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August 13, 2013 @ 9:05 am
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Former NFL G.M. Pioli Weighs In On Schiano, Revis, Freeman

Written by Gil
Arcia
Gil Arcia

Gil
Arcia

Beat Writer E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Many guests were seen at Buccaneers training camp for the past few weeks. On the last day of camp, former Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli shared his thoughts on Tampa Bay after observing practice.
Former Kansas City Chiefs general manager and current NBC Sports Network Analyst Scott Pioli was a guest at Bucs camp on Monday to observe practice. When it comes to football, Pioli has 20 years of front office experience. After spending some time at One Buc Place Monday, his experience showed as he spoke about the Bucs, specifically Josh Freeman, Darrelle Revis, and head coach Greg Schiano on NBC Sports.

Pioli became the Chiefs general manager in 2009. Immediately following his hire in Kansas City, he relieved former Bucs assistant Herman Edwards from his head coaching duties and hired Arizona Cardinals offensive coordinator Todd Haley to replace Edwards. Pioli talked about such a change and the type of players Tampa Bay will see in head coach Greg Schiano's second year.

“This is Greg's (Schiano) second year. And what Mark Dominik and his staff are doing now is that they are making sure that they are finding players that fit the mold or vision of Greg Schiano,” Pioli said. “And that is one of the biggest transitions — when there is change within franchises. You have a personnel department that is out getting players for one head coach. When you get a new head coach, styles are different, desires are different in terms of what the head coach wants. What I think we are going to see this year is the second year of a Greg Schiano type player which is a smart, tough, liable, dependable football player.”

Those types of characteristics in a player may lie within quarterback Josh Freeman. Many across the country feel there is a disconnect between Schiano and Freeman but as Pioli puts it, that may be overblown and Freeman fits the character that Schiano looks for in a player.

“I think there is the regular pressure that comes with being a quarterback that marries into a situation with a new coach. But I get the sense in talking with Greg (Schiano), that he really likes Josh Freeman,” Pioli said. “He's seen a lot of growth out of Josh and I think we maybe, some of us in the media, have made this out to be more than what it really is. I think Greg really likes and respects Josh Freeman. I also think that he has seen a growth.”

Pioli would go on and talk about Freeman's character.

“For instance, he has taken a leadership role in working with Mike Glennon and is actually trying to mentor and help Mike Glennon. And to Greg (Schiano), that seems like a really important thing because it's showing Greg an entirely new dynamic to this player. Not that it didn't exist but he didn't unearth previously — the fact that he is trying to help someone who is fighting him for his job.”

Freeman is in the last year of his rookie contract. While his character fits what Schiano may be looking for, the Bucs are going to let this season play out and base their plans on a contract for Freeman off of his 2013 performance. Could be a risky move from both angles on if he excels or not, but Pioli also mentions that it's not always up to the organization on a final decision for keeping a player around.

“Greg (Schiano) wants to see how this works out and truth is, what people have to remember about free agency is not just whether or not, when a player becomes a free agent, it's not just whether or not the team wants him, but does the player want to remain in the system. Right now things are as good as they could be and we'll see how the season shakes out for Josh and how it shakes out for Greg Schiano.”

While there may be uncertainty from the Schiano and Freeman front, there is a sense of excitement from All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis as he spoke to Pioli.

“He's very excited about the opportunity and I know Greg Schiano is very excited about the opportunity,” Pioli said. “It sounds like the toughest thing they've had to do is to keep themselves in control and remain patient. What they've tried to do is, Darrelle (Revis) wants to come back really fast, Greg (Schiano) wants him back and they have to keep reminding one another to be patient throughout this whole process.”

Revis, according to the Bucs training staff, is progressing well. The staff is beginning to ease him into the practice schedule and breaking him in slowly by participating in some drills. And as he progresses in his rehab, results become evident. Pioli was optimistic after watching the former New York Jets star cornerback at practice, validating the positive direction that Revis is headed.

“He hadn't done anything until today,” Pioli said. “Today was his first day doing it (7-on-7 drills). But not only did Darrelle Revis look good, he sounded good.”
Last modified on Tuesday, 13 August 2013 09:57
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  • avatar


    Freeman seems to have the character that fits the Buc's but I would like to see him become a lot more accurate. If he does not improve his accuracy he will only be a lower tier QB. This is the year we will see what we have. There is no more excuses for him as he has talent around him, second year same system and same OC and a pro bowl RB and is in his contract year. IMO that should spell playoffs!
  • avatar


    All of our posts are from the perspective of time. At mid-season last year, we were singing the praises of Freeman as he led (arguably) the most prolific offense in the league for 3 or 4 games. At the end of the season, many of us wanted him gone. This year, we will find out who the REAL Josh Freeman is. I'm pulling for him...now if he can just hit those short passes & end zone fades! :-)
  • avatar


    warren; I'm right with you and also hoping that he will improve just a little bit. Freeman is not my biggest concern; it's the pass rush that has my attention.
  • avatar


    EastEndBoy; Okay so maybe I am a few million to low, but so far Freeman is not 10 million worthy much less 18 million. Forget the 4100 yards because some of that big yardage gained was against teams in prevent defense. Doug Williams, Brad Johnson, even Garcia won games; Freeman has not yet. Now please don't accuse me of being a Freeman hater; I am not, but I did get off his bus towards the end of the season because I realized that he has problems being consistent. All the good QB's are consistent and Freeman is not so that makes him average at best in my opinion. So if you want to pay him 18 million for that kind of performance then okay.
  • avatar


    There is this guy that bags groceries at the local chain - been at for 20 years - still crushes the bread every time he bags the goods....just having 20 years of experience doesn't mean much - not saying he isn't knowledgable (KC fans sure had a hate on for this guy)...it's not really the years on the car but rather the miles on the engine that matters. Anyway, it never gets old discussing Freeman...the season hasn't even begun and he's being run out of town...Horse: $5-7m per year???...what starting QBs (other than those on rookie contracts) makes $5-7m per year...the choice at QB in the NFL is buy a rookie for a cheap deal and hope he turns out to be good, buy a veteran and hope he still has something in the tank (ala Arizona), or buy a QB in his prime and pay $15m+. If Freeman is still here next year it's $15m...otherwise we're hoping for the cheap rookie (and hoping his name is Bridgewater not Glennon).
  • avatar

    what do you mean Free has not proven himself on the field? hes had 1 good year and 1 great year. best stats in tampa history for a QB in a season. lots of come from behind wins. yeah hes had some struggles but before last year the rest of the offense was pretty bad and the defense has not helped protect the leads Free puts up. all im sayin is Free has got it. now hes got a year under his belt in the same system so he should have as good of a year if not better than last. Free is our guy and im behind him 100%
  • avatar


    I was hoping for more analysis from an ex-GM. He basically just repeated things that people he respects (like Schiano) told him. He didn't say anything about mechanics, overthrowing receivers or anything. Maybe he doesn't know much about those things which is why he's out of work now.
  • avatar


    Numbers show Free has been the most prolific passer in franchise history. He has some concerns, sure, but he's the best pure passer we've ever had (barring Young that didn't blossom during his stay in Tampa).
  • avatar


    I don't see any disconnect because Josh appears to be almost the same as before. What I do see is the quality of players around Josh has and is improving. Josh is a middle tier QB and even though many fans are talking about signing him for tens of millions of dollars, he may warrant a much smaller salary than that. So far Josh is a 5-7 million dollar a year QB in my opinion.
  • avatar


    Talk is cheap and the proof is in the pudding. I think Josh has admirable character, and meets the mold of the Buccaneer way, but he still has to produce on the field, and finally get this team to the playoffs. If he can't do that we will see how complimentary Schiano is then of Josh. Remember Bennet exemplified the Buccaneer Way and was also of admirable character, and even led the Bucs in sacks last year, a very valuable talent for the Bucs, and Schiano told him bye bye didn't he? I hope Josh drops his bad habits and succeeds this year because I have seen way too many former Bucs' QBs that started with us as rookies, got cut by the Bucs and went on to win Super Bowls for other teams and become big time Quarter Backs. But Josh may be told by Polyana Buc Fans that his performances are fine, and he may think he does not need to change what he is doing. I refuse to do that for his own good.
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