TAMPA, Fla. -- Greg Schiano’s meetings with the media aren’t the 20-minute rambling sessions so often conducted by predecessor Raheem Morris.
The new Tampa Bay coach usually keeps things between five and eight minutes and you don’t walk away with a notebook filled with one-liners like you did with Morris. But, every now and then, Schiano will say something pretty profound and insightful.
That’s what happened Thursday when Schiano was asked if Carolina quarterback Cam Newton is more dangerous as a runner or a passer.
“Unfortunately, I think it’s like 50-50,’’ Schiano said. “That’s the problem. If you could load up on one and sacrifice the other. … You literally, when he has the ball, you’re playing against another running back. He’s that athletic and that good, which really screws up the math. Defense is all math. It’s getting your troops deployed where the fight is going on. When the guy who takes the snap actually carries the football, you don’t see that much in this league. You see it a lot in college football. It really messes you up. All your rules and assumptions have to be tweaked. When you have to tweak your rules and assumptions to stop the run and then you have a guy who is a very potent passer, that’s what makes him as dangerous as he is.’’
Schiano is right. Newton is another running back. He rushed for 706 yards and 14 touchdowns (the most ever by an NFL quarterback) as a rookie last season. Newton also threw for a rookie-record 4,051 yards and 21 touchdowns.
And all that came in a season when the lockout prevented Newton from having any time with his coaches until training camp. By the way, Newton threw for 422 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for another 18 yards and a touchdown in last season's opener against Arizona.
This season, Newton gets to open the regular season against Schiano and the Buccaneers on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.