SARASOTA, Fla. – Arizona Cardinals tight end D.C. Jefferson has read about the displeasure with Greg Schiano's coaching style from afar, and he knows exactly what the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are going through.
Jefferson played for Schiano for three years at Rutgers.
“I’m not surprised that the guys wouldn’t be able to handle it, not being acclimated to that kind of coaching,” Jefferson said. “Not from Coach Schiano but from themselves.”
Jefferson said Schiano is a stickler for the details, well above and beyond what NFL players are accustomed to.
Well, "stickler" might be an understatement. And if a player isn’t focused on doing things Schiano’s way, Jefferson said it won’t be pretty.
“It’s a detail-oriented team in every aspect, every single detail matters, and a lot of guys ain’t used to that,” Jefferson said. “A lot of guys are used to being real loose and free.
“There’s a lot of little stuff that Coach Schiano focused a lot of emphasis on. It’ll be a little tough for some guys from different college[s] who didn’t have that kind of coaching.”
After practice at Rutgers, it wasn't a surprise if Schiano called for cross-field sprints. It was grueling but it helped Jefferson develop. A few months into his NFL career Jefferson has noticed he’s better prepared for the NFL than some of his teammates, thanks to Schiano.
“It has made me a lot better person as far as on the field and off the field,” Jefferson said.
This weekend in Tampa will be a homecoming and a reunion for Jefferson. He grew up an hour from Raymond James Stadium in Winter Haven, Fla., and he’ll be lining up across from the man who recruited him to the Northeast.
“I’ll be comfortable with seeing him,” Jefferson said. “It’s Coach Schiano. I have a strong relationship with him. I’m excited.”