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December 17, 2012 @ 12:07 pm
Current rating: 5.00 Stars/1 Votes

Bucs Given The Day Off; Freeman Says Team Remains Unified

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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Coming off a 41-0 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, the downtrodden Bucs were given the day off by head coach Greg Schiano. Reports of some division inside the locker room was reported on Monday by ProFootballTak.com, but QB Josh Freeman disputed the notion, saying his teammates remain unified.
For the first time all season the Buccaneers gave the players a day off on a Monday following a game. Unfortunately it wasn't a "Victory Monday."

After a 41-0 drubbing from the Saints on Sunday and going non-stop since late July, the mental break may be the best thing for the Bucs players and even head coach Greg Schiano and his staff.

Sunday’s demoralizing, 41-point loss to the Saints, which was the largest margin of defeat all season, has opened up a can of criticism from fans and now perhaps even some players.

According to ProFootballTalk.com, a Buccaneers player was said to have been critical of some of Tampa Bay’s coaching staff. The unnamed player was quoted as saying, “Can we send these coaches back to college?”

Losing certainly breeds frustration and while there very well could have been a dissenting voice or two from inside the locker room, Pewter Report has had several private conversations with players this season – who on and off the record – have nothing but positive thing to say about their “college” head coach and loved the business-like approach from Schiano as opposed to the loosely-run ship under former head coach Raheem Morris.

Count quarterback Josh Freeman as one of those players that believes the team is still very unified despite losing four straight games.

“”I think we are together as a team, we are unified,” Freeman said. “We still have a lot of young components, a first-year system, and we had some success. At the same time, we have to find a way to take it to the next level. You hate to see it come down to a game like that, but I think this is going to be a great time to really come together.

“We had a rough one, we dropped the ball yesterday. But how will we respond to adversity? When everything is going great anybody can stand up and ... have high energy levels, be up-tempo, go home and want to study the film because you are doing great. But it is times like this when you really forge the nucleus of your team. I think just judging by the number of guys that are in the building on this kind of off day, I think mentally, guys are not only unified, but facing in the right direction.”

Freeman alluded to the fact that there were many players at One Buccaneer Place watching film, studying and getting treated by trainers despite being given the day off by Schiano. He knows as a captain that keeping things together falls on him.

“As a quarterback that is what I do everyday,” Freeman said. “Everybody has their own style of leadership, but I – to the best my ability – try and convey the message of, 'Do your job, sacrifice for your brothers.' Even late in the game yesterday guys were still busting their butts, trying to do everything to get something going. I think that says a lot about the character of the guys on this football team.”

The Buccaneers have been going non-stop since training camp with very few breaks, and after an embarrassing loss on Sunday it appears Schiano decided it was time for a mental day off. Mired in a four-game losing streak, at this point any change is worth a shot as things can’t get much worse than Sunday’s performance in New Orleans.

Last modified on Monday, 17 December 2012 12:35

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  • avatar

    Day off is not a big deal, just hoping that the team can finish strong at 8-8 and take that 4 win improvement and all the new players and good things we did into the offseason and fix the glaring holes we clearly have to still work on. I feel like this team is not that different than the Texans teams that were always on the verge, had great young talent, but always disappointed until last season and this year. We need to put it all together and with 2-3 cover corners and some depth at OLine and DLine we could be there. Its not all doom and gloom. Yesterday was a good reality check.
  • avatar

    Games like yesterday's certainly do leave fans shaking their heads, but ... the problems are obvious, and so are the fixes. But they won't happen until after the season ends. It's painful now, but I have confidence that Coach Schiano and Mark Dominick both know very well what needs to be done. Although Coach won't use it as an excuse, injuries have killed them, primarily because they lack quality depth at almost every position. o The Bucs defense has several NFL-caliber starters, but certainly not 11. It's obvious that cornerbacks are a major problem, but so is a defensive line that doesn't consistently put pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Linebackers are young, but they're learning fast it looks like. o The Bucs offensive line should be its strength, but not without Davin Joseph and Carl Nicks. Josh Freeman has still got a long way to go, but he's shown that he's got the tools. The rest of the offense has already shown what it can do. Impressive ... when clicking on all 11 cylinders. o Special teams need work. Lack of depth, team-wide, is obvious. Coaching staff is improving steadily I think, and by this point in the season knows very well that they've got a lot of work to do in the off-season. As for us fans, for now all we can do is have patience and support them as best we can.
  • avatar

    Coaches coach and call the plays..... Players play and have to execute!!! All though everyone plays apart in a win and a loss the players dropped the ball on the execution part big time!!! Some of these players just got to man up......
  • avatar

    Well, that's certainly giving it the ol college try.... too soon?
  • avatar

    Why not? Clearly practicing isn't helping.
  • avatar

    I'm speechless
  • avatar

    Oh, he said the team remains unified. I thought he said mummified. Just trying to pick my spirits up from yesterday!
  • avatar

    right on horse, wish i could be there but ill do my part all the way from el paso texas
  • avatar

    I believe that this is the correct thing to do at this point. The Coaches should all take the day off too and enjoy their families and not think about football. This has been a long season and maybe this will help; it surely won't hurt. Go Bucs! Lets get this win Sunday! I'll be there doing my part, now do yours!
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