So, what did the Bucs learn from all those interviews?
The Bucs conducted at least 10 interviews (that we know of) before hiring Greg Schiano as their head coach last week. It was an exhaustive process that gave the Bucs a chance to talk with a wide range of candidates of different backgrounds and strengths.
As much as the Bucs wanted to learn about the candidates, they wanted also to learn about themselves through the eyes of others.
So, what did the Bucs learn from hours and hours of interviews?
General manager Mark Dominik shared some of the knowledge gained during the process.
“I think a lot of people saw that there is some talent here,” Dominik said. “But I think everyone wants to know. I told them going in, ‘(Pretend) you’re the head coach of this football team. You can tell us whatever you want. If you think the draft picks here haven’t been (good), that’s fine.’ ’’
The Bucs consistently heard good things about quarterback Josh Freeman.
“With Coach (Schiano), he talked about obviously Josh Freeman (being) a key element. There’s a lot of excitement in the National Football League about Josh Freeman. Obviously he didn’t play to his level of expectation last year, but that was an intriguing part for every football coach that we talked to.”
The defensive line, which hasn’t been intact much, was also a common topic of conversation.
“I think a lot of people, including ourselves, (wonder),” Dominik said. “Let’s be candid and honest: Gerald McCoy hasn’t played a lot of football in the past two years. Da’Quan Bowers played at the end of the year. (Adrian) Clayborn’s played one year and (Brian) Price has been off and on. There’s a nucleus of defensive linemen that we’re still trying to figure out, myself included. But as we talked to people about the defensive front four and the quarterback and the pieces around them, they were intriguing for coaches.”
Dominik didn't go into detail on what weaknesses coaches mentioned, but we can only assume they pointed out some areas that need improvement. In any case, after last offseason -- when the Bucs overestimated their roster coming off a 10-6 record in 2010 and did little to improve -- getting unvarnished opinions from outsiders can't hurt a bit.