Thursday, May 31, 2012
Buccaneers doing it right with Eric LeGrand
By Pat Yasinskas
There’s been some early concern among fans and media members about the tight ship new coach Greg Schiano is running in Tampa Bay.
That’s understandable because Schiano runs things in a much different fashion than former coach Raheem Morris. Besides that, there have been some college coaches (see Bobby Petrino) who jumped to the NFL and weren’t able to relate well to their players. There’s a fine line when you’re dealing with professional players, many of whom make millions of dollars.
But I think Schiano is walking that line quite nicely so far. Some may perceive him as a Bill Belichick clone, but I think Schiano also has a very human side.
We just got some more evidence of that. The Bucs will be holding a news conference next Tuesday with Eric LeGrand. He played for Schiano at Rutgers before suffering a spinal injury. Schiano has remained exceptionally close to LeGrand. After the NFL draft, the Bucs made LeGrand one of their signings as an undrafted free agent.
You can call that a symbolic gesture, but it’s turning out to be much more than that. Although LeGrand, who says he’s working hard to walk again, will never play for the Bucs, he’s going to be involved with them.
We don’t know yet if there will be any special announcements out of the news conference. But LeGrand hinted on his Twitter account that his Bucs jersey (No. 52) could go on sale soon.
Schiano may be strict with his players, but I think what he's doing with LeGrand sends a very positive message to every player on his roster. He's showing that if you play by his rules, he's always going to stay loyal to you and treat you well.