Schiano: 'We threw a clunker...the sky is not falling.'
Bucs coach Greg Schiano gave his players the day off Monday on the heels of suffering a 41-0 defeat at New Orleans, the team's fourth straight loss and its first by more than one score under his regime.
But despite some signs of frustration and possible rancor among players toward the new coaching staff, Schiano also dismissed it as just a bad performance.
"The team is disappointed in what we did yesterday,'' Schiano said. "Whether it was all pretty or perfect, but 13 games, either we won or it came down to a one possession game where we could've won the game...and that's competitive football. Then we go out and we throw our first clunker. We've been together now 11 months and we threw a clunker. Now, the sky's not falling. We've got a lot of good young players and we have some experienced really good players. We threw a clunker. Now, we've got to get over it.
"Why the day off? Look, you'd be naive to say the dynamics of things haven't changed now that we're no longer in the playoff hunt. So we have two one-game seasons coming up. As far as I'm concerned, I talked to the football team last night. We got everything discussed that we had to discuss and we need to get better Wednesday getting ready for St. Louis and I wanted them get away from here for a little bit.''
Schiano also dismissed a report in Pro Football Talk quoting an unnamed player saying, 'Can we send these coaches back to college?'
"Well, I already graduated, so I do not need to go back to college,'' Schiano said. "I wasn't a great student, but I got the degree so that I don't need.
"The reality is, I don't sense any of that. Anonymous sources, no disrespect to you guys, but anonymous sources are anonymous sources. So, I feel we've got a group of men in that locker room that are together, understand where we're going with this thing, know this is going to be a championship organization again and we're all working hard. We threw a clunker, but the sky is not falling.''
Schiano also stood behind quarterback Josh Freeman, who threw four interceptions and lost a fumble Sunday against the Saints.
"You know what? If Josh Freeman wasn't coming in and just spending all kinds of time here and if I wasn't getting texts and our coaches asking questions at 10 o'clock at night asking about coverages and things like that, then yeah, I'd have reason to be concerned. But I know everybody goes through better times, lesser times. But I also know those who persevere, those who work, tend to their knitting, they're going to fine. Josh is tending to his knitting, so we're going to be fine.''