By Matt Sugam
EAST RUTHERFORD – It only took until his second NFL game for Greg Schiano to get his “welcome to the NFL moment.” Or more like his “welcome to the NFL tongue lashing.”
With the Giants kneeling down in the final seconds of their 41-34 win over the Buccanners, Greg Schiano told his players to try and get the football back. Tom Coughlin felt the Bucs were going after his quarterback Eli Manning. Coughlin didn’t like it and let the first-year head coach know, screaming at Schaino as they shook hands.
When asked about it after the game, Schiano said that it was between he and Coughlin, and it was just “some stuff we needed to hash out.”
But clearly it had to do with the shots taken at Manning when he was taking a knee.
“I don’t know if that’s not something that’s not done in the National Football League, but our football team is going to fight until the clock ticks to zero,” Schiano said. “There’s nothing dirty about it and there’s nothing illegal about it.”
Which is one of the many things Schiano has taken with him from Piscataway to Tampa Bay.
“Watch Rutgers,” Schiano said. “They would know if they watched us that’s what we do. We’re not going to quit. That’s something we coach and teach our players.”
And so, his players followed suit.
“Coach Schiano, he’s playing until the ref puts his hands over his head and ends the game, so that’s what we’ere going to do,” Barber said. “It is what it is. That’s my job.”
As Gerald McCoy put it, “We do what we’re coached. I’ll leave it at that.”
While Giants players called it “bush league,” “a cheap shot,” and “a dirty play,” Barber didn’t seem concerned with their thought.
“I don’t really care about their frustration,” Barber said. “That’s not my job.”
No, it’s not. His job is to do whatever Schiano tells him to. Which is to play to the final whistle. No matter the circumstances, or unwritten NFL rules. And the long-time college coach doesn’t seem apt to change his ways in the NFL.
“If they’re upset about it that’s the way it goes,” Schiano said. “I don’t have any hesitation. We play clean hard football until the game is over.”