During an appearance on Pro Football Talk on NBCSN last week, Buccaneers running back Doug Martin said that the players-only meeting held just before the start of the regular season was held in order to air concerns that members of the team might have with the coaching staff.
A report by Albert Breer of the NFL Network depicted one of those concerns as being that head coach Greg Schiano’s methods during training camp were “overly rigid and rugged.” That complaint was brought to Schiano by safety Dashon Goldson and the coach responded by telling his players that he had a plan that he was going to stick to when it came to running the team, leading to some anonymous complaints to Breer.
Guard Carl Nicks likely wasn’t one of those complaining. He said Monday that the meeting was held “to make sure everyone is on the same page and that no one is kind of moping around and bringing the whole team down” and said that players needed to “stop feeling sorry for themselves” because nothing Schiano was doing was all that difficult.
“My first year in the league was the hardest training camp I’ve ever experienced. Schiano has not even come close to that yet. Seriously, it’s not that bad,” Nicks said, via Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune. “It was some of the guys that came from different teams or were rookies and they just weren’t used to it. The guys that were here last year, we’re used to it and to us it wasn’t that difficult.”
The difficulty of Schiano’s camp is less of an issue than the fact that there seems to be no end to stories about friction and unhappiness among players in Tampa, with most of that friction and unhappiness coming from the relationship with the head coach. Those issues won’t go away overnight, but it does suggest everyone hasn’t found the same page as Nicks and the 0-3 record (and eight losses in nine games dating back to last season) suggests that it is bringing the team down.
That makes you wonder if the plan that Schiano’s sticking to is the wrong one and how long the Bucs might be willing to keep going in hopes of getting a different answer.