Game: Madden 13 (PS3)
Quarter Length: 11 minutes (1st 2 games were 7 minutes)
Rosters: Most recent ones from EA
Coach Firing: Off (I am acting as Owner, so I will decide when/if the coach gets fired)
Pre-Existing Injuries: Off
Trade Deadline: Off
Bucs hire Greg Schiano as coach
Updated: January 27, 2012, 2:56 AM ET
By Adam Schefter | ESPN
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have finalized a five-year deal to hire Rutgers coach Greg Schiano as their new head coach.
The 45-year-old former Scarlet Knights coach was hired Thursday, more than three weeks after the Bucs fired Raheem Morris following a 4-12 record.
"We are thrilled to introduce Coach Schiano as the new head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers," new Bucs owner Kirk Plum said in a statement. "During our thorough search, we met with numerous impressive candidates, but Coach Schiano surely distinguished himself. From his leadership skills to his impressive track record, he is, simply put, the right man for the job."
The Buccaneers said Schiano would be formally introduced at a news conference Friday.
"Coach Schiano is a bright, meticulous teacher who knows how to get the most out of his players," said Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik said in the statement. "He built and ran a pro-style program at Rutgers, and he's a defensive-minded coach whose teams have always been characterized by toughness and a physical style of play."
Schiano was intrigued by the challenge of coaching in the NFL and also was concerned about the perceived uncertainty of the future direction of the Big East Conference, a source told ESPN's Joe Schad.
The two sides met Wednesday for the second time and then spent some of the night into Thursday morning working out the contract.
Schiano has previous NFL experience as an assistant coach with Chicago from 1996 to '98. He played linebacker at Bucknell but never in the NFL. His first big break in coaching came at Penn State, where Joe Paterno hired him to coach defensive backs in 1991. He was at Penn State through 1995, before being hired by the Bears.
Because of his success at Rutgers, there had often been speculation for years about Schiano possibly replacing Paterno when the Hall of Famer was done coaching. But when Penn State was looking for a replacement after firing Paterno amid a child sex-abuse scandal involving former longtime defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, the school hired Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien.
Schiano has been courted by several other colleges during his time at Rutgers, most notably Miami in 2006 and Michigan in 2007.
"I've had several opportunities over the years and none of them felt right," Schiano told The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., as he left Rutgers' football facility Thursday night. "This time, this one felt right."
Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, who played for Schiano at Rutgers, was among former Scarlet Knights players to talk about the news on Twitter.
"Congrats to coach @GregSchiano the Bucs are getting a great man and a great coach. #salute," he wrote. Rice is scheduled to be a free agent but has said he expects to be back with the Ravens.
Eric LeGrand, who suffered a spinal injury in 2010 but has continued to be a constant around the Rutgers program, tweeted his surprise at the news.
"Really? Not going to lie I am a little bit shocked right now," he wrote.
New England Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty, who also played for Schiano at Rutgers, said Thursday he thinks his former coach will do a great job in the NFL.
"He's a great coach, so I'm not surprised that he was offered the opportunity," McCourty said. "I think he'll do a great job."
Schiano is an under-the-radar coach, but Tampa Bay has been eyeing him throughout this process. Buccaneers college scout Bill Rees made contact with Schiano at the outset of Tampa Bay's coaching search, and the two men stayed in contact.
Kirk Plum also conducted a massive amount of research, reaching out to various NFL people. One of the people they called was Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, who spoke highly of Schiano.
Belichick on Thursday praised Schiano.
"I think he is a tremendous coach that's done a great job with that program. And his players have been very NFL-ready. Guys that come out of that program, when they get to the NFL, most of them make it. It may not be first-round picks or whatever but if they have enough talent to really compete in the NFL most of them end up staying in one way or another and I think that's a credit to the preparation and the program that he's built there," Belichick said, according to the Buccaneers in their statement.
Now, they have hired Schiano, who has a 49-28 record at Rutgers since 2006. Schiano is said to have impressed the Bucs in the two interviews he had -- one in Dallas a couple of weeks ago, another as recently as Wednesday morning.
Schiano's contract with Rutgers was scheduled to run through 2016 and paid him around $2.35 million per year.
Adam Schefter is ESPN's NFL Insider.
Edited by msuboy11, December 23, 2012 - 04:01 PM.