Despite wide-spread reports of a players-only meeting this week, sources told PewterReport.com a meeting was in fact held, but took place last week prior to Sunday's Jets game. PewterReport.com was also told the legitimacy of QB Josh Freeman not being named a team captain was not a topic of the meeting.
Last week when it was announced who the 2013 Buccaneers team captains were, quarterback Josh Freeman’s name was surprisingly absent.
The Bucs roster – without input from the coaching staff – named wide receiver Vincent Jackson and guard Davin Joseph as offensive team captains for the upcoming season, but not Freeman, who has been a team captain on offense since the 2010 season. The revelation that Freeman was not chosen by his teammates immediately raised some red flags.
On Wednesday a report by ProFootballTalk.com stated the Buccaneers had called a players-only meeting, and one of the reasons was to discuss about the legitimacy of the vote, indicating some may have felt the vote was manipulated by the coaching staff.
Tampa Bay Times beat writer Rick Stroud on Wednesday afternoon spoke to head coach Greg Schiano, who disputed the reports.
"The players vote, (and) the votes are tabulated by me,'' Schiano told Stroud.
Stroud asked Schiano to confirm that Freeman was not elected.
"That's what I said, yeah,'' Schiano said. "I know there's a story out there. It's 100 percent false.''
Sources also told PewterReport.com that there was no players-only meeting at One Buccaneer Place this week following the 18-17 loss to the New York Jets, however there was one prior to Sunday’s game, but the topic discussed had nothing to do with the vote on the captains.
Last week, Schiano addressed the situation about Freeman not being elected a team captain.
"I know one thing, Josh is going to lead," Schiano said. "Josh is a leader. So I'm not concerned about that. If you look the last two years, Davin didn't play last year. So when we voted, Davin was out for the year and the year before Vincent wasn't on the team. So those two guys are strong leaders and it just so happens Josh is on a team with other strong leaders. But I wouldn't read to that that Josh isn't a leader. To a man, I think every offensive player will tell you, 'we follow No. 5.' I think it's a good thing. I guess it all depends how you look at it. I'm fine with it."
PewterReport.com will continue to follow the story and update it as warranted.
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