December 23, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman (5) drops back against the St. Louis Rams during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. St. Louis Rams defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 28-13. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Greg Schiano “Not On Board” With Josh Freeman Leading Tampa Bay Buccaneers

After three mediocre seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it’s looking like Josh Freeman’s days are numbered or close to being so in Tampa. According to the Tampa Times, head coach Greg Schiano isn’t “on board” with Freeman leading the team, and 2013 is looking more and more like a make-or-break season for the former first-round draft pick.

Whether that’s because the head coach didn’t draft Freeman or because he feels he hasn’t seen enough, everything you’ve read and heard about the Bucs looking into quarterbacks in free agency and the draft has been driven almost exclusively by Schiano.

The past few seasons have been tumultuous at best for Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman. He came onto the scene in 2010, leading the Buccaneers to a 10-win season but following up that performance with a 2011 season that saw him drop to the icy depths of the terrible quarterbacks around the league. 2012 was a mix of Freeman’s 2010 and 2011 seasons, with the former Kansas State product looking really good at times, but also looking absolutely incapable of being a reliable franchise quarterback.

Add this to the fact that Freeman was drafted by Raheem Morris, the failed Buccaneers coach who coached the team from 2009 until his firing after the 2011 season. Freeman has shown signs of improvement, but they’re almost always canceled out by him falling into his old and terrible habits of rushing and forcing plays. It’s something that frustrates Buccaneers fans and obviously Schiano as well.

Take for instance Freeman’s bi-polar nature from last season. In one single drive, Freeman can take the heat of a blitz, fumble the football, recover under pressure and hit a line drive pass over the middle and in double coverage to Tiquan Underwood for a big first down play. Freeman would then characteristically follow that up by forcing a pass that ended up intercepted, thus killing all the momentum and glory he had previously been working to set up.

It’s this reason that Schiano is looking elsewhere, but as this offseason proved, he’s not yet committed to de-committing from Freeman. The Buccaneers recently re-sgined backup Dan Orlovsky who will provide no competition whatsoever for the starting gig. But the team did give Matt Cassel, Chase Daniels and Carson Palmer good looks before they ultimately went elsewhere and as the Tamp Times reports that was all Schiano’s idea.

The most important thing to take out of all this is that if the Buccaneers are going to win in 2013, it’s going to be with Freeman. If that success eludes Tampa for another straight year, it won’t be Schiano paying the price, it will likely be Freeman, as the issue about his contract expiring after this year is going to be a major theme throughout the season.

Tags: Greg Schiano Josh Freeman NFL NFL Free Agency Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Russell Allen Miller

    Haha, the point of the Times article was that everyone in the Bucs organization EXCEPT Schiano is sold on Freeman being the franchise quarterback. Raheem Morris didn’t draft Freeman, although he did give Freeman a good recommendation because he spent a year at Freeman’s school as their defensive coordinator. Mark Dominik, the Bucs general manager, drafted Freeman, and the decision about whether he will re-sign him or bring in someone else is primarily made by a combination of him and the owners. Schiano can argue for change but he doesn’t call the shots. Schiano may or may not be “on board” for Freeman, but he’s also never condemned Freeman and has had many good things to say about him. My prediction? If Freeman has a good year, he’ll be around for four more good ones. If he has a terrible year, they’ll go shopping in earnest next time instead of just saying the usual “there should be competition at every position” cliches. If he has an up and down year, they’ll try and re-sign him on the cheap and see who falls to them in the draft.

  • Karen Melanson Hartman

    Nothing we already didn’t know,I inferred Schiano might have made a statement regarding a replacement starter. Most of us already know it’s a do or die scenario. I’m going to hope Josh shows us he’s capable – as we have seen. Last year’s “inconsistency,” hopefully will be corrected with some help in the OL &.confidence gaina good camp. & Pre. season. It’s fair to say he won’t get. another contract after 2013. I’m pulling for him and have read his teammates. are behind his ability to lead the team.