Bucs co-chairman Joel Glazer spoke to the media Tuesday at the NFL Owner's Meetings and gave his impressions on a number of subjects regarding the 2012 season, and what he expects in 2013.
The Glazer family, owners of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, don’t seek the spotlight, and speak to the media a limited number of times during the year. The annual NFL Owners’ Meetings are one of the few times per year Bucs fans get to hear what the family is thinking regarding the state of the team.
Co-chairmen Joel Glazer met with the Tampa Bay media on Tuesday in Phoenix, where this year’s meetings are taking place, and shared his thoughts on the 2012 season under head coach Greg Schiano, while also addressing a number of subjects including the upcoming 2013 season, blackouts, and quarterback Josh Freeman.
Glazer spoke to the Tampa Tribune’s Ira Kaufman and said the Bucs ownership group still thinks Freeman can be the team’s future.
"We still have great confidence in Josh,'' Glazer said. "Quarterback is a critical position, but quarterbacks can't do it alone. There are a few games you can look at last year when we were in a comfortable position and defensively, we may have let down.
"Josh had some great moments last year – and some moments he'd like to have back. We want to take the pressure off of him defensively, and that's what we're working on. Nobody works harder than Josh Freeman, and he obviously has the talent. He threw for 4,000 yards and had a lot of big games. Let's play some better defense and take some pressure off of him.''
Glazer next addressed the 10-year playoff-win drought.
"To me, one year without a playoff win is too long,'' Glazer said. "Ten years is extremely disappointing, but I have great confidence we have the people in place to reverse that trend. It's tough to win in this league, but it's within everyone's control to change their course. Ultimately, it falls on our shoulders as owners. We're not going to hide from our responsibility. All we're going to do is work our tails off that it doesn't continue.''
The lack of playoff wins and the overall record over the 10-year slide has contributed to the blackouts the past three season but Glazer thinks there is light at the end of the tunnel.
"We've been working very hard to get fans into the stadium,'' Glazer said, "But there are tough circumstances in Florida and the economy is not great. It's a changing world and we have to adapt. I think we saw some progress last year.''
Glazer also took a few minutes to talk about the job that Schiano did in 2012, his first as the Bucs head coach.
"When you get a job that late, it's a whirlwind,'' Glazer said, "Even more so for someone coming from the college ranks. I thought he handled himself extremely well and he has an excellent relationship with (general manager) Mark Dominik. That's critical for success. They've earned each other's trust and respect.
"The one thing I'm most proud of was our final game,'' Glazer said. "It could have gone a very different way after that very difficult spell. Give credit to Coach Schiano, how he got that team up and ready to play against the best team in the NFC. We played our hearts out to the final whistle when a lot of other people would have had their bags packed, thinking about their vacations.
"I think that speaks to how our players respond to our coach, and that will be a good launching pad for the upcoming season.''
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