After four seasons the Buccaneers have moved on from quarterback Josh Freeman and turned the keys over to rookie Mike Glennon, a third-round selection from North Carolina State. The news of the change, that was revealed early Wednesday morning, caught many players by surprise.
PewterReport.com was in the open locker room following practice Wednesday and spoke to some players to gauge their reactions to the change. Below are some of the quotes from the players willing to discuss the situation.Guard Carl NicksWhat was your reaction when you got the news?
“The last time you guys (the media) asked me about that, I said I was down for Freeman,” Nicks said. “But whoever the coach decides to start that is who I am rocking with. I really have no choice so that’s what it is.”How did Glennon look his first day on the job?
“Today was his first taking all the reps with the (first team), and he look crisper he looked good,” Nicks said. “But everybody knows it is different on Sundays, but if coach has faith in him, then so do I.”With the recent success of rookie quarterbacks (Russell Wilson, Robert Griffin III), can Glennon step in and have similar success as a rookie?
“It’s a little too early to say,” Nicks said. “Who knows, it may be like when Kaepernick came in San Francisco. I’m not saying he is going to rush for 150 yards but who knows. It varies, you will have guys like that that don’t have time to learn the system and you just throw them in the fire and they do good and you have guys that don’t. We will see what we have.”What are your impressions so far of Glennon?
“I haven’t seen (him) a lot but I know the kid has a strong arm, he is smart, he is athletic, he is tall. Those are all good attributes to have to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. I think he can do it.”
Wide receiver Mike WilliamsHow surprised were you when you heard the news?
“I’ m not going to say surprised, it was just the organizations decision and that’s what we have to go by,” Williams said. “This is who we work for. They make the decisions here. They say I’m a starter. So whatever decisions they go by, we have to try and play to the best of our abilities,”As a teammate and a friend, what is Josh Freeman going through?
“Anytime there is another guy that comes in and gets their spot or whatever, anytime that ever happens, you feel like (saying) keep battling, keep playing, try to keep going good for the team. And that looks like that is what he is doing.”Can Glennon help this team win as rookie?
“They made the decision for a reason,” Williams said. "They didn’t make the decision for us to keep losing. So, hopefully it’s a great decision. We’re all behind it, and we’re going to go out and try to get the rest of these wins.”What do you see in Glennon’s preparedness for this opportunity?
“I see a guy that’s already got the game plan down pat,” Williams said. “Last week, he had the game plan down-pat. He’s already been preparing to be the number one [quarterback], and now he’s the number one.” How will the receivers adjust to a new quarterback as far as chemistry?
“We’ve been throwing with him every day, so we’ve been getting the rhythm down with him,” Williams said. “It’s always [been] one-two, Josh then Glennon, Josh then Glennon, so they always switched up anyway. But I think, with any quarterback, you need [extra to] go out there and try to find the sweet spots, things like that.”Guard Davin JosephWhat was you level of surprise with the move to bench Freeman?
“I was surprised, but it’s a performance-based league,” Joseph said. “Coach’s [Head Coach Greg Schiano] decision is coach’s decision. We’ve got to move forward and just really come around him and make [quarterback] Mike [Glennon] the best quarterback he can be.” Did you see the decision coming?
“Not really. It was a hard decision, Coach expressed that to us – it was a tough decision – so I really didn’t have an inkling of whether he was or was not going to replace [quarterback] Josh [Freeman],” Joseph said. “But he made a decision, and we’ve just got to move forward.” How do you think this will affect Freeman moving forward?
“Josh’s situation – it’s not the end of his career,” Joseph said. “ Josh has a lot of football left in him. He’s just got to use this time to really perfect his craft. This time he can really focus on himself and see where he can improve and really learn the quarterback position without the pressure of performing. So, I think he can use this time effectively and it can really benefit his career.”Center Jeremy ZuttahHow surprised were you about the switch from Freeman to Glennon?
“We were surprised but I mean we just have to go out there and control what you can control,” Zuttah said. “I can’t think about, I just play, that is coaches decision and I just go with it and if that is what he feels like gives us the best chance to win So I have to ride with it.”What are your personal feelings towards Freeman?
“I love Freeman,” Zuttah said. “He has been my quarterback for a long time, we are still with him. We are confident that if comes back around to it and you never know what happens in the league. People get hurt, opportunities come and go.”What have you noticed about Glennon?
“Big arm and he can make all the throws,” Zuttah said. “It just about getting out there and getting game experience, and seeing how he handles all of that. DT Gerald McCoyDoes this decision possibly create issues in the locker room?
"We're all we've got in this locker room," McCoy said. "When we step across those white lines, the coaches don't go with us, we go. So there's no way we can step across those white lines and compete at a high level and expect to win if we're not together. I think that's clear. So I don't think you have to worry about any division or the guys starting to point fingers."What did you say when the coaches came to the captains to let you know of the decision?
"I was the one who defended (Freeman) early in the year, so clearly I made it clear how I feel," McCoy said. " But I also always say I trust the guys upstairs and the decision they made. They made the decision and we just make the best of it."
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