happens. And Im sick of hearing about all these ” unwritten rules” from the Giants.

    There’s a reason they are not written.

  28. I’m sorry, but to categorize what Schiano does as “bullying” is simply leftist crap language. Maybe Schiano is not polished or maybe he has no tact, but when you use “bully” that is meant as a sentence and conviction in the leftist world – it is the highest form of insult to another human being. Short of calling Schiano a racially-tinged word, his detractors are employing thought police language against him. This happens all the time now – instead of practicing tolerance and seeking to work with him, the left itself employs “verbal bullying” to quash anyone who doesn’t fit their prissy little nirvana model. What you likely have is Schiano actually acting like a man, standing up for his players and coaches, and the weakling, sniveling, pimples of men who don’t have a collective set among them, trying to show how “brave” they are for going to war with code-language words to get him fired. Utterly disgusting – much worse than Schiano’s actions!

  29. “farty5 says: Sep 22, 2012 9:51 PM

    Schiano, Schwartz, Shanahan, and Payton all strike me as unabashed dirtbags”
    —————————————————-

    I agree but you have to give Shanahan props for for running Albert Haynesworth’s badass attitude into the ground. Made fatboy puke.
    Other than that, I feel bad for Redskins players.
    No, I don’t.

  30. selmonfan63 says:
    Sep 22, 2012 10:42 PM
    All the talk about Schiano respecting the game is nonsense. He doesn’t need to follow the lead of anybody. God forbid that he comes into the league and tries something new. Ultimately he will be judged on wins and losses, not how many other coaches like him.

    Give ‘em hell Schiano!

    ====================

    Supposedly, this approach fractured some aspects of the lockerroom, which is why Winslow was shipped out, and you dont see LeGarrette Blount getting any carries – he’s playing the good soldier now, but believe me, if the losses mount – that young club house will turn on him. “Camp Coughlin” only works so long at this level. But its ok so far…

  31. Maybe he should start following some of the rules that are actually in the books – like not having two of his defenders fall down with “injuries” as if they had been shot, just to stop the Patriots’ no-huddle offense.
    ——————————————————————————-

    Uh. Pretty silly to suggest anything to Coughlin as he just won the Superbowl. Those other coaches you mentioned? YeAh they lost to him.

    One has three times straight.

    I dunno. Maybe they should take his advice, eh?

  32. Re you kidding me? Bully? This guy plays the game with heart and has a distain for loosing. He hold the Gameboy players accountable and demands they EARN there over paid and swollen salaries. I like the guy. If you don’t like being bullied or talked to tough and firm. Stand up for yourselves. Don’t cry foul and run to the press. Look at recently released tight end sent to Seattle and now with New England. Winslow made a comment,,,,,,,, Feet on the line, no laughing, no anything but football. Well Boys and I stress boy! Your paid to do just that. It must suck to be held in the regard of boys instead of men. It must suck that 99% of you players are soft and lack self-respect and discipline.

    Grow up, and deal with it. Dude is a man’s coach and its obvious the far left moral soft press and players are having trouble dealing with a man’s man running things.
    Regards

  33. Why should a college coach be accommodating to NFL scouts? His job is to coach football and make sure his players are doing their coursework.

    As for the “What if Eli Manning got injured?” guy, what if he did get injured? Your offensive linemen are supposed to block for you. What if he got injured getting sacked on a passing play?

  34. The Bucs had a nice guy coach in Tony Dungee he was a winner but not in the “Big Show”. John Gruden was called a jerk and took the Bucs to the Super Bowl. Then comes everybody’s “buddy” Raheem Morris. Failed experiment there. It can be said that he lost control of the locker room by being too nice. So now we have a hard nose coach in place. A no nonsense guy who may be a jerk . He is not paid to be a nice guy or friend to anyone . So maybe he lacks social skills. So what? He is paid to win games and if he dose, he will have lots of friends in Tampa Bay!

  35. I’m a Pats fan but that article says that BB got away with stuff because he was winning. Not really…he always did lots of stuff that irked people from the moment he became a HC in Cle. Replacing Cle’s hometown boy @ QB, replacing the 100 million dollar man Bledsoe with an unknown efficient 6th round draft pick, chilly media relations, benching the Pats best WR,etc. all of that done before a single SB won as a HC. One reason coaches become successful is their commitment to doing things their way because that’s how they feel is best to win. That same single mindedness can be seen as arrogance etc, and it is in a way. But there are plenty of jackwagons who are arrogant and stubborn and DON’T win in the NFL like Saban.
    The best coaches have some level of what could be called arrogance to them such as Payton, BB even Coughlin.

  36. marima07 says: Sep 22, 2012 10:33 PM

    Tom Coughlin, it seems lately, has a thing for unwritten rules in the NFL.

    The kneel down is completely legal, yet Coughlin objected vehemently.

    When Bill Belichick claimed TE Jake Ballard off waivers in the offseason, that was a completely legal move, but Coughlin thought there was some unwritten rule that other teams shouldn’t take his players.

    He never said anyone broke a rule, but every sport has it’s own ‘etiquette’, so to speak. There are things that are mutually understood among all teams and players, an element of respect, which is why Schiano’s players were so quick to throw him under the bus after the kneel-down incident. They knew it was wrong, and they admitted that they didn’t want to do it. Why shouldn’t Coughlin get angry when coaches spit on those things?

    I’m a Giants fan, and I didn’t see a problem with what Schiano did, but I also understand why Coughlin would get angry. The odds of a fumble, recovery, and TD for the Bucs in that situation were miniscule at best, and risking an injury to a player(or players) in the face of such incredibly long odds just doesn’t seem worth it.

  37. You should really change the name of this website to GHT: giants homer talk. Those are about the only ones flapping their mouths and funny, just about all their classless comments seem to make it through the censors. Get over it you friggin whiners!!!

  38. Hey Florio,

    Why are you defending this jerk? It’s a very old, unspoken (but well accepted) rule that this guy broke. Hard football is fine, but not when 11 of the 22 guys on the field aren’t anticipating it.

    And what’s he going to do with the ball when he gets it with no time on the clock?

    This guy is trying to be show himself off as some kind of badass to his team, as though they’re still college students or something, but I would bet every future paycheck that this only served to show them what a joke he is.

    He has served the NFL notice, now watch how the rest of the league responds. I hope teams get up by 40 points on the Bucs and STILL throw deep in the 4th quarter.

  39. Maybe he should start following some of the rules that are actually in the books – like not having two of his defenders fall down with “injuries” as if they had been shot, just to stop the Patriots’ no-huddle offense.

    ———-

    uh, that was vs the rams week 2 of last season. they beat the pats twice last season without being phased by the no huddle.

    and listen mr. hypocrite, you cant have it both ways. coughlin and/or the giants werent found at fault there, so what rule did they violate? oh you mean some unwritten rule?! like the ones youre criticizing him for complaining about??

  40. The man is in town to win football games, not popularity contests.

    So what if a poor wittle NFL scout had his feelings hurt because he wasn’t accomodated and given the royal treatment he didn’t deserve? Perhaps this incident took place when Schiano was coaching his Rutgers football team 80 hours a week and sitting by Eric LeGrand’s bedside another 40 hours a week. This unnamed scout needs to get over himself.

    The last time the Bucs had a coach concerned with winning popularity contests, he was shipped out of town after his team quit on him and played 10 straight games of some of the worst football ever seen by man.

  41. marima07 says:
    Sep 22, 2012 10:33 PM
    Tom Coughlin, it seems lately, has a thing for unwritten rules in the NFL.

    The kneel down is completely legal, yet Coughlin objected vehemently.

    When Bill Belichick claimed TE Jake Ballard off waivers in the offseason, that was a completely legal move, but Coughlin thought there was some unwritten rule that other teams shouldn’t take his players.

    Maybe he should start following some of the rules that are actually in the books – like not having two of his defenders fall down with “injuries” as if they had been shot, just to stop the Patriots’ no-huddle offense.

    ——-

    You also forgot another of Coughlin’s unwritten rules- If you’re on time for a meeting, you’re five minutes late.

  42. east96st says: Sep 23, 2012 12:34 AM

    With that secondary in Tampa, he’s gone in two years. If Eli hadn’t thrown three picks and had the replacements known that grabbing a WR’s jersey and holding it all the way down the field is a penalty in the NFL, NY would have won by 28 and Eli would have had over 600 yards. Talib held Nicks on every single play and Hakeem still lit him up for 199 on one foot. Did it ever occur to this “brilliant” rookie coach to give Talib help in covering Nicks? Nope. His “brilliance” is “playing hard to the end” even though the week before HIS team took a knee THREE times from the 2 minute mark on. Tampa’s allowed to take a knee ahead by 6 with 2 minutes left against Carolina, but NY is not allowed when they are beating Tampa by 7 with 5 seconds left. That’s wrong. The hypocrisy of this is just mind boggling.
    ——————-

    EXACTLY.

Leave a Reply