Last season, it was Rutgers defense that led the way with the mantra "chop
wood," which became widespread following a program making victory over
Louisville last season.
So with Rutgers setting NCAA history by becoming the first team to have a 3000-yard passer, 2000-yard rusher, and a pair of 1000-yard receivers, the season has to be considered a disappointment.
"To finish 8-5, that is our record, that is our body of work," Schiano said. "Yes we could have been better; maybe we could have been worse. Am I disappointed? I don't think it is so much disappointed as it is feeling that we were disjointed during the season."
Whether or not safety Courtney Greene declares for the NFL Draft is the final
ongoing story for the current Rutgers season. Schiano spoke to Greene prior
to meeting with the media on Friday and said that Greene has not yet made a
Greene will continue to weigh his options during the next few days before making a decision.
"Courtney and I met today, and we haven't come to a decision," Schiano said. "Courtney went home to think about it and as soon as we know, we will make it available to you."
Rutgers has one significant offseason injury in linebacker Damaso Munoz, who will miss 6-8 months with shoulder surgery.
Munoz is going to miss spring football practice and the coaching staff is going to work hard with him to get him mentally prepared, due to the lack of on the field reps.
"He needs to continue to work, so this is obviously going to set him back a little bit, but he had to have it fixed," Schiano said. "We will do our best to mentally rep him and mentally prepare him and then he will be ready for training camp."
The biggest offseason story following the Rutgers football program is replacing the school's all time leading rusher in Ray Rice and three offensive linemen. Mike Fladell, Pedro Sosa, and Jeremy Zuttah anchored the core roles of center and tackles.
Freshman Anthony Davis will move over from guard to left tackle for next season to fill the void of Pedro Sosa, but Rutgers will have a wide open competition for the other open slots.
"Coach Flood and I have the same philosophy, we try to put the best five on the field and then you put six and seven," Schiano said.
Rice announced during a Wednesday press conference that he was going to forgo
his senior season at Rutgers and enter the NFL Draft.
The frontrunners to take over for Rice include Kordell Young and Mason Robinson, who both served as the backup running back to Rice this season. Young was initially the backup, but a season ending knee injury forced the freshman Robinson to take over that role. Young will participate in spring practice, but will not be involved in contact drills.
"There is no number one back," Schiano said. "Right now there is a great competition. You have Kordell Young, Mason Robinson, Jordan Brooks, and Joe Martinik. Those four guys are really talented guys and I think it is going to be a very, very intense competition."
Common logic says that with the loss of Rice and the return of quarterback
Mike Teel, along with wide receiver Tiquan Underwood and Kenny Britt, Rutgers
is going to be a passing team next season.
Schiano does not want to get boxed in and said that the plan is to keep their options open.
"The old saying is run when you want to run and throw when you want to throw, then you have it going," Schiano said. "That is really what our goal is, to be able to do it when we want to do it."
Other offseason surgeries include:
- Robinson Alexis - (Knee) 6-8 weeks
- Ryan D'Imperio - (Screws taken out of leg) 2 weeks
- Jack Corcoran - (Finger) 6 weeks
- Manny Abreu - (Hip) 6 weeks
*Despite playing in a couple games, Schiano said he was confident that Abreu would receiver a medical redshirt
- Vantrise Studivant - (Groin) 7-9 weeks
- Shamar Graves - (Groin) 7-9 weeks
Schiano will be out on recruiting visits until a team meeting on Jan. 21.