Bucs happy to let Dolphins deal with distractions
The Bucs are happy to let the Miami Dolphins have their day in the slime light.
Coach Greg Schiano's team spent the first half of the season coping with an outbreak of MRSA, accusations that the captain's vote was rigged, unauthorized interviews, a breach of confidentiality in the league's substance abuse program and ultimately the demotion and eventual release of quarterback Josh Freeman.
Not to mention an 0-8 start.
But heading into a Monday Night Football game in which Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp will be inducted into the team's Ring of Honor at halftime, the Bucs know it's the Dolphins who are dealing with more distractions. Left tackle Jonathan Martin left the team after an apparent hassrassment and bullying incident involving guard Richie Incognito, who has been suspended from the team for conduct detrimental.
"Yeah, that's going to be to their disadvantage, honestly,'' linebacker Dakoda Watson said. "If that's what they have to worry about, that's what they have to worry about. We can only control what we control here, and that's us trying to get that W right now."
Schiano admits the Bucs myriad of distractions likely affected their preparation the first two months of the season.
"Nobody cares about what's going on,'' Schiano said. "That's the reality of it. You've got to fight through it. That's the job of a team and a coach. But the reality of it is, I talk about you having 1,440 minutes every day. If you're spending it on stuff other than game-planning, evaluating, all those things. There's a limited time. You do have to sleep a little bit. That's where it becomes a tangible factor. Other than that, you can't let it be a distraction, other than when it takes times away from what you normally do. That's when it becomes an issue.''
Schiano said the Bucsd don't have a policy on hazing, other than it needs to be restricted to initiation rituals such as carrying pads, buying food, etc.
"My policy is with everything, we talk about trust, belief and accountability,'' Schiano said. "That kind of covers everything. What I talk to them about...our guys, there's some ritual things they do and my thing is always you don't cross the line. That's a man and you're a man. Make sure you don't cross the line. I think our guys have been good about that. So if it's skits, or carrying pads, or cleaning up a tray, that's ritual that guys go through and that's kind of how we talk to them about it in that trust, belief and accountability to one another. That code of conduct kind of covers everything we do.''