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September 12, 2013 @ 4:37 pm
Current rating: 3.00 Stars/2 Votes

Schiano And Freeman Deny Reports Of Internal Conflict

Written by Scott
Scott Reynolds


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Both head coach Greg Schiano and Josh Freeman spoke on Wednesday regarding published reports of issues between the two. Schiano and Freeman both admitted Freeman did not attend the team photo but claimed it is in the past and hasn't had an effect on the team as they prepare for the Saints.
There was plenty of controversy from the media swirling around One Buccaneer Place on Thursday with stories suggesting that one of the topics from a players-only meeting was the legitimacy of the vote-counting by head coach Greg Schiano that resulted in quarterback Josh Freeman not being named a team captain for the first time in three years, and Freeman missing the team photo shoot on Monday because he overslept.

During his press conference on Thursday, Freeman admitted to being absent for the team photo.

“I missed because of a family situation.” Freeman said. “But Monday morning, I was talking to the guys the night before, and I overslept. A position of quarterback is a position of leadership. Obviously, missing the team photo is a big deal, but it’s been fine. The response of the teammates has been cool about it. It’s something I feel badly about, it’s upsetting; but at the same time you have to put it behind you and continue to play this game because the Saints are coming to town.”

Freeman was at the heart of the controversy, and his teammates and his head coach rallied around him, shrugging off his absence from the team photo.

“It’s on every individual here to be on time to everything that you go to,” Bucs right guard and team captain Davin Joseph said. “I’m not saying Josh is late or nothing, but it’s on every individual here to do their job. I think Freeman does a damn good job of doing his job. When it comes to Freeman, I have no complaints. When it comes to Freeman, I’m happy he’s our quarterback and I wouldn’t take anyone else.

“All of us have done it. Have I been late? Yes, to a few things. But that doesn’t make you any less of a man. It happens.”

Bowers understood that Freeman missed the team photo, and suggested that his absence didn’t affect the team’s votes for team captains.

“Things happen,” Bowers said. “I’m not sure why he missed it, but he’ll get on there. That’s why we have Photoshop.

“We had a number of guys that could have been captains with him, Davin, Carl [Nicks] – anybody could have been a captain. It’s just the way the votes landed. That doesn’t sway my vote at all. It was surprising [that Freeman wasn’t a captain], but then you look at the guys that were elected captains and you see the guys that are the true leaders of our offense. Davin being one of them – he is our player rep, and Vincent [Jackson] having been to the Pro Bowl. You can’t argue that those guys shouldn’t be our captains.”

While he said he would have liked to be named a team captain, Freeman has no problems with Joseph and Jackson wearing a “C” on their chests instead.

“I think that Vincent Jackson deserved every bit of it," Freeman said. “I think it’s funny because as much as we talk about me not being a captain, I feel like it takes away from the other guys. We have a team with eight Pro Bowl guys. Do I want to be captain? Yeah, sure, but it’s not something to stress over.”

Bowers said that despite Freeman not being named an official team captain, he’s still a leader for the Buccaneers.

“He’s definitely one of our leaders,” Bowers said. “I don’t think the ‘C’ on your chest makes you any more of a leader than he already is. He’s definitely a leader and we look up to him as a team.”

Freeman was asked about where his head was this season, if the contract talks or anything else might be affecting him.

“It’s maybe somewhere in the back,” Freeman said. “But it’s not something I think about when I’m out at the game and throw an interception and think, ‘Oh man this contract might end.’ I really don’t think like that at all. Like I said I keep whatever’s right in front of me and embrace it.

“It’s to not let things become distractions. No matter what’s going on in your life and everything, the clocks ticking down until the Saints game. It doesn’t matter what we are doing, we know that they, New Orleans, are preparing right now you can’t worry about anything. Just trying to keep everyone focused and keep everyone towards a common goal. It’s really not hard at all, because were all locked in on this moment, and right now that’s going out and getting that win.”

Bowers also responded to the question of Freeman’s off-the-field issues that some have suggested.

“What off the field distractions?” Bowers said. “I’m not aware of any. If I don’t know about them then they are probably not known about. We’re pretty honed in on what we have to do. We are practicing hard and watching film.”

Schiano and a handful of players also responded to reports that the vote tally for captains may have been manipulated.

“If there is a vote tally scandal going on I have no idea [about it],” Joseph said. “I think it’s really a chance to voice some concerns amongst each other, and that can be productive, and also with getting messages to coaches. But really it’s just trying to establish a standard and to have a happy locker room. That’s the number one thing.”

“I was aware there was going to be a player’s only meeting before the game which I’m always fine with,” Schiano said. “I trust the players when the leadership of the team wants to talk amongst themselves I think that’s healthy, I was not aware of any questioning on the captains vote because there isn’t any.”

Finally, both Freeman and Schiano were asked about their relationship and if they trust each other.

“I really like playing for Schiano,” Freeman said. “I’m not just saying that. Coach Schiano takes things to a personal level, it’s not just about the business, and it’s not just about the results. Which ultimately it is, but it’s about the process, it’s about camaraderie, brotherhood, we’ve got our wristbands and the sayings. It’s all about family; it’s all about trusting in each other, and believing in each other and accountability. It’s really refreshing. It’s awesome you know, it’s fun playing for coach.”

“I do trust Josh,” Schiano said. “Josh and I share a lot of things together.”

“Anytime as a coach you’re trying to instill winning habits in your entire football team. In your organization really.  The way we cook the food, the way we practice, the way we clean the building we want everything to be at an elite level. When you have mishaps, when you have things where guys don’t do what they’re supposed to do when they’re supposed to do it, does it concern me? Sure it does, but the same guy has done a lot of things when he supposed to do them in clutch situations. Dating back to as late as Sunday. He took the team down and put us in field goal range to win the game.

“So I think everything has to be in balance. I’m not going to allow anything to get us off of preparation for this Sunday’s game. There’s nothing that’s going to do that. The best thing is that our football team is locked in on Sunday’s game. We’ve had two good practices. If it’s an issue outside of this building, it’s not an issue inside of this building.”

Last modified on Thursday, 12 September 2013 17:46

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  • avatar

    both (Freeano) and Dominik, can all pack their bags - no need for them on a professional football team. They gotta go
  • avatar

    7 a.m. team pic on a day off..why ?
  • avatar

    I personally think Josh has got a raw deal with all the change overs and such. But.......the facts are the facts and when you don't win heads will roll. I just hope we don't let another good QB go for what? Glennon has not showed me anything. It looks like Bucs will make the change around week 5....We have the weapons on offense.......We'll see
  • avatar

    Something's wrong. I don't know what it is, but it will all come out in a year or two when players or coaches move on. For now, win dammit!
  • avatar

    Here's what I will say. To miss a team photo given you are the starting QB, in a contract year (just thought I'd point that out) speaks volumes to your ability to be a leader of men. Not to mention the play on the field has been less than stellar. It was horrible in the pre-season, and his inaccuracies carried over into week 1. Here's what I want to know Bucs fans. I do not follow it as closely as some of you. I want to know two things. 1). What does missing the team photo say about Josh Freeman? Does it say anything at all? 2). Rumors about this growing riff between the players and the HC/Staff due to all the micromanaging combined with the fact he was hired and was only a .500 win coach to begin with. Do you feel this is true?
  • avatar

    Enough; just win.
  • avatar

    @garv...you represent, my friend....GO BUCS!
  • avatar

    One win shuts some jackwagons up for a week. I'll be at the Ray Jay rooting for that as much as for being tied for first after beating the Saints at home. sweeeeeeeeeeet! THREE DAYS, NO EXCUSES!
  • avatar

    I don't post much. I do read all of your posts. After watching last week's game, I have a couple thoughts: the way the game began last week was embarrassing. That's how it felt while watching. I thought most teams had the first several plays scripted on offense to start the game. The fact that Freeman couldn't or wouldn't just call a play to avoid taking another timeout or getting a penalty was weird. It's like he didn't know what to do. I've also noticed that Freeman is not willing to run with the ball anymore. He used to make things happen when the play broke down and it was a big part of his game. It's almost like the coaches are trying to make him something that he's not. Let him go. Let him be what made him successful in the first place. That's it. Go bucs!
  • avatar

    @smitty...think we'd all like to see him use his legs more...intelligently of course...but more.
  • avatar

    Has there ever been another NFL team with this much talent across the board at every position EXCEPT quarterback? Maybe the '85 Bears, although their RB talent and defensive talent were Hall of Fame elite.
  • avatar

    Schiano and Freeman deny internal conflict? I am sure those two went fishin' after (another super) practice because they're best buddies.
  • avatar

    someone strike-up the band at the circus please....doodoodoododoodooo, dooodoodoododoodo....
  • avatar

    In related news, hospitals deny that they make a profit, baseball players deny the use of HGH, politicians deny responsibility, and nike/apple deny the use of slave labor. I believe them all.
  • avatar

    How can Freeman be a captain when he can't even know how to show up for official functions on time? In a radio interview yesterday he said that the captain's role mainly is to participate in the coin toss at the beginning of the game. This statement should tell you that he doesn't understand the role and the players were correct in not electing him their captain. There's a lot more to it, Josh. Obviously you didn't do a good job while in the position over the last three seasons.
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