Schiano Responds to Questions About the Buccaneers Offensive Line
Head coach Greg Schiano isn’t in the hunt for a new offensive right tackle. He already has one. In his day-after-game press conference Saturday afternoon, he told reporters that despite some competition from Gabe Carimi, Demar Dotson will remain the starter for the 2013 season.
“Demar Dotson is having a very good camp. He’s our starting right tackle. Gabe Carimi is learning the system, he’s getting better every day.”
Schiano acknowledged Dotson didn’t have his best outing last night against the Patriots, when he surrendered a sack on third down to defensive end Rob Ninkovich that killed Tampa Bay’s second offensive series.
“He’s ailing just a little bit. He’s got a little thing going on with his leg, but he’s going to be fine….I think Demar is going to be really solid.”
Schiano noted that the offense suffered from some miscues on protections early on, some of which had to do with the Bucs not preparing to face the specific scheme New England employs, which is a hybrid 3-4/4-3 defense.
“We weren’t concerned [with] scheming. We wanted to just go out and block our rules, play our rules, and when you do that, you get caught in some one-on-one matchups and sometimes, you know, if it were regular season, might we not have had those one-on-one matchups?”
“Maybe not, maybe we would’ve been chipping or helping, sliding the line, but that doesn’t matter. The reason we do it is we want to see one-on-one matchups, we want to see – preseason is the time to stretch yourself. Let’s see what we can and can’t do, and if it doesn’t work, why is it?”
When asked if he thought about how the offense would have fared having Pro Bowl guards Carl Nicks and Davin Joseph, Schiano said he didn’t think that was a factor, pointing to the fact that the Bucs didn’t have either for most of the season last year.
“That’s life in the NFL. You’re not going to have a Pro Bowler stacked behind a Pro Bowler. It doesn’t work that way so we have to get the job done.”
It’s going to be nice when we get them playing again. Certainly that firms up the middle and gives you the ability to help your tackles a little more. But, we didn’t protect well those first two drives and that can’t be. We’ll get it fixed though. I’m confident our guys will get it fixed and we’ll play better.”
Returns for Nicks and Joseph
When asked about a possible return for Joseph and Nicks, Schiano said that he does not have a clear timetable.
Joseph did not travel to Foxoborough and instead stayed in Tampa to condition. Nicks made the trip with the team and was expected to play, but it was announced 90 minutes prior to kickoff that he would sit.
Schiano described both of their statuses as ‘day-to-day’ and would not commit to a decision for either in regards to next week’s game at Miami.
“We have a plan but we’re willing to tweak that plan based on what we think is best with one goal in mind, and that is to start the season with our best players on the field.”