A report of hitting during OTAs has made its way to Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano and Schiano responded Wednesday by saying that he and his coaches teach the players the right way to practice in the offseason.
Mike Florio shared what Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune said during a radio appearance about what Cumming saw — “I’ll tell you what, Greg Schiano is right on the border of getting investigated and possibly — I don’t know if they would fine him, I don’t know what the penalty is — but these guys are out there, they’re hitting.” — during a portion of practice open to the media that included a fight between tackle Jeremy Zuttah and defensive tackle Akeem Spence. OTA practices are non-contact and teams that violate that rule can lose practice days or incur fines from the league.
Schiano stressed that the team is shown training videos about the right way to practice and that the coaching staff does everything it can to enforce them. He also admitted that there are moments when players trying to make an impression cross the line, referencing the Zuttah-Spence fight, but that isn’t because the team isn’t playing by the rules. .
“I’m very confident that our practice tempo is 99.9 percent the plays are permissible. … So we’re playing 11-on-11 football but you use your hands and you use your feet and what we try to do is stay on edges and work with our hands and feet and then everything is tag tempo, so we tag off on ballcarriers,” Schiano said, via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “To say with 22 people on the field, they try to get out of the way when they tag off, do they sometimes run into each other? Yeah, it happens. But clearly in watching the training videos, I feel confident that we’re doing it the right way. I’m very big on (how) I expect them to do things on and off the field and it’s no different for me. There are rules set by the NFL and I’m expected to follow them and I do everything I can to.”
The Seahawks were stripped of two practice days last year for violating the rules on contact. We’ll likely find out soon if the league decides the Buccaneers are deserving of the same punishment.