Laura Okmin Talks Schiano, Freeman & Barber

January 29th, 2013

Okmin, the FOX sideline reporter, shared with Joe her insider interactions with Ronde Barber, Greg Schiano and Josh Freeman.

Joe’s swirling around Super Bowl media day talking to players, coaches, agents and various NFL media types. Joe looks forward to sharing their takes on the Bucs in the coming days and weeks. Below is Joe’s interview with veteran FOX sideline cougar Laura Okmin, who has been working Bucs games for years. She shared interesting behind-the-scenes takes on Greg Schiano, Ronde Barber and Josh Freeman, who Okmin claims was distracted during the Raheem Morris era. You have a relationship with Ronde Barber? Do you think he’ll return for another season?

Laura Okmin: As much as I think I get sometimes a good sense of Ronde, I would have said when they let Raheem go that Ronde wouldn’t have come back. So In other words, don’t listen to me at all. But I think he’s coming back for another year. It would be one thing if he didn’t add much and he was just being used for leadership and a presence in the locker.  But I think he was used a whole lot more than that this year.  I think the way that he’s playing and always saying he’s enjoying this new role, he always says, about mentoring these kids. I’d surprised if he didn’t come back.

Joe: And he was productive. He almost made a Pro Bowl at a new position at 37 years old.

Okmin: That was what was so cool about watching him, is seeing him in a different position. One of the great things, I asked him about that, ‘what’s the hardest thing?’ I loved what he said. He said, “I get so excited to load the box. Anytime I get up there I just want to get in. That’s the hardest thing for me. I worried I’m going to tip off what we’re doing because I’m so excited to get in there.” So I loved that. At 37 you’re still excited about what you’re doing that you’re scared about tipping off the other team.

Joe: What was your impression of Greg Schiano?

Okmin: I’ll tell you what. I was so pleasantly surprised. Before the first game we did with him, I had never met him. I just knew the reputation, that he was a tough guy, and picturing sort of the Belichick vibe. Tough to know and a little more, you know, a wall up. We did a production meeting with Schiano and we all walked out of that room kind of looking at each other saying, “Wow. What was that? What a great guy?” And all the players talk so much, No. 1 about liking him, but also about everything he says about loving each other like a family and about trusting each other. And that surprised me, too, that it wasn’t just Xs and Os, which we know what a disciplinarian he is and what a tactician he is, but how much he cares about his guys and they really seemed to respond to it for much of the year.

Joe: Do you think Josh Freeman he will ever turn the corner?

Okmin: Yeah, I hope so. I think it’ll be nice to see him with some consistency next year and another offseason with this new season. I was just so impressed with Josh this year in terms of how much he’s changed mentality-wise. He’ll be the first to say he got a little caught up, not being a quarterback, but what you get from being a quarterback. And the weight that he lost and more of the makeover he did on the inside, how serious he’s taking it. So I know how hard he’s going to work this offseason. I know how much he’s going to put into it. I saw a different hunger in him this year and a different frustration with the turnovers and with the losing. I root for that kid on and off the field.

31 Responses to “Laura Okmin Talks Schiano, Freeman & Barber”

  1. SilenceTheCritics Says:

    I like Schiano and I’m on board with him. I just hope he’s not to stubborn to change his ways. He needs to take an honest look at his coaching decisions this year and realize he needs to be much more aggressive in the NFL. And his clock management is awful. If he can fix those two things and Freeman can become consistant. This team is heading upwards. We shall wait and see….

  2. big007hed Says:

    Nice interview, she was pretty insightful.

  3. JobBucsFan 1.5 Says:

    I don’t think I could dress in the locker room in her presence without standing at attention. 🙂

  4. Ian's Gay Lisp & Ron's Drinking Problem Says:

    Nose Job & changed her hair color

  5. ClayBURN94 Says:

    Great stuff Joe. I don’t know what I would do without JBF!!

  6. JobBucsFan 1.5 Says:

    She looks a lot like Anne Couture now.

  7. JobBucsFan 1.5 Says:

    sorry that’s Anne Coulture

  8. Andrew-kriticalo Says:

    Link deleted. Please don’t hijack comment threads with links without adding to the discussion. Thank you. This is not a message board. –Joe

  9. PRBucFan Says:

    That gets me excited but it would be too good to be true

  10. ScottyinFatAntonio Says:

    Joe…any scuttle butt on who the next defensive backs coach will be? I thought we would have heard something during/after senior bowl week.

  11. Andrew-kriticalo Says:

    I don’t know how reputable the source is but it does I’ve me some hope that bucs are mentioned as one of the few teams feeling the jets out

  12. BucFan20 Says:

    I’m sure if there were any fact behind that story Joe would have been on it fast. He probably would have heard it from inside the team. Not to say it is not true but most of the time you can get it here first. There are to many holes and I don’t see them banking that kind of money or draft picks for him.

  13. PRBucFan Says:

    There’s been plenty Joe hasn’t broken first.

    We shall see where that goes

  14. BigMacAttack Says:

    Good thing air is free.

  15. BucFan20 Says:

    I look up what the word MOST means. Nobody ever said you ALWAYS hear it here first .

  16. PRBucFan Says:

    I don’t anyone said you used the word always lol

  17. RCH Says:

    “Below is Joe’s interview with veteran FOX sideline cougar Laura Okmin”

    I love how you know how to call a spade a spade.

  18. BucFan20 Says:


  19. MadMax Says:

    As long as his knee is checking out, he works into a contract for more than 1 year, and not at a kings ransom…..I’d give our first, but not the 2nd too…..and I’d never consider it if he’s only going to be here 1 year. F that.

  20. Piratic Says:

    “I was just so impressed with Josh this year in terms of how much he’s changed mentality-wise. He’ll be the first to say he got a little caught up, not being a quarterback, but what you get from being a quarterback.”–Very telling. I would love to hear the specifics of THAT story!
    #5 is the definition of a work in progress. For the record, I don’t want him gone. Ask me again after this coming season.

  21. Andrew-kriticalo Says:

    I would think one of the requirements of trading a first round pick would be revis willing to renegotiate his contract.

  22. Curmudgeon Says:

    Say no to Revis. Not for a first round pick. Not with his me-first attitude. Not at his pricetag. No, no, no! This guy wants QB type money. Screw that. We’ll get more bang for the cap dollar by drafting 2 CBs high and getting ’em trained. And they’ll be around longer. Trading away 1st round picks is rarely a good idea.

  23. Curmudgeon Says:

    JBF1.5… it’s Coulter… and why would you insult Laura Okmin like that?

  24. SilenceTheCritics Says:

    Here’s a bit of odd news. Just read that the Bucs are working on Mike Wills contract extension. I agree that we need to keep Mike but why worry about a guy who is still under contract when we have more pressing issues like Bennett? Maybe Im reading to much into it but… can’t be a good sign for Bennett.

  25. Curmudgeon Says:

    STC… You might be reading too much into it by assuming that, because we haven’t heard about Bennett negotiations/discussions, they haven’t happened. The space between reality and what’s reported is often quite large, especially when the NSO is a fairly tight ship.

  26. BigMacAttack Says:

    Curmudgeon, why do you insult Ann Coulter? Can’t get it up? U like guys?

    Maybe you prefer the dogs on CNN or MSNBC??? like Rachel Maddow? Uglier than home made soap.

  27. Curmudgeon Says:

    BMA… Classy.

    Ann Coulter is a succubus.

  28. PRBucFan Says:


  29. BigMacAttack Says:

    I’m a sucker for a good succubus. Thx

  30. Dave Says:

    Forget the politics Ann Coulter can be hot.

    As for Okmin not bad.

    The iterview though was great. I really hope Ronde is back 1 more year, he and Barron are good and Black can step in after next year.

    As for Revis, if healthy and willing to do a long term deal, he is better than any first round pick. Give a 1st and Trueblood. They could draft a CB in rd 2-3 as well as well as a TE.

  31. MadMax Says:

    The chics on “red eye”…..always hot!