Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano already has received his first bit of advice from special assistant Butch Davis.
"I've told him to just be yourself and that the thing that National Football League players respect more than anything is honesty,'' Davis said.
Davis, a former college coach at Miami and North Carolina and in the NFL with Cleveland, was hired last week by the Bucs in an advisory role. He will not have a hands-on role with the players, but will be able to advise both players and coaches, he said Thursday.
Davis, 60, all but hit the ground running in his attempt to ease Schiano's transition from the college game, offering up some advice on how to deal with players.
"I told Greg, even sometimes if it's not easy to say, you have to tell them the truth,'' Davis said. "And he'll do that."
Schiano was the defensive coordinator for two seasons on Davis' staff at the University of Miami from 1999-2000.
"I watched him in Miami, where he did a remarkable job for me," Davis said. "I watched him do it at Rutgers. He's going to do the right things.''
Schiano, who spent the past 11 years as the head coach at Rutgers, was hired as Bucs head coach on Jan. 25. He replaced Raheem Morris, who was fired after a 4-12 season in 2011.
Davis was fired by UNC in July and given a buyout package that includes deferred payments of $590,000 every January through 2015. A stipulation of the buyout called for Davis to forfeit the payments if he accepted a coaching position with another college or pro team.
Davis "discussed'' his role with the Bucs with UNC officials, who were comfortable with it, Davis said. His decision not to coach, he said, had nothing to do with the UNC buyout package.
"This was a great opportunity," Davis said. "I've coached for 37 years now. This was just something that when Greg made this presentation and we started talking about it … it just seemed like this would be a great fit.
"It's something that I'm excited about. Anytime you're around a football organization, you're adrenalin gets running. And you can impact an organization in a lot of different ways without actually having to have the chalk in your hands and go on the field.''