Schiano: Got to Take Care of the Football

On Friday, Buccaneers Head Coach Greg Schiano visited with Mike Florio of NBCSports.com to discuss, among other things, the ongoing conversation regarding the Bucs’ approach to the Giants’ kneel-down play at the end of last Sunday’s game.  While that topic obviously took top billing, Schiano touched on several other issues with ProFootballTalk.com’s Mike Florio.

Among them was the need to avoid turnovers on Sunday when the Buccaneers take on the Cowboys in Giants Stadium.  The Bucs have been guilty of just two giveaways so far this year, one of them on what was essentially a desperation throw by QB Josh Freeman in the waning seconds of the Giants game.  Schiano believes that protecting the ball is particularly important when a team is on the road in an environment that can get loud in a hurry.

“We’ve got to take care of the football,” he said during the interview.  “It’s probably that way every week, but when you’re on the road and the crowd becomes a part of it – it will be a tremendous crowd, home opener and all those things – we need to take care of the football because that’s the fastest way to lose a game.”

It’s obviously not a new concept; most NFL coaches will point to turnover ratio as one of the most important factors dividing wins from losses.  For the Buccaneers, who have long succeeded behind a defense that can not only take away but score on its own, the difference is particularly stark.  Considering these situational records over Tampa Bay’s previous five seasons:

  • With a positive turnover ratio: 26-9
  • With an equal or negative turnover ratio: 9-37

That difference is stunning.  Winning the turnover battle for the Buccaneers means the difference between a .743 winning percentage and a .196 winning percentage.  Enough said.

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