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September 25, 2013 @ 7:37 pm
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Bucs Players React To The Freeman Benching

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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The only topic at One Buc during the open locker room period was of course the Josh Freeman benching and the naming of Mike Glennon as starter. PewterReport.com got reaction from players on how thy felt moving forward without Freeman under center.
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 Nicks
What 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 Williams
How 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 Joseph
What 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 Zuttah
How 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 McCoy
Does 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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  • avatar

    Take another look at the quote by M. Williams. He seems to indicate that Freeman & Glennon alternated reps with the 1st team in every practice this season. IF that is true, my understanding is that would be unheard of in the NFL. As far as I know, it is common practice for the 1st team QB to get at least 90% of the reps. Again, IF I understand Williams' comments correctly, that says volumes about how Schiano felt about Freeman, and in turn, Schiano's lack of trust in Freeman...and perhaps one of the reasons for Freeman's downfall. Not saying Freeman could have done better, but IMO, there has been a tremendous lack of coaching at all levels. I hope Glennon sets the world on fire, but if he doesn't, and assessments are made at the end of the season, Schiano can't use "rookie QB" as his excuse to stay. He needs to be out the door so we can get a quality coach...and a new GM. EastEndBoy & SurferDude, good posts...as usual.
  • avatar

    I look back on the draft that brought Freeman in. The Bucs moved up to get Freeman, I thought, "man are they nuts?". And then they sell the pick by saying he was a "franchise" quarterback. What kind of franchise, Hardees?
  • avatar

    Ownership has spent serious money - but not all the money, to add quality players. Now is the time to roll out the big bucks and 'create' an acquisition of a big time QB. They've (owners) pulled the big rabbit from their hats before and they - and only they, can add the missing piece to a pretty good roster. Simply not enough good QBs to go around. Have to go get one! Go Bucs!
  • avatar

    @Buc4life79: You´ve got a great point there, an realy GREAT one. For a long time i was screaming to get rid of Freeman(although i think he can be effective for a team), and i wanted GM HC combo to go. Shiano, is as advertised: Might have a good "team-vison"(critical for HC) but he is not a X´s and O´s type of guy - but he doesn´t even have too. That why the coordinators make their money. Our GM had a bad history of drafting and our HC seems to want more power in player aquisitions.. and Mark has made some good cap managing (although i will say, there wasnt much to manage anyway, since we had a lot of cap). To me, we could have a better or worse HC.. I tend to think we cant judge Shiano from the past last weeks, as there was clearly a battle going on between the HC and QB, but both parties, professional as they are, didnt talk about it in the public (at least for now). Best case scenario: Bucs will look improved big time and still loosing >> then we can be okay with coach and have good draft position
  • avatar

    My point is that we are out of the playoff picture this year, period. If Glennon shows improvement throughout the season, and if we address some of our other issues (like TE and DL depth) then maybe we can be in the picture next year. That is nearly two full seasons away (2 years). That is the best case scenario. If Glennon plays like a rookie or is unable to improve (like the way that he regressed as a senior), then we will be forced to draft a QB early next April. The new rookie maybe gets to play sometime next season and if he is good enough, maybe starting the 2015 season (nearly 3 full seasons away.) I agree that the play of the defense is encouraging, but the truth is that 2 of the last three games we were winning with less that 2 minutes to go and lost. It may not be completely the fault of the defense, but it is at least partly their fault. Our defense may be able to keep us in games, and may generate enough turnovers to get us 3-4 wins. Nearly everybody on the offense save Jackson in week one and Martin the last two have not played well. Josh is to blame. But so are the other offensive players. How exactly does Glennon get the receivers to hold on to the ball and the linemen to block? The rookie probably commits more turnovers. I am normally very optimistic, but there is a leadership gap in this organization that is not resolved by benching Freeman.
  • avatar

    ...what bEubanks11 said.
  • avatar

    My first reaction is to say that Freeman must have been holding back because if issues with his coach but really has Freeman ever shown the ability or confidence to move to the next level that some come into this league with? I've always hoped a light would turn on for Josh but I really feel the kid just doesn't have the capacity.. After 5 years he doesn't even have the confidence to take his eyes off of his intended target. No check downs presnap, as Kurt Warner pointed out there's no recognition of what the defense does after the snap and all because he just doesn't have the confidence or field presence to just know wherehis primary target us while he reads everything else. The starring down of the primary target is something we can except from a rookie but a vet? Josh is the worst starting qb in the league that has other rookies out there playing in it, why not give Glennon the ball? He really can't be much worse in a bunch of categories and I bet will be an immediate boost in others. I was a Freeman supporter as I'm all for my team but Glennon is on this team too and I am for one excited again to see where were going from here. Waiting too long because you're scared of change is not the way to succeed. Josh wasn't going to change so we as a team had to.
  • avatar

    It is unrealistic to expect that Glennon will actually provide some sort of upgrade in the short term. The long term is another question, but we are probably 2-3 years away from knowing if Glennon is a real solution. The real problem with this move is that it makes all of our free agent signings from the last two years irrelevent. Face it: what the Bucs told us on Wednesday is that they are not going to really be in a position to compete for the playoffs for several more seasons. Does anybody think Revis Goldson or VJax are just going to sit around patiently and wait? Schiano's effectiveness as a coach is still really in question as well. This whole thing is discouraging on so many levels.
  • avatar

    a-bomb; I disagree with what you have said and I know that is your opinion and that is okay. I would like to say that if Glennon just plays average now, that is enough for me to say that next season we are a playoff team and all those Free Agent signings are still good. If we win 6-7 games this season that tells me with one more Free Agency and a Draft we are playoff bound. .
  • avatar

    @abomb and @horse: I also disagree that we are necessarily several years away form being a playoff team. I point to the KC Chiefs - as I have on PR before - as the model for us now...we have a lot of probowl experienced players and we are missing a head coach, GM and QB...just like KC was last year. They seem to be doing fine in 2013. We must replicate that model however - if the Glazers decide to give Schiano and Dom another chance and ride out Glennon, then we're in trouble. If they make the move to bring in some quality front office people and draft a QB in what is looking like a QB rich draft - then we can be the Chiefs of 2014....
  • avatar

    The team is definitely not 2-3 years away from the playoffs. We have a playoff caliber defense now. Also hidden beneath the awful offense we have played this year is a top 10 offense that performed last year without 2 Pro Bowl guards. This team is literally a good head coach and a solid QB away from the playoffs. I for one would have loved to wait until the offseason, sign Philip Rivers and let Glennon sit another year or two and then play much like what happened with Aaron Rodgers but Schiano didnt have the job security to wait that long. In the end it all boils down to whether or not Schiano has channeled his inner Bill Belicheck and found his Tom Brady or if its the last horrah for a coach with one foot out the door. Time will tell but FAs will still come here bc our front office isnt against making the changes necessary to win and spending 96 million on Revis this summer lets me know standing pat and losing year after year isnt on the menu.
  • avatar

    This is a business for the players, we as fans take it harder, these guys can be cut, or dealt anytime. No one is going to say, thank god they benched him, or we don't have a prayer with Glennon, so make up what you will about their comments. The fact is, the season can't go any farther south then it was going. The one thing I notice from the players, and management, is how they rave about Glennon's high football I.Q., and how quickly he picks things up. When have you ever heard anyone at 1 Buc rave about Freeman's high football I.Q.? A former scout on NFL network gave this assessment of Freeman coming out in the draft, and now. Freeman was a raw talent coming out that could become a hero, or a zero. Then said he's a zero. His problem that he can't seem to over come, is making his progressions when his first read is covered. Sums it all up doesn't it. Posters on PR want McNulty gone, like he's all of a sudden to blame for Josh's woes. To those I'd like to ask, would Peyton Manning be completing less then 50 percent of his passes if McNulty was his Q.B. coach? It ain't about the X's, and O's, it's about the Jimmy's, and Joes.
  • avatar

    Bucforlife79: Dominik drafted Booker Reece in 1982? Now that's a "bust". My other favorite bust is OG Bret Moritz. Dominik was only the GM from 2009 until now. Surely you can't blame him for "every bust we've had around here." All GM's have success and failures. I tend to agree that we have had a few too many of the later under Mark's watch. Glazers will ride out 2013 and make an assessment then.
  • avatar

    Heard this morning on NFL network that NO GM is interested in JF unless they lose their starter. I think that says it all. Glennon is the best choice like it or not. How some of you are think you know he sucks is ridiculous. Glennon's FUTURE performance being based on his first preseason is like some of you being judged by your intelligence from the posts that you write on here.
  • avatar

    If glennon wins against cardinals, I will be a believer. If he throws a bunch of interceptions and looks like a deer in the headlights, I will start watching c span
  • avatar

    arizonajoe says please keep Dominik who drafted every bust we've had around here until Schiano came on board... but fire Schiano...In one draft(last years) Domink and Schiano drafted more impact producing players than the organization has drafted in almost a decade but you in your infinite wisdom states, "Schiano needs to go." Arizonajoe, please, don't keep your current mindset because your common sense obviously needs to go.
  • avatar

    We might all be getting played-maybe coach was brought in as a way to separate the team from a mistake..Maybe the brass knew Freeman couldn't be relied on to be a starting QB and they needed a fall guy in case they made the wrong call by getting rid of him..the no contract deal and lack of development show he is a money pit..they draft a third round QB to stop gap and ditch the dead weight..Freeman's time in Tampa always had an expiration date,looks like that time is now..problem is- what if anything is he worth?
  • avatar

    This first three weeks is ridiculous. I had such high hopes. Schiano needs to go. Glazers please keep Dominik.
  • avatar

    Sounds like a lot of politically correct statements to me. If Schiano and Glennon wins, which I hope they do, I think these guys will be fine. These guys sound like I'm in for now, but we'll see. If this thing starts to go south early, Schiano will have a tough time getting these guys to show up on Sunday. Time will tell!
  • avatar

    in all reality glen is probably not the answer, but a lot of football people like his arm. I have been watching football for 37 + years and free is not that good in reality he sucks and I mean sucks bad, and I am homer, but take a look the guy sucks he has not shown any improvement in five years. he was bad in college go look. lovie or whoever will have a good d and maybe the best young college qb next year
  • avatar

    Read Coach's comments carefully. Read Joseph's comments carefully. As I've been saying for two years Freeman just doesn't have it mentally. If you listen to Joseph, it sounds like he's talking about a junior coming out of college still trying to figure out how to play quarterback. The other players are saying the same things, talking about how well prepared Glennon is and how completely he understands he came plan – because of the contrast between Glennon and Freeman, of course. I personally wish Glennon wasn't going in until the 13th or 14th game of the season, just to protect him a little bit. But getting rid of Freeman is overdue. Let him be someone else's project to try to work around and make up for his shortcomings, we've already wasted half a decade. Time to move on. Thanks for the wasted time, Rah, Dom and Hickey. Go Glennon, go Bucs!!
  • avatar

    If this team can not beat the Cardinals then it's not the player's. This game is even easier than what the Jets game expectations were. Palmer only has Fitzgerald so I hope Revis covers him on the side lines and Barron covers him down the middle; for Gods sake blitz!
  • avatar

    Too bad Kellen Winslow isn't here. Then we would know the true pulse of the team. I'm totally kidding. The Glennon Era begins.....NOW!
  • avatar

    @artpac...my thoughts exactly...a lot of "if that's what the guys upstairs want then we get paid to do what they want"....sounds like a lot of players afraid to say anything, worried about having just chucked-in this season, and not wanting to throw the new guy under the bus but hardly optimistic....
  • avatar

    What did anyone EXPECT them to say? The point is they will play hard on Sunday and that nobody questioned Glennon's talent. It means nothing. How the team plays on Sunday WILL mean something though. They certainly have not play well enough so far so if they were supportive of Josh they obviously were not supportive enough.
  • avatar

    I was thinking the same thing. Those quotes hardly seem like the quotes of people who were ready to move on from Freeman. I have been a big supporter of Freeman, but I think a change did need to be made. Glennon won't do any better, I don't think. But this is a shrewd move on Schiano's part. Now, when they lose (and they will), he can blame it on the rookie QB and not take any of the heat himself. He just bought himself one more year. I love my Bucs, but it's time for Schiano to go.
  • avatar

    It doesn't sound like a ringing endorsement for Glennon.
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