Bucs happy to be treated 'like men'

April, 8, 2014
Apr 8
3:02
PM ET
TAMPA, Fla. -- Greg Schiano is gone from One Buccaneer Place, but the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach hasn't been forgotten.

You had to read between the lines only slightly to see the players are happy they now are coached by Lovie Smith. On the second day of the offseason program, five players were brought in to speak to the media. There was a common theme among all five.

"I think (Smith) treats us like men," kicker Connor Barth said. "I think that's the main thing. He said he's going to treat us like men and that's awesome."

None of the players directly said anything negative about Schiano, but the implications were everywhere.

"Me personally, I'm not a rah-rah guy," linebacker Lavonte David said. "Everybody staying calm and everybody keeping their composure, it can turn over to the field where the crowd's going crazy and something bad happens and everybody's keeping their composure on the sidelines. That builds more confidence to overcome (adversity)."

As a former college coach, Schiano had a reputation for being a "rah-rah" leader and stern disciplinarian. The atmosphere has changed with Smith and his coaching staff.

"All of them have the same personality," David said. "It's weird. Nobody's a rah-rah guy. Everybody's just cool, chilled, laid back and ready to get after it."

Wide receiver Vincent Jackson said he respected Schiano's discipline approach, but went on to sing Smith's praises.

"Just a smart man, you can just tell," Jackson said. "Very thought out, very well planned. He does everything with a purpose. Every minute in this building is going to be useful for us and it's going to make us better as men as well as football players.

"It's about treating guys like men, representing the Buccaneers and this organization and the city in the right light. We definitely want to do that on the field as well. We love his message and the tone that he's bringing to this organization."

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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