Greg Schiano's welcome to the NFL moment came in the same state where he coached Rutgers University for 11 seasons. First, the Bucs lost the battle of the chalkboard to Eli Manning and the Giants, who passed for 510 yards and three touchdowns last Sunday. Then Schiano got another teaching moment from Giants coach Tom Coughlin, who didn't like the first-year coach ordering his defense to fire off the ball on the final kneel down to end the game. Schiano has been anything but apologetic. "To me it's a clean, hard, tough finish-the-game play,'' Schiano said. "Some people disagree with that. That's certainly what makes the world go round. Everybody has opinions. But I don't have any remorse or regret. "It's clean, hard football. It was no sneak attack. We were down, ready to go and that's how we do it all the time. If you've studied any tape of us, that's how we do it.'' You can bet the Dallas Cowboys have been watching plenty of tape of the Bucs in preparation for Sunday's game at Cowboys Stadium. In his three starts vs. the Bucs, Cowboys QB Tony Romo has thrown for 11 touchdowns and no interceptions while finishing with passer ratings of 148.9, 140.6 and 133.9. "When you give up the amount of yards we did the other day, that makes you re-think a lot of stuff,'' said Bill Sheridan, the Bucs defensive coordinator. Does Bucs coach Greg Schiano expect Romo to air it out against them in Cowboys Stadium? "Oh, I would think so. Yeah,'' Schiano said. "They're a run-pass mix anyway, but they're not afraid to throw the ball, and until we stop it, why wouldn't they?'' Of course, it's unfair to heap the blame for the skewed passing numbers on cornerbacks Aqib Talib or Eric Wright. Remember, the Bucs intercepted Manning three times in the first half last week, including one returned 60 yards for a touchdown by Wright. The Bucs defensive line failed to get pressure on Manning. And when Sheridan dialed up the blitzes with only one deep safety, they didn't get home. That left Giants receivers Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks free to work outside the numbers for back shoulder fades and go routes. "There's no doubt, it's stressful for the corners, especially with the skill level you see every week from the wide receivers,'' Sheridan said. "But it's an 11-man play when something like happens. We just talked about that this morning when we started installing our game plan for Dallas that the front seven is equally responsible for those things and they understand that. "It's not an easy task to be playing out there on an island, three, four or five seconds into a down. So when we call pressures, we expect guys to execute and get on edge of the blockers and affect the quarterback.'' The Bucs are off to a surprising 1-1 start. Their new additions such as Vincent Jackson, Wright, guard Carl Nicks and rookies Doug Martin, Lavonte David and Mark Barron have made an immediate impact. Offensively, Tampa Bay still struggles to run the football with any consistency and they'll have to do so Sunday in order to control DeMarcus Ware and the Cowboys pass rush.
- Greg Schiano
- Eli Manning