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December 31, 2012 @ 1:43 pm
Current rating: 5.00 Stars/1 Votes

Schiano Says Freeman Will Have Competition Next Season

Written by Mark
Cook
Mark Cook

Mark
Cook

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Bucs head coach Greg Schiano spoke to the media on Monday and summarized the season while also previewing what is next for the organization. Schiano also said he believes in competition at every position including quarterback.
The Buccaneers finished with a 7-9 record in Greg Schiano's first season as Tampa Bay's head coach. While it was disappointing to Schiano, he told the media on Monday there were several bright spots to build on and looks forward to a full evaluation of the entire organization before training camp next summer. Below is a full transcript from Schiano's final press conference from the 2012 season.

Opening statement:
“Like everything we do, now is a time we were are going to step back, and I am going to start right today, step back, and begin a lengthy evaluation of everything that has to do with Buccaneer football. That evaluation starts with me. I have to first start with everything I have done since we first arrived and then I will work my way through every process, every person, whether it be personnel or methods that we do. Scheme, everything down to travel – everything we do. And that is a lengthy process. I may not be able to answer some of your questions today because without doing an evaluation I don’t know the answer. Every year I have been a head coach I have said this – nothing is untouchable – even me. At the end of my evaluation, if I don’t think I am the best person to be the head coach of the Buccaneers then maybe I won’t be here. I don’t think that will be the case (laughs). But I am the one evaluating so if that’s the case then I am pretty dumb. I will seriously look at every phase. I think it would be irresponsible of me (right) after a six-month sprint to make decisions that are going to chart the course of this organization. Anybody can steer the ship, that’s not hard. Its charting the path that is hard and you need to sure you that you take time to do that. And that’s what we are going to do. I’ll try and answer the questions the best I can. Some of the stuff I just don’t know. And I am not trying to duck anything; I just don’t know what we are going to do. As I do know, through our public relations we will get it out there and get in touch you.”

Is this experience as head coach what you thought it would be?
I’m not sure I really thought about what it would be. I just probably kind of knowing what it was when I was here in the 90’s and … so I guess it is kind of what I thought it would be. Nothing shocks me. I enjoyed the heck out of it. I am grateful and thankful that I got to do it. I do consider it a blessing. And cant wait to … I know I am physically tired and probably mentally tired, but emotionally charged to get (back) going. I am going to force myself to take some time to just get away before I start this evaluation. Even if it is for three or four days to clear your head and look at things. Because I think that is the most critical thing you can do in any organization, is when you finish a cycle – and I just got done with the team and I told them this is the last thing we haven’t done together. Now even though I got hired January 26, we haven’t been through an offseason together where we were directing the offseason. It was kind of everybody doing their thing, then we met together in the spring and now here we go. It is the last thing – and I look forward to getting through this – and now re-doing the cycle. Because I think you get better if you are smart and are willing to look at things and really examine them and be honest. And that’s a big thing right now. We have to be honest with each other. Players, coaches, Mark Dominik, all of us. We have to be honest with each other and say, how are we going to get better? And there are so many ways to do that. I think any organization that just resets the clock and starts again and doesn’t evaluate – without evaluation there is no progress. And we have to do that, and that is going to be the big step that I am looking forward to.”

What were your expectations coming into your first season, as far as 7-9, changing culture etc?
“All of the above. Which is not a cop out answer. Anytime I have started anything, whatever the ultimate goal is – that’s my goal. We didn’t win the Super Bowl and I am very disappointed about that. Did I think we could? Yeah, I look at any team. You look at the Super Bowl champs from last year (Giants) and they were 7-7. They were playing into the final week to get into the playoffs they did and then they went on a run. I really felt, why not us? People say why you, and I say why not us? It didn’t happen. So is there disappointment there? Yes. Now am I a silver lining guy? Well there was a lot of positive that happened this year. A ton of positive. And I look at that as that gives me motivation and encourages me and our fans and our team and everybody involved with the Buccaneers that hey, there are brighter days ahead and opportunities to do what the ultimate goals is. Will we realize them? That is going to be determined by how we evaluate things and how we tweak them and how we get better. But I am excited to do that.”

How long does this evaluation process take?
“I don’t think it is, okay now the evaluation is done – I think as you go, it is an ongoing process. It would be nice if situation didn’t ever have an impact on the timeline. But it does. So free agency comes along, the draft comes along, all the things when you evaluate – and now you have opportunities to get better. Sometimes there are outside influences that make you make that decision. Maybe you would like more time. Ultimately you have to get the best information you can within that timeline and make the best decision at the time. I have never had a problem, whether it was a game time decision, personnel decision, an in-game decision – you can only use the information you have in that moment what you believe was the best decision. Often times I do look back and second-guess myself.  But at the time I never do. If you are prepared and you have the information then you have to make the call. That is another part of leadership. A lot of people can sit back and say I would have done this or I would have done that – well you didn’t. You weren’t there and you didn’t do that. So unless you have done that ... It is easy to say I would have, I would have, I would have. Put yourself in that position once and see what you would have done. So I never look back at any of that stuff. And we will have tough decisions to make. And I am going to use the information and the resources we have – the people we have – we are going to make some tough decisions and then we are going forward.”

What did you say to Josh Freeman who had a roller-coaster type season in 2012?
“Well I am going to meet with Josh. I just met with the team collectively at 9 o’clock. You know again, going back to the silver lining, you are right it was an up-and-down year. But 4,000 yards, records all over the place, there are a lot of positives there. Certainly when the expectation level is what we make it, and you don’t reach it, there is also disappointment. Josh is probably his own toughest critic, so I don’t know if anything I am going to tell him is going to shock him. I think perspective and sequencing is what he has to do now until we get back together April 15. First thing he has to do is get away from the game and relax a little bit. Then there is a whole sequencing of things that I think have to happen for him. And we will discuss that and part of that will come out in the evaluation. The No. 1 thing we have to do once my coaches get out of here for a little while is come back and evaluate our own team. I will evaluate the coaches, the coordinators will help me do that, and we will evaluate the scheme as we go throughout the whole winter and spring. But there is certain personnel things that have to be made, like free agency and the draft. So we will have to be intensive in every position, not just Josh, of getting that evaluation as soon as we are back together in just a little bit.”

Can you update us on the players who were lost to injury, ho w they are coming along?
“Carl Nicks is mending, Quincy Black is right now, they are still not sure what they are going to do medically. He has been all over – he has been all over the country to the finest people there are. So I am not sure what is going to happen there. Adrian Clayborn is coming along nicely. Davin Joseph is really – it has been a while obviously – but I saw him the other day walking in and he feels good and is excited. The thing I was really impressed with Davin was in his absence of playing, just all the community service things he did. I know he has always done that, but I think he took it up a notch between his rehabbing, I think he really refocused his energy, which is neat to see. A guy who doesn’t wallow in self-pity, he just goes and gets better physically and helps where he can help on the football end of things and really did a good job in the community.”

Have you been able to change the culture planned and mentioned when you set your goals?
“We have taken big steps to changing the culture. It is not completely changed. Pro football is a little more difficult to do that in as you constantly have turnover. So you are bringing in guys from other places in the middle of the season. What you need to make is your culture so strong, that anybody that comes in from the outside whether it be rookie, free agent, or in-season signing, that they just get swept up in how things are done. We are not there yet. We are getting closer. This repeat of the cycle is the key. You repeat the cycle of installation of scheme, you repeat the cycle of the installation of philosophy, you repeat the cycle … just going through it daily and just knowing what is acceptable behavior as in the Buccaneer organization. I think that is the key is that when the culture is so established that when you are not living up to that – you kind of glare out there. And it is uncomfortable. And we are not there yet, but we will get there.”

Can you evaluate the future of Eric Wright?
“I cant tell you what his future is with the Bucs, because that hasn’t been determined yet. The Aqib decision – Aqib plays for the Patriots now so Ill only talk about the decision to do it (the trade). As I said when we made the trade, I believed it was the best thing for the Bucs organization to get to where we wanted to go. And I think that was encouraging to me is, yeah we went through some tough times, but if you look at the last couple weeks some of those young guys really battled and against two of the best in the league yesterday.”

Could you talk about the development of the running game despite major injuries, and also the run defense?
“They didn’t exceed what I expected. I haven’t talked about losing the two guards once all year, but that is a huge loss. You are talking about two of the best in the National Football League. And I literally hope I didn’t talk about it once, what I did say was, that is life, suck it up and get going. There are no second chances; you play with who is here. My hats off to Jeremy Zuttah for moving over to the guard position, which was an unselfish move by him. Jamon Meredith jumping in, Ted Larsen jumping in at center and guys just grinding away and going at it. Was it perfect? No, but really I thought it was a great effort by those guys filling in. Is it exciting to me we are going to get those guys back? Yeah it is very exciting. Doug Martin, I think he was third in the NFL in yards from scrimmage; you are talking about a rookie without his two Pro Bowl guards in front of him doing that. That is exciting to me going forward. You mentioned rush defense. Yeah I know our pass defense isn't where any of us would like it to be, but our rush defense was as good as there ever has been here. So can we build on that? Sure. We can build on that and get the pass defense a little bit better. In special teams area we blocked I don’t know how many punts this year, something you are supposed to be able to that in the NFL, and it was a key play in Sunday’s game. So there are a lot of the things I am excited about. There are a lot of things that when we evaluate them, may not look as good as I think. It is different that looking at it on a Monday, come in watch the game tape, elavauate the players, the scheme, on to the next team. Now you are going to look at every one of the power plays you ran during the year. That is how you evaluate it. You watch it all at once. And you see common threads and themes. You do that when you have a bye-week or you do that when you are struggling in certain areas. But to do that with your entire offense, defense and special teams, it is usually quite revealing. Then you get the opportunity to study the best practices. Who is the best in the league in third down defense? Lets study them. Now we aren’t going to change our scheme, but what do they do that could fit into our scheme that would help us get better. And that is what I mean in an evaluation. There are so many areas, and the one thing that I love – looking forward now is – that is what I get to do now all day, every day. I don’t have to go recruit, I don’t have to go check anything else, I get to that all day and I can’t tell you how excited I am to do that.”

Is Josh Freeman your quarterback going forward?
“I’m not all in with myself yet, so how can I be all in with Josh Freeman or any other player. I’m not sidestepping you. What I can say is a 4,000-yard passer, the touchdown record, there are a lot of things that you can say, wow. Are there things that frustrate you? Yeah, but they frustrate him too. And I am not ducking the question because quite frankly I like Josh Freeman and I want to make sure I don’t get ahead of things here and that I really evaluate every single thing to what is best for this organization. Do I think Josh Freeman is going to win Super Bowls in this league? I do. I hope that it happens here. But again at the end of the day I have to evaluate everything before I say that is what we are doing. The one thing I do believe in is competition at every spot including the quarterback. I want to have as many good players on our football team as we can at every single position. It is a little different in the NFL. You can’t have two punters, there’s just not room on your roster. Once you get into the year you can only have one long snapper. But as much competition as we can create throughout the football team rises the level of everything. And its not that they are mentally tough guys or they aren’t competitors, because they are, but it is human nature. When there is competition the level rises and that is something Mark Dominik and I will work tirelessly on trying to put the best 90 players when we go to training camp on our roster."

Last modified on Monday, 30 September 2013 22:52
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COMMENTS

  • avatar

    The Buccaneers have NEVER been an offensive powerhouse to say the least. So breaking "franchise records" on offense isn't really blowing my mind. Not trying to be pessimistic, but that's my opinion. I love that we hear how hard Freeman works on trying to improve as much as anyone, but it has to show on the field. From Q1 to end of Q4. Not for one quarter. Not for two or three amazing throws.
  • avatar


    I'D SAY RIGHT COACH, BRING IN A VETERAN LIKE QB FROM SF PLUS A ROKIE QB FROM DRAFT-GO BUCS
  • avatar

    Bottom line. Greg Schiano will not go into next season without legitimate competition for freeman, because he can't even guarantee that freeman will turn out to be the man... And without it he is putting his butt on the line. If you or I were the head coach we would be crazy to go into next year relying totally on Freeman's play being more consistent. Sorry, no one anywhere can predict that he will be Eli Manning or if he will be the next Jason Campbell. It will happen... There will be another bonafide QB here next year just in case freeman falters and none of us can fault schiano for doing that.
  • avatar


    Honestly this argument needs to end about Freeman. He's coming back, he's going to be our starter, and he's going to lead us for some good years here. He's 24 years old for christ sake. His career is following a similar path to Eli Manning's. Eli didn't win his first superbowl until he was 27 years old. Giants fans doubted him and were ready to get rid of him for INCONSISTENT PLAY!! Can you imagine that? And now 2 rings later he is still inconsistent at times like anyone else but no one questions him. Give the kid a break and let's give the kid who isn't even halfway through his 20's a chance to have more than one year in a system and figure things out. EVERYONE RELAX!!!
  • avatar


    Free got a pass during his rookie season as he should. Second year we finish 10 6 the skys the limit, Freeman looked to be our franchise Q.B. on the rise. Third year it goes to hell 4 12, but you can't put that all on Free the season went down the drain all hands contributed. Season four new start,better coaches, better weapons, Jackson, Martin same results losing season. Four years same questions, can he be consistent, accurate? So far the answer is no. I'm not giving up on him, but if year five goes like this year they better have a back up plan. Draft a young player to develope, bring in a vet to compete right now, let the chips fall where they may. The harsh reality is, this might be who he is, up,and down flashes of greatness, periods of what was that?
  • avatar


    Sort of off topic but have heard rumors Glenn Dorsey won't be resigned by the Chiefs I think this is a guy the Bucs should target. He could rotate with McCoy to keep him fresh and rush from the DT spot on 3rd downs. Has played out of position since he was drafted and could help this pass rush greatly.
  • avatar


    At times I have wanted Freeman to be cut and at times, like all of us, have marveled at some of his play. Now that the season is over and I can take a deep breath, I think Freeman is our guy BUT he is going to have to work even harder than he did this season. If he does that he could end up being really good. I have faith, that while being led by Schiano & Sullivan, he will be able to do just that. Another year in the system will be huge. Once everything in the system is second nature and just flows out of him he will be like a different QB. Now if he still takes us for the rollercoaster rides then someone has botched alot of evaluating. With some progression and a few new pieces/weapons I think he can be the QB we all want and deserve. Let's keep our fingers crossed.
  • avatar


    An aging Montana who was eventually traded away when the pair couldn't coexist. A quality backup is ideal, competition is good at every position; but there needs to be a clear starter at the QB position. Look at the teams who have "competition". It's usually because neither one of them is good enough. When a team has two QB's it usually means that have no QB so they go back and forth hoping that one, yes one, rises clearly above the other. Tell these guys about the Cardinals JonnyG and their continual search. The best backup is when no one knows who it is but, when called upon, is capable of playing well enough to win. I often laugh at the Saints "Who Dat" cheer which I contend started when Archie Manning's backup entered the game and the "Aints" fans under their bags called out, "Who Dat?" . Which backup QB's around the league are there to "push the starter" can we even name? One comes to mind. How'd that work out Rex?
  • avatar

    I hate to bring this up because he didn't do a dam thing while he was here in Tampa but Bill Walsh with Montana/Young....HELLO )
  • avatar


    I have no problem whatsoever with getting quality depth at the QB position (i.e. K. Cousins...who I posted many before the draft that I loved). I have every problem in the world with opening a QB competition. Cousins is not in a competition with RGIII. RGIII is the starter as long as he's there. I have a problem with a QB competion because I challenge anyone to bring up a case where a QB competition occured and the winner ever went on to win a Super Bowl with that team.
  • avatar


    Pinkstop, I agree. After thinking about it even more I know that Freeman has to be the starter and deserves to be. I think we still need a legit back up in case Josh has an injury for a game or two. I believe that is important especially if we are close to being in the Playoffs. I also think we should always be using the Practice Squad for a sleeper QB from a small school that might bloom into a player. Just my opinion. The focus is to help Josh, not hinder him; there really is nothing wrong with competition and most good players respond to it in a positive way.
  • avatar


    1. Dee Milliner. CB Alabama. 2. Jonathan Banks CB Mississippi. State. 3.Margus. Hunt DE SMU. 4. Kyle Van Noy OLB BYU. 4. Joseph Fauria. TE UCLA 5.Tyrann Mathieu CB (formally) LSU. 6. Marcus Davis WR VT...
  • avatar

    Hey stlbucsfan - I've said this before and will say it again...it's like you read my mind. Let me add this one nugget to all of the still Freeman haters ....the Bucs led in 15 of the 16 games they played this year (the blowout by the Saints being the exception)...that's Freeman leading the offense to get us a lead in 15 of 16 games!...and a defense that could not hold a lead in over half of those games. The problem on this team is very apparent....draft and/or FA the secondary and pass rush as a priority.
  • avatar


    I admit that Freeman should be here in 2013 and will be the starter. I would just like a back up plan. Do you actually believe Orlovsky could take us anywhere if need be? Let's at least get a legit back up QB.
  • avatar


    No sense in arguing over Freeman anymore. He'll be back next year, just might have some depth/competition behind him. I think more people need to see that Doug M. is the greatest talent we have on that side of the ball though. Forget Free, what can we do to help Doug out lol???
  • avatar


    Anyone who says that Josh has "not developed at all" either hasn't actually been watching games or knows nothing about evaluating players. I believe in Josh, but that belief aside, I do think that next season is crucial for him. People were saying that this year and I laughed them off. Yea, sure - the season after 4-12 with a new system, new head coach, and new #1 receiver is the really, REEEAAALLY crucial one. Give me a break. Give Free a bit of continuity going into next season. Next season is the really important one for him. Not that he needs to dominate - he just needs to show some relatively minor improvements, which I assure you, he is capable of doing. He's still a kid. There are guys who will get drafted in April who are within a year of Josh in age. Patience and support are what he really needs, and I think he'll get both from this staff (thank God!), if not this fan base. We'll be lying at his feet thanking him profusely when he's got his Ring on in 5 years.
  • avatar


    I believe our defense is light years ahead of any problem we have. Though, i was proud of the defense yesterday. I've been critical of Josh at times , but i like Josh and i hope he succeeds . He seems like a decent young man. If we can do a major secondary makeover and add a pass rusher or two, and get healthy on offense , i think we will be in great shape.
  • avatar

    24 yrs old throws for 27 td's and still progressing in his game and we want to get rid of him- hilarious
  • avatar


    Let him play under the same offensive system for a second year and then evaluate him. I don't think he has had a chance to gain confidence and become smooth and consistent as everything keeps changing around him. He has to do things automatically without thinking to be good and a new system would eliminate that possibility. Josh is not the problem.
  • avatar


    I hope coach is true to his word, draft someone after the 3rd round,and if you can get a vet like A Smith to breath down his neck do it. Josh has been handed the starters spot for four years now, three of them losing. We easily win nine games this season with better Q.B. play. Fans who won't give rookie free agent corners a chance after one year are making excuses for Freeman after four.
  • avatar

    Okay guys... So freeman feels the pressure to score every drive? What about the defense feeling demoralized after shutting down Denver and Philadelphia in the first halves of those games... While freeman was going thru the motions? Eventually this team stops and starts with the QB. Yeah, let's fix the defense and put together the best running game in the NFL, but doesn't every team hope to build that around their QB? Eventually he has to carry us.
  • avatar


    Coach will keep this simple for all of to understand. It is healthy for all starters to have legit competition.
  • avatar


    Josh Freeman has not developed; you can't assume he'll develop next year either. Bring in someone who has much as we brought in Vincent Jackson and hope that the veteran presence will rub off on Josh Freeman as much as Vincent did on Mike Williams.
  • avatar


    Competition is good. But I've been around the the Bucs since day one. If they bring in competition, it will be token competition, a Josh johnson type, not controversy type competition. Watch and see!
  • avatar


    Josh Johnson was never given a chance to compete for the starting job here in Tampa bay. He's a Brownie now; i guess we'll what happens to him there.
  • avatar


    Josh Freeman holds or will hold every passing record associated with the Bucs. He's a 24 year old kid figuring it out, there are adjustments that have to be made throughout a players career and this one is no different. He has plenty of room to improve, I think what bodes well is the fact that he improved this year in all areas. Bringing in "competition" is cute and thats what the fans want to hear so sure say it, but be VERY careful that we are supporting our QB and not making the situation worse. The situation with the Jets is a prime example of what can happen when the focus shifts to the wrong thing with young players. If we can win a Super Bowl with the aging Brad Johnson then surely Freeman has what it takes. Put a sound defense on the field, one that is capable of actually holding the leads they were given earlier in the year and we wouldnt be having the end of year press conference, it would be the first press conference of the PLAYOFFS! Cut Wright, get a speed rusher in the draft and then draft or sign as many CBs as the roster can physically hold. Go Bucs! Looking forward to another solid offseason.
  • avatar

    I believe in Freeman! It's almost disrespectful to talk about competition - it is actually. Lets not forget about key injuries to our O-Line - Nicks, and Joseph. Maybe the two best players on that side of the ball. Aside from V Jax and M. Williams his weapons are more than subpar - dropped K2 and replaced him with a slower less reliable aging Clark. Cut T. Jackson, traded Talib and only further amplified our issues at secondary - a position we knew was a weakness coming in. Wright was a reach but I was happy we tried. I personally felt Schiano's job should be in question - I just hope his desperation doesn't ruin our franchise - moves like focusing on freeman instead on longterm solutions at TE (more important and prolific in this passing league), slot WR, C, DE (Clayborn's solid with healthy but needs a compliment), DT (McCoy can be more consistent and could use a better partner to take attention off him), LB (David is solid, Foster, has Black peaked? Do we replace him?), DB (NUMBER ONE AREA OF NEED - pointless to note to suspect players who make up the position), and FS (maybe in future years because Ronde could play 5 more years at safety)...
  • avatar

    It's like how do we fire Coach Morris for defensive issues, and issues and the secondary but we don't improve there and he keeps his job? Sure we improved playing the run but that has been in the works...
  • avatar


    I agree with you Buc1932. The Bucs can be a winner with Freeman. Just hope in the offseason that Freeman works on putting a little touch on his short passes and end zone fades.
  • avatar


    I believe in freeman. You can nitpick away at his faults and he does need to improve, but he will. He has shown he can win shoot outs, one score games, and fourth quarter comebacks. Please guys be patient! What we really need is massive defensive help, and quite frankly anything that takes away from that focus this offseason would be useless. If freeman had a defense that could make stops somewhat consistently I doubt he'd make as many mistakes. Anyone can argue validly that we can get better at qb, but the defense is the problem here
  • avatar

    Right!
  • avatar

    I've been asking people to take a look at the drive summaries from every game this season and see if they see what I think I see. It seems the defense most definitely stopped opposing offense a lot. They gave up big plays that made highlights causing an uproar in the media and some fans alike, but they forced a lot of punts and caused 17 interceptions, I think. The drive summaries say that the defense, even while giving up 1.3 million yards in the passing game, still didn't lose anywhere near as many games for the BUCS as perceived by many.
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