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October 4, 2013 @ 8:27 am
Current rating: 4.00 Stars/9 Votes

SR's Fab 5 - 10-4

Written by Scott
Scott Reynolds


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Did Greg Schiano and the Bucs actually lose during the bye week? How many wins in 2013 does Schiano need to have any chance of keeping his job? How much improvement has Tampa Bay's defense shown this year? Get the answers plus more insight and inside scoop in SR's Fab 5.
SR's Fab 5 is a collection of inside scoop, analysis and insight from yours truly, Pewter Report publisher and Bucs beat writer Scott Reynolds. Here are a few things that caught my attention this week at One Buc Place:


This is my 18th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and I’ve never seen anything like this before. With record web traffic numbers in September, I’m guessing Bucs fans like you haven’t seen a full-fledged circus at One Buccaneer Place for a 0-4 team like this, either.

The daily Greg Schiano vs. Josh Freeman soap opera in the media was absolutely ridiculous. It was unnecessary for the franchise and it was embarrassing to the fans. It should also be embarrassing to the Glazers. Thankfully it ended on Thursday when he was mercifully released by Tampa Bay after general manager Mark Dominik didn’t find any takers in his attempts to trade Freeman.

After covering this team and interacting with its fan base on PewterReport.com, on sports talk radio and in person for nearly two decades, I’ve got a pretty good handle on the psyche of most – but not all – of the Buccaneers fans. After years of embarrassingly rooting for the Yuccaneers for a 13-year playoff-less stretch, Tampa Bay fans finally stopped getting bullied around by other NFL teams and their respective fans. Tony Dungy came along in 1996 as the team’s head coach and made the Bucs respectable, and turned them into winners a year later.

Dungy and Bucs legends like Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks, John Lynch, Ronde Barber, Mike Alstott and others gave Bucs fans a strong sense of pride. The Bucs – and their fans – weren’t the laughing stock of the league anymore. Bucs car flags, license plates and window decals were everywhere and nearly everyone owned red and pewter-colored attire and wore it proudly around town.

But one month after Dungy was fired in January of 2002, the Bucs returned to their previously embarrassing ways in desperately looking for Dungy’s replacement. The Glazers failed to land Bill Parcells, turned down Marvin Lewis, and were turned down themselves by the likes of Ralph Friedgen and Steve Mariucci. A month after firing Dungy, the Glazers traveled across the country trying in vain to convince the right person to coach their Buccaneers, but to no avail.

In the end, the Glazers had to actually trade for a coach. Jon Gruden came along in 2002 and he took a championship-caliber defense and revamped the offense to produce a Super Bowl winner. It was a golden move by the Glazers. It was a huge risk that had a big-time payoff.

In a scene out of the 1990s comedy classic Revenge of the Nerds, the once-nerdy Bucs fans finally became the cool kids at the NFL school. They could proudly strut around with other “cool kids” from Green Bay, Dallas and elsewhere for a while.

Yet there’s nothing worse for former nerds than the fear of becoming nerds again and losing their recently achieved cool status. When the Bucs began to slide back towards mediocrity after the Super Bowl during the Bruce Allen years, that mentality is what made so many fans get fed up with the Gruden and Allen regime. The Bucs’ 10-6 record in 2010 got fans briefly optimistic about Raheem Morris before 10 straight losses brought sheer embarrassment back to Tampa Bay.

Bucs fans were outraged over the blowouts under Morris, and rightly so. They wanted the Glazers to spend money in free agency, which is something that Gruden wanted at the end of his tenure in Tampa Bay, too (and ultimately what got him fired).

Morris had to suffer for years with the youngest team in the NFL with the lowest payroll in the league. Can’t blame Morris for being a bit bitter after seeing the Bucs sign wide receiver Vincent Jackson, guard Carl Nicks and free safety Dashon Goldson and trade for Darrelle Revis right after he got fired.

Just when Bucs’ fans thought the pride was being restored in Tampa Bay when Mr. Trust, Belief and Accountability walked in the door and restored order to order-less One Buccaneer Place, the players realized that the pendulum had swung too far in the opposite direction. Their work environment had gone from being a country club environment under Morris to a prison-like environment under Schiano’s dictatorial ways.

In a report on SI.com, Andrew Brandt backs up the claim by PewterReport.com and other media outlets that Tampa Bay players don’t trust Schiano, and also reveals that Schiano has the players on the sideline filmed during games and singles out those who laugh or horse around on the sidelines.

That’s why when the Bucs tried to sell some national reporters, NFL Network’s Michael Silver and Ian Rapaport, who don’t cover the Bucs on a daily basis, that Freeman had lost the locker room – instead of Schiano losing it – it was laughable. Say what you want about his quarterback play, Freeman is well liked and well respected in the locker room. He’s a great teammate, and left tackle Donald Penn spoke up in his defense on Wednesday to reiterate that point.

I’m not sure why the Bucs feel compelled to bury Freeman in the media. You don’t see the New York Jets doing this to Mark Sanchez.

Is Schiano a New Jersey bully, as he was portrayed in Silver’s eye-opening article that a lot of folks in Tampa Bay, including PewterReport.com, dismissed when it first came out? Or is Schiano still looking to pile on the justification to bench Freeman by painting him as irresponsible?

All the justification Schiano needed was to say that his QB is completing less than half of his passes, is 0-3 in 2013 and 1-8 in the last nine starts and leave it at that. But to allow constant leaks about Freeman missing a meeting, getting fined, etc. all it does is make the quarterback a sympathetic figure to the fan base and reinforce Schiano’s negative stereotypes. Any leaks by the Bucs are backfiring on Schiano, who is clearly losing support of Tampa Bay’s fan base.

So where does this leave Schiano? Setting aside the embarrassment to the organization and the fan base caused by media circus, let’s not forget he’s 1-9 in his last 10 games and the Bucs are still losing close games, just as they did a year ago.

At least the Buccaneers had some playoff years with Gruden, right? The Bucs won the Super Bowl in 2002, won the division in 2005, and then hosted a wild card game in 2007. Gruden was then fired a year later after the Bucs “struggled” over the next two years, finishing with a 9-7 record in both of his final two seasons.

Doesn’t 9-7 sound good right about now?

Both Dungy and Gruden knew how to utilize talented players and win, which is proving difficult for Schiano despite a plethora of high-priced Pro Bowl players. Dungy’s team knew how to finish games and finish the season strong. The Bucs typically owned the month of December under Dungy. Gruden had a special talent for squeezing a few good years out of aging stars like left tackle Roman Oben, quarterback Jeff Garcia, wide receivers Joey Galloway, Antonio Bryant and Ike Hilliard and running back Warrick Dunn to name a few.

Ever since John McKay helped start this franchise in 1976, Bucs fans have either embraced their head coach, as they did with McKay, Dungy and Gruden, or they haven’t. Now it comes as no surprise that McKay, Dungy and Gruden are the three most-winningest coaches in Bucs history, but they each had a uniquely endearing quality about them.

McKay had charisma and wit and came with a winning pedigree from USC. He was a media darling, which bought him time with the reporters to turn the Bucs into winners.

Dungy brought a feeling of respectability and calm to a turbulent franchise. A strong Christian man, everybody liked – or loved – Dungy, who was a father figure to not only Bucs players, but also to the entire Tampa Bay area it seemed.

Gruden had star power and instant credibility when he came to Tampa Bay and won a championship in 2002. Fans loved his fiery, butt-kicking style. They felt like he was someone they could go to war with on Sundays, and Gruden’s game day “Chucky” persona was at times the Bucs’ 12th man.

As for the head coaches Tampa Bay didn’t embrace, Leeman Bennett and Richard Williamson had no business coaching the Bucs. Ray Perkins was the old school version of Schiano, and Sam Wyche was a charlatan, whom the players never trusted. The players loved and trusted Morris, but he was just as immature as his players at times, and was in over his head as a 32-year old head coach.

Bucs fans haven’t embraced Schiano, either. His TBA – trust, belief and accountability – press conference when he was initially hired was a breath of fresh air at One Buc Place. But after a year and a half, the Bucs have gone 1-9 in their last 10 games after a promising 6-4 start under Schiano. The players don’t trust Schiano and are losing faith in him as the losses mount.

It’s one thing to lose games. Morris lost 10 games in a row, and many of them were blowouts. Schiano’s losses have been much closer, usually by a field goal in the last minute. That seems to be the unfortunate trend under this guy.

But at least Morris’ losses came without all of the sideshow drama during the week, though. His youngry, overmatched Bucs just lost. There wasn’t a new negative headline on ProFootballTalk.com every other hour like there is now with Schiano at the helm.

At some point the Glazers have to realize how embarrassed and frustrated the Bucs fan base is. You would think that a crowd of 44,000 (or less) at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday for the Arizona game would be a strong clue.

It’s one thing to lose a lot of games on Sundays. It’s another thing for the organization to lose credibility with the fans during the week with negative article after negative article along with those defeats.

That is what is being said by Bucs fans on the PewterReport.com message boards and on sports talk radio shows on 98.7 The Fan and elsewhere. They just want the embarrassment to end. Having to cringe every time they log on to ESPN.com or ProFootballTalk.com with another negative story about the Bucs makes the 2013 season even worse.

For Tampa Bay fans, being 1-9 in their last 10 games means having to put the glasses back on, hike up the pants and dust off the pocket protector once and be prepared to be the laughing stocks of the NFL again. No one wants that, and it’s time for the Glazers to make some changes. Releasing Freeman was just the first of the many changes that need to be made within the organization.

It’s nearly impossible for a team to lose during its bye week, but that’s what has happened in Tampa Bay. With all of the drama and negative stories in the national media coming out of One Buccaneer Place about the Schiano vs. Freeman controversy it feels like this team is somehow 0-5 now.

Since the start of Tampa Bay’s 2013 regular season, I realize my reporting has stirred things up in the Buccaneers fan base and over at One Buccaneer Place. Most of the fans that have read PewterReport.com, and Buccaneer Magazine back in the day, know that if I am going to err on one side, it will be with the Buccaneers. If all things are even, I’m probably going to give the Buccaneers organization the benefit of the doubt.

I draw my conclusion and report based on the facts and information I know. Typically, I can only report on half of what I know because I get so much information off the record. Since the start of the season I have been portrayed by some fans as a Freeman apologist and a Schiano hater. It may come as a surprise to you that I understand why that perception is out there, although I don’t believe that exact depiction fits my reporting.

I’m not apologizing for Freeman. I think to a large degree that he lost the starting job on merit, but I also believe that Schiano never had his back and was always looking for a reason to bench him. Unfortunately for Freeman, completing 45.7 percent of his passes, a bad preseason in which he failed to complete at least 48 percent of his passes, and a 0-3 start to the 2013 season with a 1-8 mark in the last nine games gave Schiano all the ammunition he needed to pull the trigger.

What I don’t like, and a big reason why I believe Schiano deserves to be fired if the Bucs lose to the Eagles next Sunday, is that Schiano and the organization began vilifying Freeman and unnecessarily attacking his character in an effort to deflect blame away from Schiano after Tampa Bay’s horrific 0-4 start and 1-9 record in the last 10 games.

I believe Schiano when he says he was “absolutely not” the leak when it comes to Freeman’s medical info. I also believe that he didn’t rig the captains’ vote that stripped Freeman of his captaincy after three years. But based on what I know I didn’t believe Schiano when he said that Freeman watching Sunday’s game in the suite was a “mutual decision” and I do believe that he helped orchestrate or at least had approving knowledge of the Bucs’ leaking the fact that he missed the team photo, was late to team meetings and missed a meeting last week in an effort to further make Freeman’s benching look justified.

Maybe Schiano didn’t call up the reporters himself, but I believe he was behind it – and many of the other leaks coming from One Buc Place about Freeman – and instructed someone to do it. Based upon information I’ve confirmed this week, Schiano pulls all the strings at One Buccaneer Place from what temperature the thermostat is set on at the team’s complex to controlling all personnel moves.

I like Freeman. I believe he’s a good, Midwestern guy. I don’t think there is a malicious bone in his body. From my interactions over the years on and off the field with the former Kansas State star I would have no problem with Freeman babysitting my four kids on a Friday night, knowing there would still be one heck of a video game tournament going on with Freeman at the controls when I came home after midnight. There aren’t a lot of Bucs players I know enough to trust to watch my kids, but Freeman is at the top of the list.

I’ve enrolled my sons into the Josh Freeman ProCamps Football Camp, which, in full disclosure, has been an advertiser on PewterReport.com, the past two years. I was very disappointed that Freeman essentially missed the first day of his own camp. I was embarrassed for Freeman for showing up for the last 15 minutes of the camp on the first day.

To his credit he showed up the next day and spent all day talking with the kids and throwing the ball to them. He had a blast and paid a little closer attention to the real young elementary school kids rather than the middle school kids.

I believe Freeman is a 25-year old guy with fame and money that parties a little too hard. Yet when I was 25, I remember my roommate and I going to Ybor City every Friday and Saturday night for the first year I spent in Tampa, partying like crazy – we just didn’t have the fame and money. If Freeman’s reputation for partying has hurt his image among Bucs fans, well that’s his own fault.

I wasn’t thrilled that Freeman was over an hour late to the Pewter Report Draft Party at The Grille at Westchase on Friday, April 26. I thought it was irresponsible. To his credit, Freeman, who agreed not to be paid for his appearance from the start, called me a couple of times to alert me to the fact that he was running late and giving me an update on approximately when he would be there.

Once he arrived, the Bucs quarterback spent 30 minutes on the microphone talking with over 125 PewterReport.com visitors in attendance and answering questions. He made up for arriving an hour late by staying an extra hour, signing every fans’ autograph and taking photos with anyone that wanted one.

Freeman was supposed to go to Orlando to hang out with some friends and party that Friday night, but told me he opted to go to Orlando another night and stay at the Pewter Report Draft Party and hang out with the Bucs fans because he was having such a good time. As I left to go to One Buc Place to finish covering the draft at the start of the third round, Freeman called me on his way home to thank me for having him as the guest speaker.

Freeman is not a great leader. He’s not a rah-rah, take-charge guy with a commanding presence that most people, including Greg Schiano, want from their quarterback. At age 25, I don’t think Freeman has developed the mental toughness to thrive in an iron-fisted, micromanaging environment like the one Schiano has created at One Buc Place. This latest ordeal and getting cut by the Bucs will provide a learning lesson for him that he can hopefully use to create a positive outcome at his next destination.

Fans would love to see Freeman get more animated during games and during his press conferences. His monotone voice and his even-keeled nature after losses irks some fans.

As a reporter, I understand it now. That’s how Freeman is. As a Kansas State alum and fan, Freeman irked me when he was in college because I didn’t know him and that he was aloof. Freeman was 2-0 against national powerhouse Texas, but was a horrible 0-3 against K-State’s rivals, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. Being a Kansas City native, K-Staters really wanted to embrace Freeman but his personality made it difficult.

In Kansas City, it’s not uncommon to have K-Staters, KU grads and Mizzou alums all coexisting together in the workplace. When Freeman would take the podium after a bad loss to in-state rival KU, he would be so ho-hum about the defeat, always looking ahead to the next game. K-Staters were already furious about having lost to KU, knowing they would never hear the end of it at work on Monday from Jayhawks and Tigers fans. They wanted to see Freeman just as sad, disappointed and angry as they were.

But that’s not Freeman. It never has been. Just like Tony Dungy never uncrosses his arms and never curses. It’s not in Freeman’s nature to be animated. I think if Jeff Garcia’s fiery, feisty persona was transformed into Freeman’s 6-foot-6, 235-pound frame that Bucs fans would have embraced Freeman more than they did.

Of course winning helps, too. Freeman is 20-44 in his 66 NFL starts with the bulk of those wins coming in the 10-6 season in 2010. You can say what you want about the dropped passes and the poor pass protection this year, or not having Vincent Jackson in his first three years, or the defenses blowing nearly a dozen games in the fourth quarter, but the fact is that Freeman didn’t do enough and didn’t win enough to get a contract extension and win over Schiano. With Schiano Freeman compiled a 7-12 record.

Freeman had a great 2010 campaign, and a record-breaking 2012 season with 27 touchdown passes and 4,065 yards, but the facts are that the Bucs were 0-3 with him in the lineup in 2013 and throughout three preseason games and three regular season games he couldn’t complete at least 48 percent of his passes, which is unacceptable for a fifth-year quarterback.

Freeman’s camp believes there were 17 drops through the first three games, but there were probably 17 missed reads or bad throws somewhere in there, too. Whether Freeman is the second coming of Jason Campbell or still a young, good quarterback with the potential to be great, whose progress was being stunted by Schiano is up for debate. I probably lean towards the latter because I think the loss of quarterbacks coach Ron Turner has played a role, and Schiano never truly had Freeman’s back, but I don’t think that makes me a Freeman apologist.

I admit that this guy went to the same college as I did and my kids attended his football camp, but I can also remain objective in my reporting on Freeman. There’s no excuse for any fifth-year QB to complete less than half of his passes, especially in an offense where he threw for 4,000 yards and 27 touchdowns and put a wide receiver in the Pro Bowl the year prior.

If Freeman doesn’t have the mental toughness and intestinal fortitude to rise above Schiano’s head games, step up in a contract year and make sure that Mike Glennon isn’t even in the conversation for the starting job then that’s on him. I understand why the Bucs benched Freeman, although I would have given him the Arizona game to try to turn his season around.

I don’t know how his ADHD affects Freeman’s preparation and his play. I have absolutely no idea. But at some point in order to succeed, great quarterbacks have to rise up and overcome dropped passes and sacks and make plays and win games, and it’s obvious Freeman didn’t do that enough.

Yes, the defense has blown too many narrow, fourth quarter leads, but Freeman sometimes didn’t do enough in quarters 1-3 to put the game away in the fourth quarter and prevent any chance of a comeback by Tampa Bay’s opponents. Some of those missed opportunities are on him.

Some of Freeman’s benching was a lack of performance and a lack of results. But some of it was also personal coming from Schiano, and that’s unfortunate and undeniable based on the information I’ve received.

Freeman didn’t win over Schiano and become “his guy,” and that too, is on him. Yet I also think Schiano’s “my way or the highway” style with players prevented that from becoming a possibility, and that will ultimately lead Schiano out of town sooner rather than later.

The way Schiano treated Freeman and handled the last week upset many of the veteran players from what I’ve been told and I believe cutting Freeman is the beginning of the end of the Schiano regime. With 12 games left, I’m told that Schiano and general manager Mark Dominik believe the magic number for them to keep their jobs is six wins with Glennon.

With a slew of Pro Bowl-caliber players on this talented Tampa Bay roster, I believe the threshold should be seven wins, which is what the team achieved last year. Anything less would be a viewed as a clear step back for this franchise.

Schiano might argue that three of Tampa Bay’s losses are by a combined six points. I thought losing close games under Schiano rather than losing in blowout fashion under Raheem Morris was last year’s argument for showing signs of progress. Well if the Bucs, who have more talent on the team than they did a year ago, are still losing close games, is that showing any real signs of progress?

Seattle, Indianapolis and Washington all made the playoffs with rookie quarterbacks, including Seahawks’ third-round quarterback Russell Wilson, so Schiano automatically loses the “I have to play with a rookie quarterback excuse.” No excuses, Coach.

Improve your offense during the bye week and win seven games with your guy. You better hurry.

If there is one thing Bucs head coach Greg Schiano deserves a lot of praise for is the fact that he and defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan have done a great job of improving Tampa Bay’s defense in 2013. Last year Tampa Bay had the 29th-ranked defense (379.4 avg.), including topsy-turvy ranks for run defense (first, averaging 82.5 yards per game) and pass defense (last, averaging 297.4 yards per game), while surrendering an average of 24.6 points per game, which ranked 23rd in the league.

Through the first four games in 2013, the Bucs have the 12th-ranked total defense, allowing 332.2 yards, and the eighth-ranked scoring defense, allowing just 17.5 points per game. Tampa Bay ranks 15th against the pass with 238 yards per game, and ninth against the run with 94.2 yards per game. The most important improvements come in scoring defense, where the Bucs are allowing seven less points per game this season, and in pass defense where Tampa Bay is allowing nearly 60 less yards in 2013.

Greatly helping the pass defense is the upgrade in talent this offseason by general manager Mark Dominik with the trade for Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis, signing Pro Bowl free safety Dashon Goldson and drafting cornerback Johnthan Banks. Tampa Bay’s defense now has Pro Bowl talent in Revis, Goldson and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.

The Bucs have first-round talent in Revis, McCoy, strong safety Mark Barron and defensive end Adrian Clayborn. Linebacker Lavonte David, cornerback Johnthan Banks and defensive end Da’Quan Bowers, who is a starter in dime defense, are second-rounders. That means that seven of Tampa Bay’s full- or part-time starters on defense were drafted in the first two rounds.

Tampa Bay’s defense is eighth in the league with eight takeaways, including six interceptions and two fumble recoveries. The Bucs only recorded 18 interceptions in 2012, and are already on pace for 24 this year.

The Bucs’ pass rush has also been revved up in 2013. After notching just 27 sacks last season, Tampa Bay already has 13 quarterback captures through the first four games. The last time that happened with the Bucs was in 2002. The team is on pace to record 52 sacks this season.

Tampa Bay’s talent is shining as Revis, Banks, Barron and David all have interceptions, in addition to middle linebacker Mason Foster, a former third-round pick, and strongside linebacker Dekoda Watson, a former seventh-round pick, also have picks.

David leads the team with three sacks, McCoy, Clayborn and Foster each have two sacks, and Barron has one sack. Watson and defensive end Daniel Te’o-Nesheim also have sacks for the Bucs.

Tampa Bay’s red zone defense ranks second in the NFL behind Kansas City, allowing just four touchdowns in 14 opportunities to defend the end zone. Opponents are scoring a touchdown just 28.6 percent of the time following the Chiefs’ 25 percent mark.

The Bucs’ goal-to-go defense is also stout, which is tied for second in the league with Kansas City behind New England. Tampa Bay has had six opportunities and only allowed two touchdowns (33.3 percent).

Yet despite these statistical improvements, the Bucs defense has played a significant role at the end of three of Tampa Bay’s close losses to New York, New Orleans and Arizona.

“Even though we played well, there are some things things we can fix,” David said. “[The bye] it just gives us time to go back and work on our fundamentals and fix the basic things that we, sometimes, had messed up on.

“We just need to finish. Some way, somehow, we’ve just got to dig deep and find a way to try to put games away.”

Mark Dominik has certainly had his conquests and failures with personnel as Tampa Bay’s general manager since 2009. But one of his undeniable successes is landing two starting offensive tackles that were formerly undrafted free agents in Donald Penn and Demar Dotson.

That’s an incredibly rare feat. The Bucs are believed to be the only team to ever to want to start two undrafted free agents at offensive tackle on purpose rather than out of necessity.

“I didn’t know that, but we try not to focus on that,” Dominik said. “Once players are on the team we just try to keep the best guys and get them in position to play. If that’s how it works out then that’s fine, but I can’t think of another team with two undrafted free agents starting at both tackle spots, though.”

Dominik was Tampa Bay’s director of player personnel in 2006 when he prompted then-general manager Bruce Allen to sign Penn off Minnesota’s practice squad. Penn carried a draftable grade out of Utah State but suffered a knee injury prior to the draft, which hurt his stock and caused him to sign with Minnesota as an undrafted free agent.

Penn replaced the injured Luke Petitgout at left tackle in the third game of the 2007 season and hasn’t missed a start yet. Although he turned 30 this year and has started off the season in a less than stellar fashion by allowing one sack in all four games to start the season, Penn is an experienced veteran that made the Pro Bowl in 2010.

Dotson was a much longer shot to make it in the NFL than Penn was. After playing just one year of organized football as a defensive tackle Southern Miss after his basketball eligibility expired in 2007, Dotson was a tryout undrafted free agent with Tampa Bay in 2009. The Bucs liked Dotson’s quick feet, athleticism and 6-foot-9, 285-pound frame, and he earned a contract after the rookie mini-camp.

After gaining close to 40 pounds of bulk and muscle, and quickly learning how to play offensive line, Dotson rebounded from a season-ending knee injury in 2010 to beat out Jeremy Trueblood for the starting right tackle position in Week 3 of the 2012 season.

“Demar has worked really hard at his craft and developing the traits,” Dominik said. “With all that work he has become a really good player. He had as good of a training camp as anyone on the team.”

The Bucs traded for former first-round pick Gabe Carimi to challenge Dotson in training camp, but Dotson rose to the challenge and easily locked down the starting job heading into 2013. Of Tampa Bay’s five starting offensive linemen, Dotson may be playing the best out of the disappointing unit through the first four games of the season.

“It speaks a lot to the development of the players and their work ethic and their development and how much they want to success,” Dominik said. “They have both taken advantage of opportunities when they have risen up. With Donald it was taking advantage of the injury [to Petitgout]. With Dotson it was grabbing the chance when he had it last year and moving forward. I’m proud of them because they came from a hard place to make the National Football League. It’s even harder to become a starter and they’ve done it.”

FAB 5. Here are some things to hold you over until the next edition of SR’s Fab 5:

• Now that the Josh Freeman era is officially over, the Bucs plan on giving rookie quarterback Mike Glennon a shot to become the team’s starter moving forward past the 2013 season. Glennon, who lost in his NFL debut, will have 12 starts in which to prove he can be the Buccaneers’ answer at the quarterback position. If not, Tampa Bay will likely spend a first- or a second-round pick on a quarterback in the 2014 NFL Draft, which appears to be loaded at the position.

• Tampa Bay will likely use the vacant roster spot that was created with the release of quarterback Josh Freeman on another quarterback. Don’t be surprised if the Bucs attempt to trade for New England’s Ryan Mallett or Miami’s Pat Devlin. The Bucs’ brass has always liked both young quarterbacks. Veteran David Carr is also a possibility because he knows Mike Sullivan's offense and they worked together in New York.

• Count Bucs rookie quarterback Mike Glennon among those impressed with the speed of running back and Olympic sprinter Jeff Demps.

“He’s as fast as advertised,” Glennon said. “He moves real well. You can tell he’s really talented. Whether the ball is in his hands or not, you can tell he’s fast. His speed is his biggest strength. It’s on an elite level.”

When asked if Demps, who had a 14-yard run and a 29-yard kickoff return in his first NFL action on Sunday, is the fastest player Glennon has ever played with or against at North Carolina State, he surprisingly said no. Although Demps is technically faster than former Wolfpack wide receiver T.J. Graham, he believes it would be a close race between the two.

“They are both extremely fast,” Glennon said. “I’m not going to knock a guy I went to school with. T.J.’s parents were Olympic sprinters, so he’s pretty fast, too. When guys are that fast it’s just a blur to me.”

• With Buffalo and Cleveland both losing their starting quarterbacks to injuries during Thursday night’s game, the Bucs made a strategic mistake of letting Josh Freeman go on Thursday afternoon after finding no takers with Freeman on the trading block. At the very least, the Bucs should have waited until after Sunday’s games to release Freeman on Monday morning just in case another starting QB went down with an injury.

With the Bucs having a bye week, the players are away from One Buc Place from Thursday to Sunday, so there was no harm or distraction with keeping Freeman on the roster for a few more days to try to get something out a player that the Bucs have a first-round and a fourth-round pick invested in.

For Freeman’s sake he gets his release and a fresh start elsewhere, which is what his camp wanted. But for the Buccaneers, perhaps a better plan would have been to suspend him for insubordination as former head coach Jon Gruden did to wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson in 2003. That way the Bucs could have at least gotten a third- or fourth-round compensatory pick for technically losing Freeman in free agency.

• One more note on Bucs head coach Greg Schiano. This may come as a surprise to some, but I don’t have any personal axe to grind against Schiano. He has been nothing but nice and accommodating to the PewterReport.com staff, myself included. I believe Schiano wants to win and he believes that his methods are the best way to achieve victories. He has the right to believe that.

I’ve just heard from too many sources at One Buccaneer Place from the football side or the organization to the non-football side that his abrasive style has created an unsettling environment in the workplace, and that there is a real disconnect between Schiano and his staff and a great deal of folks at the Bucs’ headquarters, especially the players.

For the sake of long-suffering Tampa Bay fans and for the players that work so hard at One Buc Place I would love nothing more than to be writing about a 4-0 Buccaneers team and be singing Schiano’s praises for an early Coach of the Year candidate story. But that’s not reality. This team is 0-4 and 1-9 in its last 10 games with Schiano at the helm with a daunting schedule ahead of it.

I don’t think Schiano and his staff do a very good job of in-game adjustments, and I think he and his staff are often out-coached on Sundays. I think Schiano does not do a good job of necessarily playing to his players’ strengths, opting instead to having them conform to his schemes. And I believe his hard-line, toes-on-the-line approach to handling the players is wearing thin and there will be a mutiny at some point in time this season unless the Bucs can get on a winning streak soon, starting next Sunday against Philadelphia.

• And finally, did Bucs head coach Greg Schiano really refer to himself in the third person at a luxury suite holders breakfast at One Buccaneer Place? Really?

Did he really say that the Bucs were “laughing stock” of the NFL and say that “this situation needed Greg Schiano?” Really?

Scott Reynolds says, “Wow.”

Last modified on Friday, 04 October 2013 09:47

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    This is my take on the "Buc Sideshow" For years nobody (ie. - the national media) gave a rats care about the Bucs. The Bucs were an afterthought who never got much attention. But with respectability gained from the Dungy and Gruden era's comes scrutiny. The fans and media now act like we are a big market team. This is the kind of stuff you see in the NY media. All it means is we (Tampa) have entered the big stage. I love it, we are now "legit".
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    I appreciate the input louden. I like the references. Luck is once in a lifetime. You don't kick Manning to the curb for any less. AND, I think RGIII is a perfect example of what I'm trying to say, because I think Mike Shana-whatever is ruining RGIII before our very eyes.
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    @mjmoody: i think your right on most of the things, but: QB dont need to develope that long anymore. If they can ball, it´s plug & play(RG3, Russel Wilson, C Kaepernick). If they are pocket passers, they just need to adjust a little to the league and learn the playbook (Andrew Luck). Reading Defenses, Finding open WR, Throwing accurate, or working/moving in the pocket - it´s all pretty much the same. Just play the game.
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    Funny, there seems to be no mention of blame to guy responsible for hiring Schiano, Mark Dominik who coincidentally started his coaching hit-parade career by hiring Jeff Jagodzinski who couldn't even make it out of preseason as the OC before being relieved and Jim Bates who could not make it past 10 games as the DC. For anyone wondering Bates never coached again and Jags is presently the OC for 0-4 Georgia State after coaching WR's at Ave Maria University last year. Good thing we mortgaged our future by trading for Revis right Scott?
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    Thanks SR for a solid installment of Fab 5. I like most Buc fans am absolutely sick. I believe you meant it as an afterthought, but my complete disgust with the way things are going with the Bucs currently sours me to your statement. --Doesn’t 9-7 sound good right about now?-- NO IT ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT! That's complete crap! 9-7 gives you a chance to back in to the playoffs. This team has and has had real talent, but it's being wasted. They should be better than that. Gruden sold me his O. Wasn't Crap. Morris sold me his version of the Steelers. Wasn't Crap. Schiano is playing Bellicheck. Isn't Crap. Sullivan is selling the Giants. Isn't Crap. It's been 11 years since the Bucs have done anything worth talking about. 1 & done isn't good enough. 12 years since Dungy last taught us to have some self respect. (As SR stated so well.) The Tampa 2 is used in some way on all 32 teams, and is known AS the Tampa 2. That's Greatness! That's what I expect. The Buccaneers O has NO identity what so every, and never has. That's pathetic. That's what I'm sick of. Now we're rebuilding at THE most important position on the field. Mallet? Sure, Bucs have more practice tape on that guy than anybody else in the league other than the Pats. Bridgewater? Boyd? You want another 3 years of patience from me while a newbie QB develops? Then I need to see a coaching staff that teaches, that develops, that innovates, that makes real in game adjustments, that has some street cred and can earn some player and fan respect. I want to see an O dressed in pewter run a for real 2 minute drill. Pump fake, hard count, quick slant, run timing routes, pass the ball to open up the run, and run a series of hurry up plays that aren't painful and obviously scripted and robotic. Use the HEAVILY slanted NFL O rules to your advantage. Ya'know, things that winning football teams do EVERY Sunday. Buc fans!! STOP settling for good enough, or worse, not as bad as last year. Demand more from your football team. Much more. I for one, am tired of being TOLD how good we could be. I demand to be SHOWN how good we can be. When I see it, I'll believe it, and when I believe it, I'll invest my hard earned $$ into it. With Pride.
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    Oh well, just another year. True Buc fans (since '76) are used to unnecessary drama, disappointment etc. You get over it and move on, hoping that one day success will come our way again. The band wagon fans since Dungy came on board and just happen to hang on through the Gruden era, yeah they would be disappointed, but if you decide to hang in there long enough, you'll get used to it and it won't faze you anymore. That's all a part of being a Buc fan. If you can't stand the heat, then go back up north and and stay there! Go Bucs!
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    @maarnold1775: true bucs fans used to drama? I think a Football fan wants his team to become better, therefore: analyzing and hoping the FO and coaches and players perform and make the right decisions. With media and questioning team decisions, theres a chance to put heat on the team. Therefore you CAN make a (little) impact on this situation. Bills fans are the ones who get nothing for their support, why? Because they just suffer, but don´t do anything against it. Like politics. You can go to the streets and making your voice heard; or you do nothing about it, "hoping it will get better by itself", and then go to work (if you are lucky), getting paid less and less, and having to pay more taxes, while the Rich ones pay less (in percentage of their income). Pathetic.... People need to understand the power of every single mans action!!
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    I'm glad to be able to read a "few" posts that offer an alternative view on this circus. FAB1 is SR's view and I can respect it. That said, peoples perception of "facts" has changed dramatically in the past 7-8 years. What once was called speculation is now fact as long as you can correlate it to something else. The media is fuzzy at best and my hope someday is that people see the media for what is REALLY is. WE lost what was perceived our QB for the future this week and somehow this is only Schiano's fault. A rookie QB comes in to replace him and already the speculation is fire Schiano if we can't beat the Eagles. I may be the only Buc fan that wants Schiano to succeed but not because I like him, heck I don't even know him, but because succeeding means the Bucs are winning and in the end that is what I care most about. GO BUCS!!!!!
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    dbuc63: you may be right, Bucs winning is the ultimate goal.. but please not under Shiano. This is not a coach you want to play for (a chef you want to work for). Monitoring every move of his personal.. Monitoring what you are saying.. That´s crazy. Someone made a picture, with Shiano being made into a little Hitler. of course its drastic, but it´s a good satire on shiano.... we should get rid of him, even if he wins a superbowl elsewhere, I wouldn´t like to get him back until he changes dramatically. JMHO. have a good day.
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    This town deserves better!
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    Amazing, there need to be more writers like Scott Reynolds. Great article again and i dont get it, that there are Fans out there, who still dont get it. Scot exactly reflecting what is/was going on. As someone just mentioned, it would be interesting to read, what ScotReynolds is thinking about the GM position. Dominik has some things going for him - but he would have to accept the blame for hiring Shiano and would have (had) to cut Shiano, to safe his job. curious to see who will be handling the ship next year (derrick brooks practicing at the Storms.. maybe..haven´t followed his work there). At least: Josh is a Freeman - FIRE THE SHIANOMIK DEMON, GoBucs!!
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    Brilliant Crem! And to use all of the letters it spells "IN CHAOS".
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    Rearrange the letters in SCHIANO and you get IN CHAOS......wish we had a decently run team..
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    Congratulations, Scott for a great, well balanced summary of the current situation. I agree with most of your points, including that Freeman's inferior play is likely due to a combination of personal lifestyle and conflicts with Schiano. Also the worst indictment of Schiano is his stubborn focus on the Rutgers/Giant's outdated offensive scheme with way too little creativity and poor game adjustments. I also think that Schiano should be replaced immediately if we lose to Philadelphia. If I were the Glazers I would bring in an experienced NFL executive manager to oversee this change process. He could be made a team president or equivalent, with authority over Dominic as well. The point is that Dominic has shown great ability in drafting and obtaining good players, but very poor capability in selecting and managing coaches. Get someone with that capability and reduce Dominic's authority to primarily player acquisition, which is his strong suite. Try to get him to stay for that reason. After hiring Morris and Schiano, expecting Dominic to hire a good coach is unrealistic. Wannsted could probably be an adequate interim coach for the rest of this year.
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    Bucsbob saying "The point is that Dominic has shown great ability in drafting and obtaining good players..." made me laugh so hard I peed myself a little. :-) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Freeman was the last player left from his 2009 draft class. Mike Williams is the only player from rounds 1-4 of 2010, and don't forget, we only got to draft him because many other teams crossed him off their draft boards completely. The first 2 drafts with Dominic as GM have not proven to be fruitful. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Dominik has been a plague on this franchise since about 1-2 years post our Superbowl win. As Domink wrestled more power from Gruden, who hand picked many of his FA players in the first couple of years, this franchises talent level has been poor. Our winning percentage has been more and more awful with each rung Dominik climbed. Now admittedly, we have added some great players in the last 2 years but it's not like these great players were finds. These talents cost us a ton, we're proven probowlers, or 1st round picks (or all three in Revis's case). Hardly anything worth Domink patting himself on the back about (not that he'll ever stop doing that). ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- By basically ignoring three of our biggest needs this offseason (3rd DE, Slot WR and TE) Domink again showed his smooth talking far exceeds his foresight.
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    I say the owners should give coach 2 years (the rest of this one and the next) to let his leadership shine through. It's difficult to change from no rules under Raheem to plenty of rules and regulations under Schiano. If the Bucs remove the coach, they will still be on the hook for his salary and won't give some other big name coach a rich contract. They just won't do it. So then you same knuckleheads who are calling for the coach's heads will be doing it again. There is not an endless supply of cash, especially when the fans won't support THEIR hometown team. WHere was the 12th man for the new QB in his home opener vs Arizona??? How about New Orleans? It's embarassing. Los Angeles must be loving watch this unfold.
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    I say the owners should give coach 2 years (the rest of this one and the next) to let his leadership shine through. It's difficult to change from no rules under Raheem to plenty of rules and regulations under Schiano. If the Bucs remove the coach, they will still be on the hook for his salary and won't give some other big name coach a rich contract. They just won't do it. So then you same knuckleheads who are calling for the coaches head will be doing it again. There is not an endless supply of cash, especially when the fans won't support THEIR hometown team. WHere was the 12th man for the new QB in his home opener vs Arizona??? How about New Orleans? It's embarassing. Los Angeles must be loving watch this unfold.
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    At the end of the game, when the opposing offense is in hurry up mode, our defense always looks disorganized. We seem unable to get into and reset the defense based on what the offense is doing. This is situational football and is completely on the coaches. We could be 2-2 if not for the inability of the defense in the last minutes of the game.
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    I probably should stop reading Pewter Report. The main issue is they do have the best access to the Bucs. America has a problem with accountability. Everyone who tries to reinstill it gets vilified. The conspiracy theorist and negative nancies all step out in force with out rational thought. It does not even seem like it is just the people commenting on the articles. Leaked info on purpose? A boss would fire you. I don't have an ax to grind? People self justify when they are wrong. And why the article about the tackles? Penn looks like he took a step back. Brag him up to get more love for a character debate over Freeman. I am in the minority. I would like to terminate half of my coworkers for their can't do attitude. If you can't handle it, there is the door. Nickerson, Sapp, Brooks, Barber, they would not tolerate any of that. Shiano says and it he is bad. I hate complaining because it has not ever solved anything for me. I am an action guy just hoping people might listen and not look at things so negatively. It overwhelms people becoming habit.
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    @wilkes - Amen. Running a small business isn't that different than running the Bucs. They just have a lot more visibility and revenue! Accountability is critical. Positivity and a strong game plan are critical. Execution is the tough part. Always will be. I miss the days when the magazine was able to focus on X's and O's, not gossip and finger pointing. I too want my experience to be heightened, not dragged through a mud puddle.
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    In the photograph of our beloved "coach"(?); doesn't he resemble that creature coming out of the guys chest in Alien?
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    Its refreshing to see that you GET IT, S. Reynolds. Other than that Schiano-backing Jersey guy that runs Gregbucsfan.com. There are just too many in the local media who want to turn a blind eye to what this coach really is, a sham! Its a shame it takes the National media to get players' perspectives from inside the locker room. I want to see our team give up on him 5 times harder than they gave up on Rah in that 10 game stretch. I cant believe the Glazers havent taken this guy out yet. Now, its coming across that he's bullying them and Dominik out of their lunch money. Well The Bucs I love have been hijacked in 2013 by this coach and his Tampa Bay Rutgerneers.
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    Yo home boy @shabba ranks. The one who doesn't get it is you. Media frenzy gets more ratings($) which lead to sales arguments about sponsorship($). That won't hold true LOCALLY if the team moves to LA. Then you and SR can complain about the Tampa Bay Rowdies, cause that will be all that's left in Tampa. Wait - are they still there? Guess not.
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    I hope we kick the snot out of Philly, if not at least Schiano might be gone. Great article, honest & fair as always. And not all people from Jersey are bad Mr Brady
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    I have been a bucs fan since 76, and this is without a doubt one of the lowest moments in team history. I will admit I liked freeman and maybe too much, but his treatment by this organization and the press is disgraceful. Anyone who thinks his career is over has not studied the game much. They could not trade him because everyone knew they would cut him. He will play again in the league, and I just pray it is not our division. It has been humiliating enough.
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    Here are several things that I believe to be true about the BUCS situation: * Josh Freeman was a reach and will never be a winning NFL QB. He is terribly inaccurate as a passer and no amount of coaching can fix that. I was a Freeman supporter, but he has proven that he is a loser. And Morris is an idiot. * Glennon suffers from the same problem. He is a likeable guy, and I want him to succeed, but he is not accurate (or mobile). It is not a good recipe. * The days of teams consistently winning in the NFL without a true franchise QB ended a few years ago. Until we get one, we will be losers like all the other NFL teams that don't have a "franchise QB". Do I need to list all of the teams? * The Tampa Bay area has the most annoying, negative and mean-spirited sportswriters of any area in the country. They will never get over all of the BJ's that they got from Dungy and McKay. * If this area ever gets a another winning coach like Gruden, we will again run him out of town if he doesn't give media BJ's like Dungy and McKay. That is why he is not our head coach at this point. * The Glazers have always been whipping boys as well, but they have spent money to try to bring a winner to Tampa Bay. * It is understandable why Scott Reynolds and the rest of the Pewter Report team are bitter about all of this. Their livelihood is based on a good BUCS team. Constant losing hurts their business. * On a positive note, all of the people that sit around me at the BUCS games could be instant replacements for Schiano. They all seem to know exactly what play to run after the fact. * It may turn out that Schiano has "lost the locker room", but I have not seen that in the games. It looks to me like the team is playing as hard as they can with a lot of energy and spirit. * Lastly, if I was Schiano, I would never ever let my players talk to the local media. Nothing positive ever comes out of that with the media bozos in our town.
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    Three days ago the media was crushing the Bucs for not releasing Freeman quick enough. The drama and distraction was too much for the team and every minute was a minute wasted. Now... if only we had held onto him for one more day, buffalo and cleveland would be begging for Freeman.' Sorry, Scott. Nobody was paying for a guy that they knew was going to be released... mostly because the media said so.
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    I thought reporting was supposed to be based on evidence. Your bias as a KState alumni and a friend of Freeman's disqualifies you from writing on this topic. You have achieved nothing but feeding the frenzy. Freeman is a an immature guy who could 't take the heat. Yes, the whole situation could have been handled better. No doubt. Now, Freeman is gone. Let it go. Move on. You're boring us. How about some real investigative reporting like what the probability is the owners will put out significant cash for a new coach rather than what they did the last time, Gruden for Morison.
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    Its Friday,so it must be time for another Fab 5 from PR...Yep and a GREAT ONE TOO! Great read Scott.
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    I hate to say it SR, but I believe this week's Fab 5 is to harsh on Schiano. I hated that we hired a guy who couldn't win in college when he recruited superior talent... He couldn't do it in the Big East... BUT our D has looked good. If our Offensive staff figures out they are getting about 1 ypc on first down and takes Kenlola's great coaching advice we might just have a .500 football team on our hands. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I'm not saying that I'm happy about that mind you. I think Schiano has a cap in the NFL and it is mediocrity at best. But, Schiano may get out of his own way quickly now with a poor QB out of his way. Maybe not. Probably not. But a few more third down conversions could do a lot for a team with very solid D... Just saying. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- As for Schiano's saying, “Quite frankly nationally, the Buccaneers were the laughing stock of the National Football League. Not bad, laughing stock, and that’s why I was hired.” Raheem Morris clearly accomplished "laughing stock" status. Even with the Bucs long history of losing we had NEVER lost 10 in a row since the 0-26 streak that started our love for this franchise. Raheem's D allowed 31 points or more in 7 of the 10 losses, sometimes by halftime! Raheem Morris lost control of his team because Mark Dominik and the Glazers gave him a position he was ill prepared for. And then Mark Dominik failed to provide "Rah" with talent and guidance. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- And SR, I think you are a very smart man, but one thing I have failed to see any media mention is that a lot of these leaks about Freeman started right after Dominik began trade talks with teams about Freeman. Is there no chance our slick talking, poor planning GM didn't give information to rival GMs. Domink, getting strait up played may very well have resulted in these leaks. Information those rival GM's quickly used to earn favor with a reporter friend?
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    SR. Great article. Looks like what that "little birdie" told me back during training camp that I passed on to you was true!,
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    Scott was dead on about the Freeman persona. He used to drive me nuts during those after game interviews, especially when he would start to describe what best buds he and Schiano was – yeah! Right! If there is to be a proper post mortem on the Freeman era at the Bucs, I would have to say it was a roller coaster ride. It has to be said that he was truly a talented QB that you loved one minute and you sat on the edge of your seat the next. Just never could be sure what the next game would be like or even the next play. I will close my chapter on this note. There is no QB in the NFL that I would rather have than Freeman in the 4th quarter, behind 3 points, minutes left on the clock with the ball in his hand. How many games have we lost where Freeman drove us down the field, took the lead, only to lose because our vaunted prevent defense failed to prevent. Problem was - where was that QB for 3 quarters? I wish Freeman the best and the Bucs good fortune going forward. Who knows – maybe we’ve gotten off the roller coaster only to take up cliff diving?
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    @bucwild. Let it go!!!!! Or are you upset that Josh Freeman,makes more Money than you!!!!! LMAO.......
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    Can someone call Mike Holmgren or Lovie Smith? There is a position opening soon!
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    Buffalo and Cleveland both lost their starting/winning signal callers for extended periods and neither one of them want ANYTHING to do with beloved Josh Freeman, the greatest team mate and holder of untapped potential. They must be dumb, Mike Silver/PR-SR/Raheem "the dream" Morris/Andrew Brandt/Jeff Chadiha and all other gossip ninny's said so.
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    Dear Coach Sheet I Don't Know, As a fellow coach, I want to share with you one of my little known secrets that you definitely don't seem to know about. This is complicated, but effective, so pay close attention. Here it is, it's ok to pass on first down. In fact if you do it about 50% of the time it kind of makes the defence delay a split second untill they know what you are doing. It is so much easier for the o line if the defence is not sure if your running or passing. So stop blaming the o line and the running backs and the quarterback. Use my secret system and the offence will improve. Take my advice as using this system, I took my kids YMCA flag football team all the way to a first place finish.
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    I'm showing Schiano the same respect he's shown us as fans - none. Go watch this brilliant video of him talking about himself in third person and say he was sent here to save the team from being the laughing stock of the NFL and the team needed him then and now. He is a Jersey piece of a trash doing a tough guy act, he's a horrible coach and a worst person. Unlike this article I have no doubt the leaked information on Freeman came from him indirectly, the character assassination wouldn't have been done like this without his backing.


    Schiano, ask yourself, what would Tony Dungy do? He wouldn't be a complete piece of trash, that's for sure.

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    Great read SR. I'm so sad guys, as much as anyone I love this team and I have never felt so strongly about any of the previous coaches as I do now. Schiano has destroyed the team we love and worst of all has robbed us all of the positive vibe going into this season. Yes SR, embarrassing is the overriding emotion from the kneeldown play to the mass of Rutgers players/coaches (Rutgers!!! Seriously? This is sec country!!!) to the constant rumors, I can't stand schiano anymore. Dominick, do not hide yourself away like you did during Raheem's 10 game loss, you need to hold a press conference and answer for this and get some control of him or you're recent excellence will be gone with him. Lastly, I feel awful for the players. Hang in there guys, hopefully competence and fairness will be here soon and the Rutgers bs will be gone. -- one deflated fan.
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    I have been a defender of Schiano until this morning when I heard a recording of him talking at a breakfast with the Suite ticket holders and he referred to the Bucs as a"Laughing Stock" and then referred to himself in the third person saying "the bucs need Greg Schiano" He has to go.
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    Every time I see a picture of SHITano especially like the one above, it makes me just wanna punch him straight in his f@#*ing mouth!!! GLAZERS, YOUR LOSING YOUR FANS, FIRE THIS PYLE OF WASTE ALREADY!!!
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    Yo cbrady. Relax cuz. Stop talking so tough on-line. You and all of us know you would NEVER call Coach Schiano a "Jersey piece of trash" to his face so don't do it here. Come to the table with some respect
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    Appreciate the more balanced approach. As a 20-44 quarterback Freeman's only way to get resigned next year was to have a great season and take Bucs to the playoffs or get damn close. Once it was clear that was not going to happen, the Freeman era was over no matter who our coach would have been. Having invested five years in a quarterback make this devastating but I think people instead are picking up Schiano's personality flaws and demonizing him as a way of coping with their loss. Freeman's record, his mechanics issues, streaky nature and problems reading defenses didn't just start last year but have existed his entire Bucs career. So let's accept the fact we now have to find a franchise quarterback, either in Glennon or in the first round next year, or both and that our won/loss record is going to suck for a while, with or without Schiano. Let's also accept the fact we took a gamble this spring and signed one mega star(Revis) instead of signing three or four players in the Brent Grimes, Michael Bennet, Martelus Bennet category. That strategy has not yet provided results and may never provide results but that's not on Schiano either. We can evaluate Glennon and Schiano at the end of the year. In the meantime, let's give Schano the same benefit of the doubt we are affording Josh Freeman. Enough of the scapegoating!
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    I appreciate your attempt to be fair and balanced, however Schiano is a Jersey piece of trash. I've seen nothing from him to indicate he's anything other than that. His actions show the true man. With as much as I hated Gruden for being an egomaniac and destroying that Super Bowl team to PROVE that he could win without Dungy's team, Schiano is such an a-hole he actually makes me miss Gruden.
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    Mark - Would the Bucs have received a compensatory pic if they kept Freeman through the end of the season?
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    @rocketglass...the rules on compensatory picks are complicated but they measure 1) free agents lost (which Freeman would have been after the end of the official NFL year and instead he is not - he was cut, not lost), 2) then the rule assigns Freeman a weight (basically how good were his numbers, where was he drafted, that sort of thing - it's a bit of a black box as I understand it, but he gets a "value"), 3) the same is done for all other FAs we lose; 4) the same is done for all FAs we sign; 5) our "value" gain is subtracted from our "value" lost and we end up with a net....if the net is positive we get no picks, if the net is negative we get some picks (the more negative the more (and higher) picks - and again it gets complicated as they reattribute the value (somehow) to a player equivalent - so that if we lose 10 guys with low value we don't get a 3rd round pick, we might get 10 7th round picks....anyway, to answer your question - who knows, but for certain he would have benefited our net value calculation and we likely would have got a pick (unless we go sign some new FAs, in which case losing Freeman wouldn't matter)...like I said complicated...
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    SR, The thing you failed to mention about this week, is that this is the only week we are guaranteed not to loose. Which may be our best chance of the entire season not to earn another notch in the looser column.
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    Maybe Morris lost bigger blowouts and he lost the team, but never did I HATE him like I do with Schiano. I have never before hated a head coach in any sport. In my reasoning he is the biggest reason for this present disaster that my favorite team is right now. I want to be proud of my Bucs again and I'm afraid that wont happen as long as Schiano is part of the organization... Fire him please so we can move on!
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    DanishBucFan; HATE is pretty extreme considering this is just a game. I am sure that is an emotional response and you'll pick another word will you let some time go by.
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    NomoSchiano nomo nomo nomoSchiano Schianonononononono LMSchianoO Schianowinsatall
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    Scott, did Freeman miss the opening day breakfast and was late to the bus? If so, how can anyone claim that Free was a good, responsible teammate? I don't know about you, but I want my starting QB to be on time opening day or he is letting down his teammates and coaches. Unacceptable.
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    "In a report on SI.com, Andrew Brandt backs up the claim by PewterReport.com and other media outlets that Tampa Bay players don’t trust Schiano, and also reveals that Schiano has the players on the sideline filmed during games and singles out those who laugh or horse around on the sidelines" Maybe Schiano has part-time with the NSA
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    Thnaks Scott - great read. One more thing to add: in case Schiano was going to blame the lousy, distracting fans for his poor performance (I think we're all that's left?), he should have plenty of calm and quiet next Sunday at RayJay to concentrate on his fantastic football strategy for the Eagles....
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    Good read Scott. What I'd like to know is how the Glazers wanting to hire a Chip Kelly who runs a whacky wide open offense to a run the ball Schiano? As long as Frick, and Frack are picking our next coach we're doomed. Also how did Schiano get such control over everything with no results to show for it? I'd hire a GM with experience to put this back together. Speaking of GM's Dom needs to hold a news conference, and answer for this mess. Should've held one when he released Freeman.
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    Great Article
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    Well said SR! The truth be told!
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    Scott, Townsend3 has you on ur Fab 1 point, and I believe I do to an even greater degree. Is everyone's memory really so bad, that they don't remember, nfl netowrk analysts, espn analysts, profootballtalk analysts, and even players from the other teams calling out the Bucs players stating how in all their years of coaching/playing, they had never seen a team just pitifully rollover like the 2011 Bucs? The Bucs were the laughing stock of the NFL, Morris was heavily criticized for admitting that he couldn't get his players to listen which went viral on national tv, and from there, the players "effort" only got worse. The Bucs were the dictionary definition of pathetic at the national level in all phases of the game from coaching on down. Seeing that you had to play the Bucs in 2011, was a gimmie win and everybody knew it. So say what you want about Schiano, until I see a team quit on him like they did on Morris, he really doesn't care what you have to say either. And one question for all you guys who think Freeman is a man of character. Has anyone ever seen a QB respond to being benched like Freeman did? Compared to Alex Smith's benching last year, how did Freeman respond? Does anyone really think that the Bucs had a hand in ANY of the drama that was started? If so, what did they have to gain by creating a circus? As a QB with the most interceptions since the 2011 season, did Freeman really not have anything to gain from letting people in his camp leak the "leaks?" Seems to me that from a strategic POV, Freeman walked away from this season looking like the victim while getting paid over 6 figures for the rest of the year to do NOTHING. Nevermind all the local radio call ins on his "club scene habit's." Never mind the atmosphere he was drafted into and no doubt never let go of. Never mind that he ADMITTED to being caught with a controlled substance n his body that he DID NOT have a VALID prescription for. From a strategic POV, his agent looks at him and says, don't worry Josh, we're gonna get our money for this year, we are going to put out all these things into the press one after another, a day or two apart, and say, well why would we put out anything that would make ourselves look bad?? That head coach, he's a LIAR!! Meanwhile, the Bucs the whole time see what is going on here and are desperately trying to trade him, until they realize they can't and just release him. It's brilliant, but already the unfortunate new common normal in this country called divide and conquer through "class warfare." Scott, i am not saying that Sciano and his staff might be lacking here and there in some areas, but if you really believe that Sciano would have nothing to do with leaking information and not rigging captain votes, then logically where would that kind of information injected into the media come from?? The party of the person who had THE most to gain and THE most to lose...Josh Freeman. Sorry for the "essay" everyone but this had to be said.
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    It's time to get the best in the draft. No 2 or third round pick. We need best AVAILABLE.
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    Scott, I'm a long time subscriber who rarely leaves comments but I have to say that this was a great read that was presented in a very fair and professional way. Great work. Go Bucs!
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    Scott; I have enjoyed your articles for many years. Your insight into the Bucs has always been spot on. However, I am worried about something. If Schiano turns the season around and survives as head coach your access to the Bucs will be over. So what do I root for; Schiano to turn the Bucs around or your future access to the Bucs? Hope we get both!
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    Scott- great read and very on-point. I was waiting for you to make this call for a couple of weeks. Now that you have I'd like to get your thoughts on Dom's future as well as potential HC hire. At this point I think we can all assume Schiano will not be our coach next season...
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    Great article SR. I agree on all points made!
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    Scott, I'm certainly not the biggest supporter of Schiano but don't you think Fab 1 is written a bit prematurely? I don't understand the logic behind the statement "But at least Morris’ losses came without all of the sideshow drama during the week, though". In his last season Morris' team was blown away week after week. I think we can all agree that they weren't even a competitive football team. Would you really prefer watching 40 point losses as opposed to close games, even if one player (who many fans didn't support in the first place) is alienated? I may be reading between the lines here but it seems like you're implying the media circus will continue now even after the departure of Freeman? If in the future, other players are treated similarly, and the "sideshow" continues, I think we can reasonably conclude that it probably is Schiano but until then, how do we know that Freeman wasn't in fact the main catalyst behind all the headlines?
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    It is much harder for me to take a loss that you know you should have won and it was the coaching that really did you in; than being blown out by another team because you don't have the players; we have the players. That's just my experience.
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    I would bet that you don't have season tkts to the bucs because this head coach should have been gone already.. I hate to admit I am a bucs fan or go to games now!
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    Great series of articles Scott, and for me, right on point with both Schiano and Freeman. Ultimately I think Schiano needs to go for two reasons: Coaching ability - back in the day, people used to say Dona Shula would beat you with his team and then the next day he would beat you with your team. That's because more than anything he go the most out of his talent and modified his style to accomplish that. Schiano is not capable of doing that. Secondly though, and most importantly, I think its a lack of character. What he has done with Josh is simply not exceptable. And with the reports you have on filming players, etc., my guess is Josh is just the tip of the iceberg. I really don't care how many games he wins - 6, 7, 8 - doesn't matter, I've crossed over, time for Schiano to go.
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    I hate to say this, but anyone that thinks Glennon is going to win more than 2 games the rest of the year is dreaming. He is a rookie Qb with out the talent of a RG 3, not going to happen!!!!!!
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    SR - good article . For me personally I have to agree with you that the Bucs are out coached at half time. IMO this is when coaching talent can really be assessed . Schiano and his staff seem to consistently lose the second half. His Ray Perkins-like "if they would only execute" the game plan, we-would-win mentality is that of a losing coach. Great coaches game plan to their players' strengths . He doesn't. Too bad the coaching on offense has not understood they are going to have to pass their way out of the opponent's 8-in-the-box defense. They sure as hell haven't been able to run their way through it.IMO all the stuff coming out about Josh is fair game. All of it. Even his NFL mandated drug program. Now we find out Josh is a party animal . Great. Can't see Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, or Aaron Rodgers having done that ! Sounds like he absolutely lacked leadership on the field. Ever see Manning or Brady in the huddle or sideline with fury in their face at somebody 's screw up. Josh was another Raheem Morris screw up. No Morris - no Josh Freeman pick. Immaturity and lack of leadership aside, Freeman didn't perform consistently . Josh is gone for those reasons. Some of those things being said about Schiano remind me of what was said about Tom Coughlin -until he started winning. GO BUCS!
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    You should bronze this "Fab Five" and hang it somewhere. I look forward to reading this article (the best of any on Pewter Report") every week. I never miss it. This is the best one yet. And being a Buccaneer fan, I thank you for "Fab 1." Everything in there is right on the screws Scott. It's sad. I don't know that the owners look at things from the fans side, but I sure wish they would read this article and understand that what you are saying is true. They need to launch Schiano. In season. Restore our dignity a bit for the remaining 12 games and then go and fix this thing. Schiano is an embarressment to all of us and we just want him to go away. And in my world, take Dominik with him. P.S. - I am in Chicago and I feel the pain all the way up here!!!!
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    FAB 1. I actually did post this on September 30 12:30pm – Schiano's Lack Of Adjustments To Blame For Bucs' 0-4 Start - “The Bucs have a Bye week this week and Footballlocks.com Vegas latest line has the Bye favored by 10 points. Lol”
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    Schiano will be fired by mid season. Bank it.
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    Great Article!!!
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    "I don’t think Schiano and his staff do a very good job of in-game adjustments, and I think he and his staff are often out-coached on Sundays. I think Schiano does not do a good job of necessarily playing to his players’ strengths, opting instead to having them conform to his schemes." Scott, you are too kind!
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    Thanks Scott; one of your best Articles ever. You have been fair and balanced as some would say; for me you are just Scott, a very good reporter and a nice guy. You can't ask for more than that.
  • avatar

    the bucs need Teddy Bridgewater, which means for the next 12 games we need Greg Schiano to get us there
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    Bridgewater would be another Freeman mistake, He is way overrated.
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    Very nice synopsis, SR. I agree with most of the points above. That being said, I have always taken pride in wearing the team colours - most recently at Freeman's last start in New England. I will continue to root for the team openly, despite what I forsee as many more losses coming until the QB situation is sorted out. It is disappointing to hear the comments about Schiano masterminding the leaks and the tarnishing of Freeman. It also shows very poor judgement on coach's part given the fact that he had no viable replacement QB to play! Throwing Glennon in this early is just putting both him and the team in a losing situation. It's going to be a long season....
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