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December 12, 2012 @ 3:12 pm
Current rating: 5.00 Stars/1 Votes

Schiano Said Freeman Is A Work In Progress

Written by Victoria
Victoria Horchak 


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The Buccaneers began preparation for the New Orleans Saints on Wednesday at One Buc Place. Head coach Greg Schiano spoke to the media immediately following practice, and discussed the play of QB Josh Freeman, Michael Bennett and how the team is trying to get better in order to break their three-game losing streak.
Tampa Bay will travel to New Orleans this Sunday and try and end their three-game losing streak with a win over the Saints. At 6-7 there is no room for error if the Buccaneers want to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. Head coach Greg Schiano talked the media on Wednesday about the upcoming matchup with New Orleans and the state of the team.

Jamon Meredith missed the practice portion we saw and what is his status for Sunday?

“I don’t know yet. Have to wait and see.”

Can you talk about Michael Bennett and what was your knowledge of him after you saw the tape of him last year and what did you think of him?
“I was impressed with Mike (Michael Bennett) when we watched the tape. I thought he did good things in 2011. He has had a good year. He is sometimes bumped up, but he has been able to fight through it. I think if he was all healthy [he] probably could have done even more. He is fighting through it and he is doing a good job.”

What does he do exceptionally well?
“He plays well with his hands and he has got some good slither. Slither defined the best way would be able to move this way yet bend and contort your body while you are still going up the field towards the quarterback.”

He is one of your better run stoppers, right?
“Yes, I said he is good with his hands.”

This is second time facing Drew Brees and are there things from that first matchup that you said I will try this next time?
“There are. We are going to certainly try some things because I was very impressed. Now if you think back to the game we kind of did some things that were less than our best. Hopefully we can clean those errors up, but he still is going to get some plays. [He is] a first ballot hall of famer. This guy [and] that record he holds says a lot about just what he does—consistency. I know he had a tough game a couple weeks ago or whatever, but this is a guy who is one of the finest in the history of the game. It is going to be quite a challenge. We will try some things that I think—you live and learn. Hopefully you get better, but it is a huge challenge.”

How difficult has it been with the secondary with the injuries you have faced because it seems like a weekly basis you are rotating new guys in and does that make it tough to solidify this defense?
“You could say it would certainly be easier if you had the same guys there every week, but who does? We had it a little tougher maybe then some, but they have it at other positions. That’s the way the game plays in the National Football League. That’s our job. That’s what they employ us to do is get guys ready to play on Sundays and win games. You will not hear me say ever this guy is down or that guy is down. That’s life.”

When you cut Brandon McDonald the first time what led to that decision, and you brought him back because of the depth there, but what changed for you?
“As I said about every personnel move since I have arrived, when we make personnel moves Mark (Dominik) and I we think what is the best thing for our football team to win games. At that time we felt going with other guys gave us the best chance to win. Going into the Saints season here we felt Brandon (McDonald) gave us the best chance. That’s what we are doing. It is good to have him back. He is a live wire. He brings energy. He is an experienced guy.”

Can you talk about Josh Freeman the last two weeks and what do you think is going on with his inaccuracy?
“Certainly they have not been his best two games. That is obvious. Sometimes it is not always what it appears to be as well. Sometimes the route wasn’t exactly the way it should be and you are throwing it on timing and rhythm. Sometimes it is coming out before the guy ever breaks and if he breaks wrong. Sometimes it is not that. Sometimes he just misses the mark. Sometimes he is under pressure. It is never, like I always stand up here and I know it sounds like ‘oh here he goes again’ but it is never just one thing. If it was you would fix the one thing, but everybody would fix it. Be hard to win. He is a work in progress too. He is a young guy that is getting better. He has done some extraordinary things at the quarterback position since we have been here. Forget what he has done before we arrived. He has also had sometimes where he wishes he could have the throws back. I do see if you said that it was a stock, how is it going? Stock is trending that way [up] for sure. I know it is a what have you done for me lately business, but overall the stock is trending upward. We just got to get better this week though. The stock market has got to close Sunday at whatever time and we got to be on the higher side.”

How important is it to finish these last three games as a team?
“I am not thinking like that. I am thinking about just the Saints game. I am not into the you know we go off into the [sunset] because I think if we win this game and we take care of our business I don’t know what is going to happen. I know if we don’t take care of our business I know what is going to happen. That’s what my focus is. I don’t think that way. Certainly if you stepped back and said boy that would be nice if we finished [well]. Yes absolutely. As I stood up here consistency has been our issue. Any team that is growing and getting better that is usually the issue.  If you are good enough and you have talent enough to do it some of the time that’s the bigger tease. Yes we can, but we just can’t do it over and over and over again. That’s my job and that’s our coaches’ job to get them to do it over and over again. That’s why I stand up here and I take the responsibility. If we can and we don’t do it all the time, that’s on me. We got to get them to do it all the time. Whether it is a holding penalty, whether it is an inaccurate pass, whether it is a blown coverage that’s why you have a coach. That’s why you have assistant coaches. That’s our job to be better and it is their job to execute better. The one thing about this team [is] I don’t see anybody that is going to duck from blame or my fault. That is not the issue. It is sick that we are not winning. Sick that we lost three in a row. That is more the issue. It is something we got to get off. We got to win.”
Does it get harder in the year when you are going through some struggles for guys to continue to motivate themselves or for you to motivate them?
“I hope not. I hope that we got the right people in the building that strive to be the best that they can be. Quite frankly personally it makes me even more want to do it right. The result was awful. The only thing that cures that is getting back to work and getting a win. If that’s not the case and I figure it out now I don’t figure it out all the time, but if I figure it out then they won’t be here. All I want is guys in here that want to be the best they can be. We cannot control our opponent. We can only control us, but we were not the best we could be Sunday. That is point blank. Forget who had more points. We were not the best we could be. The winning and losing is what we get judged by and we lost. Not playing our best and losing the game if you are not sick then there is a problem. That is where I am at with the thing.”

You have been outspoken with player safety and how do you feel the league overall has handled the bounty issue?
“I am not enough an expert on that whole—I said that when you guys asked me a couple months ago. I truly have not taken the time to get into it because as far as I am concerned it has nothing to do with us winning. I don’t mean to dodge the question because I am not. I truly am not knowledgeable enough to talk on the issue. Player safety I am. I am not an advocate for player safety and everything that comes up. There are just certain things that I think are dangerous.”

Zero tolerance from the league standpoint do you applaud that?
“I am not sure I even understand it to be honest. I am not sure I know what you are talking about. I am not being smart I just don’t. I have not followed the story and I refuse to get involved in it because I know we will never do it here. That will never be an issue here. So if it is not going to be an issue in this building, [but] what I have followed is if they are suspended or not. If we are going to play them and they are not playing that is okay too. I hear they are playing so let’s go get them.”

–Mark Cook contributed to this report


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  • avatar

    I have been critical of Josh lately myself . But, jongruden does bring up some very good points. The 49ers defense is no comparison to ours and even with Josh's mistakes , he does look better than his predecessor's . Maybe, if the 49ers had our defense, Alex might not look as good as Freeman, good insight jongruden.
  • avatar

    Josh freeman's stats this year He has made more 40+ yard plays than anyone in the league 5th highest in touchdowns only Drew Brees, Aaron Rogers, Tom Brady have thrown more. Ranks no 3 for fewest interceptions thrown. Yep let's ship him out, I can count 15 other teams that could use an upgrade.
  • avatar

    The comparison to "captain checkdown" "game manager" Alex Smith is not even the same comparison, A.Smith plays not to lose Freeman has to will his team to victory and has put us in poistion to win the game many times over and then seeing his own defense let him down unlike Smith who has the best D in the league. Freeman strengths Big Arm, poise, able to take a hit with huge frame, only 24, doesn't turn the ball over much except last yr and never fumbles, weaknesses inaccurate at times, stares down primary receiver to long, doesn't take off and run as often as he should. I can tell you a weakness and strength of every qb in this league but his upside and stregnths are enough to be called a franchis qb get this guy a defense and see how many games we will win
  • avatar

    I have been a Bucs Fan since 1985 and have yet to see a franchise qb in the making for this organization Testeverde, Erickson, Dilfer, King, Simms, Gradkowski have all failed miserbaly over these yrs and now we have Freeman a 24 yr old young man who has 25 td's and 8 in's with loads of upside and throws a great deep ball (see Vincent Jackson 20yds per catch) and people want to get rid of him because his completion percentage is in the mid 50's, unbelievable! Freeman is not the reason why the Bucs are losing the defense is atrocious I could line up at wideout and do a cross pattern over the middle and be wide open against this secondary esp if Barron is covering. Vicious named a few guys who he thinks is better Cam ( the entertainer) Newton who is about as imature as a preschooler, Romo who consistently chokes games away for his team in crunch time "Mr. Pick" is what I call him, Cutler ( baby, premodona and careless with the football and pouts like my son when things aren't going his way) these are the examples of qb's that are being mentioned who they rather have, one word UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!
  • avatar

    I would honestly take Cutler with some decent protection. And you insist on putting words in my mouth lol. I don't want to get rid of him, I just don't want to pay him a huge contract that he hasn't earned yet. Let me ask you Jon, what is it that you see in him that makes you believe he's our guy? 25 TD's to 8 Int's is what you keep bringing up, yet Alex Smith posted similar numbers last year and was on pace to do the same this year and look at him now. I agree whole-heartedly with your point regarding our terrible defense, but the blame for 7 losses falls on a lot of different shoulders, including Freeman's. I don't wanna see epic 4th qtr comebacks against teams with losing records anymore, I know he can do that, hell, I've known that since the 2010 season lol. But how does he fare against great teams that aren't resting their starters in week 17 lol? He's a good QB, but not a 50 million dollar one.
  • avatar

    The talent on this team the past few yrs has been horrible untill we got Nicks, Jackson, Martin and David we weren't good enought to beat better teams thats just the plain fact. Cutler has always thrown alot of picks go back and check out his stats in Denver its more than the OL its him, he is careless with the football and I question his heart like when he took himself out in the NFC Championship game he is no Favre or Rg3 or even Rivers who played the championship game with a torn acl I can go on but what would be the point.
  • avatar

    So you'd be fine with giving him a huge contract at this point in his career?
  • avatar

    The comparison to "captain checkdown" "game manager" Alex Smith is not even the same comparison, A.Smith plays not to lose Freeman has to will his team to victory and has put us in poistion to win the game many times over and then seing his own defense let him down unlike Smith who has the best D in the league. Freeman strengths Big Arm, poise, able to take a hit with huge frame, only 24, doesn't turn the ball over much except last yr and never fumbles, weaknesses inaccurate at times, stares down primary receiver to long, doesn't take off and run as often as he should. I can tell you a weakness and strength of every qb in this league but his upside and stregnths are enough to be called a franchis qb get this guy a defense and see how many games we will win
  • avatar

    there are multiple problems that have plagued the offense. Freeman inconsistencies in the short and intermediate throws. Tiquan Underwood's inability to run precise routes. Plus does not fight for balls. Runs wrong routes multiples times in the game. You cannot consistently run a high powered offense when defense can stop you by blanketing your number one. Mike Williams takes plays off, there have been some deep balls where he was targeted but wasn't running full speed. lack of creativity in play calling at crucial downs in the game.
  • avatar

    Agree with vicious. There's reason to be hopeful about Josh, certainly has the physical tools, if he can take his understanding of the offense to the point where he can make fewer mistakes and miss fewer of the opptys that present, he could be a top 10 or so QB. Meter is running however.
  • avatar

    Under ROM the Bucs usually found a way to beat the Saints at least once a year. It would be great if we can keep that up with Schiano too. I am also hoping some of the suspended Saints that Taglibue unleashed on us; play Sunday but have not stayed in playing shape and may disrupt them for this week and let us steal a win. Afterall historically it was playing the Saints in their dome that the creamcycle old Bucs won their very first game and ended a frustrating long losing streak! Go Bucs and make history repeat itself!!!
  • avatar

    Pro Freeman looks so much like College Freeman it's amazing. For both good and bad reasons. I like that he always seems chill, reminds me a lot of Eli in NY. You never see his nerves, in any situation lol. He's also very capable of making the handful of big plays that you need your QB to make to win a game. I hate that he has never seemed capable of getting the most out of the players around him. He needs others to prop him up into the spotlight instead of making others stand out. His inconsistency will need to improve though for this team to be a regular contender in this division. If it doesn't, then we'll continue to remain stagnant at the position. Better than Dilfer? Absolutely. Better than Brees? Ryan? Newton? Rodgers? Cutler? Stafford? Eli? RGIII? Romo? I just don't see enough consistency there to beat out the current crop of good/elite QB's in our conference. I want to see Free play out the last year of his contract with another year under Sullivan and his offense before Tampa just pays him 50 million at roughly 8 mill a year. Get the defense fixed and see what he can do. I also want to see him face some more elite teams because I believe that in the 4 years he's been in Tampa, he's only beaten a small sampling of teams with winning records.
  • avatar

    This Coach is taking responsibility and much of what has happened to the should have been could have been will be different next year. Like, Coach, like Josh; it is a work in process. Go Bucs! We can win this game!
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