Reporting Justin Pawlowski
Despite Josh Freeman being released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week, many fans throughout the Tampa Bay area will not believe their team is heading in the right direction until a change is made at head coach. These same people believe that it was Greg Schiano behind all of the Bucs drama over the past few weeks.
What if he wasn’t?
What if the person to blame for turning the Buccaneers into the laughing stock of the NFL was actually the quarterback that’s no longer with the team?
Roy Cummings has been a supporter of Josh Freeman over the years and continued that support during a roundtable discussion on the day of the 2013 NFL draft heard on 98.7 The Fan. However, even Josh Freeman’s most loyal supporters could not defend the actions of a player who was supposed to be a leader on his team.
Here is some of the findings by Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune on Josh Freeman:
Start with the missed team photo shoot a week before the season opener. The quarterback is always front and center in those photos, and there’s a reason for that. The quarterback is the centerpiece of the franchise.
Yet, this centerpiece couldn’t get there. OK, maybe it wasn’t that big a deal. The power had gone out at his house the night before, Freeman said, his alarm clock was flashing 12:00 and he overslept. It happens. To everybody.
Even Bucs coach Greg Schiano saw it that way. So, Schiano agreed not to fine Freeman for his mistake. Just don’t let it happen again, Schiano said. But less than a week later, it did happen again. And again.
On opening day — opening day — Freeman missed the team breakfast. Then he showed up late for the team bus to the stadium. Strike one and strike two. But even then, Schiano showed leniency.
According to rules laid out in the collective bargaining agreement, the team could have fined Freeman $12,360 for those offenses. Instead, Schiano fined him $4,000 and issued a familiar warning: Don’t let it happen again.
Only a day after Schiano announced that he could no longer live with Freeman’s inconsistencies on the field and was dropping him to second on the depth chart, Freeman missed two team meetings.
Greg Schiano has developed a reputation of much more than the disciplinarian that he might be. Fans have created an opinion of Greg Schiano as a tyrant or dictator. By reading how patient it appeared that Schiano was being with Freeman’s antics, do you still believe him to be that tyrant or dictator?
Imagine if you were running a business of any kind, would you allow an employee to continually get away with what Josh Freeman was doing? I know that I wouldn’t. Not only was Josh Freeman not producing on the field, but he was acting that way off the field? Why did it take so long to rid this team of that distraction?
Good riddance to Josh Freeman and the drama that surrounded him.
Now the pressure falls squarely on Greg Schiano. It is very possible that ownership has placed a mandate of 6 wins for Greg Schiano to retain his job moving forward.
The Bucs do have the defense to win at least 6 games, but if they do not correct the woes on offense, the Buccaneers could be looking for yet another coach for the 2014 season and beyond.