Bailing On Josh Freeman

September 13th, 2013

josh freeman 0819

Not so long ago, Super Bowl-winning coach Brian Billick was firmly in the corner of now embattled Bucs franchise quarterback Josh Freeman. At one Super Bowl media day, Billick raved to Joe about what a quarterback Freeman is.

Now, Billick seems to have lost faith in the Bucs’ signal-caller.

Whether it’s the recent drama that has encircled Freeman, or his 6-15 record against winning teams or his 4-12 road record in his last 16 games or his 5-12 record in the month of December, Billick, writing for, believes Freeman is one of a small group of quarterbacks that could very likely have new a residential addresses next summer.

In Tampa, it’s an even tougher case. Josh Freeman is the centerpiece of the franchise, though he came on board before coach Greg Schiano arrived. The fifth-year quarterback was voted a team captain in each of the past three seasons, but his teammates did not give him that designation this time around. And last Sunday, Freeman looked underwhelming in Tampa Bay’s crushing loss to the Jets.

There’s growing concern over Freeman’s long-term viability in Tampa Bay; with a few more games like Sunday’s clunker, some will start calling for rookie Mike Glennon. Schiano held Freeman accountable in his Monday press conference, saying that “we missed open guys” and “you’re going to have to be able to throw the football effectively, consistently, accurately.” Now, Schiano called out other elements of the team’s play, too, including in pass protection, but in sum, he did not sound like a coach who was full of confidence in his quarterback.

Freeman is different than Gabbert in that he has shown, in previous seasons, both the leadership skills and physical ability to be a successful quarterback in the NFL. Freeman bears a lot of similarities to Buffalo Bills rookie EJ Manuel — both have all the tools (size, arm, intelligence) to be successful in the league. Freeman set the bar high in 2010 — throwing 25 touchdown passes to just six interceptions — but he has not been able to maintain that, tossing 44 touchdown passes to 40 interceptions since then. There’s more pressure this season, because the team isn’t just determining if Freeman is right for this year — the Bucs must decide if he’s right for the next four or five years. Sunday’s game in the Meadowlands was a bumpy start to that process.

The following crossed Joe’s mind when he heard Schiano admit that Freeman has missed team functions other than the recent team photo (as have other players; Davin Joseph admitted to tardiness at other events), but wasn’t specific: If players do silly things, Schiano is not going to lie to cover up someone’s misdeeds. Now Schiano isn’t going to issue a press release every time a player messes up or begin a press conference announcing a player’s misstep.

But if Schiano is asked about a player, how he behaved, Schiano isn’t going to cover for him, either.

How refreshing that a coach actually treats adults like adults. Don’t goof up, and you won’t be talked about publicly in a negative light.

66 Responses to “Bailing On Josh Freeman”

  1. Sharon Says:

    If he can manage to get us a win against the saints all will be ok. But that’s a huge if

  2. Splengo Says:

    It is the only way to salvage his career at this point. I like the guy but he will never succeed here. Perhaps if he sits behind say a Rothelisberger for a couple of years, with Tomlin he will be allowed to play his natural style. I don’t know what is going on in his personal life, but I know Freeman used to care and was an exemplary team often organizing and leading team activities. That person is no longer here for whatever reasons. The sooner he leaves, the better for him and the Bucs.

  3. Biff Barker Says:

    “How refreshing that a coach
    actually treats adults like adults.
    Don’t goof up, and you won’t be
    talked about publicly in a negative light.”
    Nice take Joe. I can’t help but think that your broadcast affiliate has made your life more difficult at OBP by calling for coaches head.
    To further your point, Schiano has treated the Bowers situation much in the same way as Freeman’s.

  4. CC Says:

    “How refreshing that a coach actually treats adults like adults. Don’t goof up, and you won’t be talked about publicly in a negative light.”

    Finally something positive. Enough of all the negativity, it only brings in more. Its easy to be negative, how refreshing.

  5. TJ Ware Says:

    By the way did anybody see brady struggle against the jets defense???? Leave Free alone..15 games left

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I have not been down of Freeman in the past. I have always thought that Josh was restrained by the playcalling, gameplan and style of play. But, I am starting to change my opinion on that. I still feel he need to be allowed to “open it up”…roll out, scramble etc…but there is definately evidence that Freeman doesn’t do well under pressure. Now he is facing the pressure of a contract year and isn’t doing well thus far.
    His personal life and the way he is conducting himself (oversleeping) are no way to proceed when you know you are under scrutiny….he knows that not only the Bucs are looking at him, but so are other teams.
    My hope is that if Freeman doesn’t do well enough, we get something for him. There will be a time when the decision has been made not to go forward with Freeman. We could then trade him to a team that doesn’t want him to hit the open market… Glennon with Dan O as backup and move forward.
    We could then spend the money instead on a TE & 3rd WR.
    I still hope that doesn’t happen but if the season is to be lost….lets at least get a draft pick for Freeman.

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    If Freeman doesn’t make it, lets at least get a draft pick for him. At some point in time if the season is lost, we should trade Freeman to a team that doesn’t want to see him hit the open market… Glennon & spend the money that would have been spent on Freeman on a TE & 3rd WR.

  8. Sharon Says:

    6th round pick anyone?

  9. Lewis Says:

    Good coaches protect their players in public after a tough loss and deal with any negative issues behind closed doors.

    This is basic stuff, Joe. Schiano’s actions are most definitely not a good thing. He needs to go and so does the ”rock star” GM.

  10. Sharon Says:

    Free has brought himself to the forefront with his actions. And Schiano is supposed to protect him? Can’t protect him from himself.

  11. Raphael Says:

    The guy has 9 franchise records and has us winning with 40 seconds left and this is how he is treated ? I will lmao if/when he leaves and wins with another team ….

  12. Raphael Says:

    Enjoy the next 5 yrs of 3-11 and 4-12 …you deserve it Tampa

  13. Splengo Says:

    Come on TampaBucFan. Nobody is going to trade a draft pick for a player that’s going to be UFA in a few months. If you mean a conditional trade on the condition that he does a long-term deal is no trade at all. Freeman is not likely to want to go to any bottom-feeder team that would that – hence condition not met. And as inconsistent as he may be, he is still the Bucs best chance this year. Trades are not going to happen.

  14. Bucnjim Says:

    Funny how Freeman had a better game on the road against the Jets then Brady had playing at home in New England with the crowd on his side. The difference is the Patriots won on three turnovers.

  15. Chef Paul Says:

    I like Dom and all but Bill Polian is unemployed right now. That would be a huge upgrade for almost every team in the NFL. If we could get him, he would probably hire the right coach to coach the players we have now, even Freeman in my opinion. And his drafts are usually awesome. Not hit or miss like Dom. BIlls during their SB runs and Colts in the 2000s and Panthers when they went to the NFC Championship game in their second year of existence. Only maybe Ozzie Newsome maybe be better but I cant think of a better GM. Bill Polian is to GM’s what Belichick is to coaching. Polian for GM

  16. Bucnjim Says:

    Brady had one touchdown against the Jets at home? 185 total yards? I’m going to guess Freeman has three TD passes and 300 yards.

  17. Sneedy16 Says:

    @Chef Paul

    With Lovie Smith as head coach.

  18. Chef Paul Says:

    I would love Lovie Smith. But if Polian were GM, I wouldn’t really care who he hired because I know it would be the right person for the job

  19. Splengo Says:

    Chef Paul,

    If Polian comes then kiss Schiano goodbye. Polian will want control and two strong opinionated personalities cannot co-exist.

  20. Chef Paul Says:

    Polian and Father Dungy in 2014!! yes team them up again

  21. Chef Paul Says:


    That’s fine if he don’t want Schiano. Who ever he would hire would be the right man for the job. I like Schiano too but Polian is a better GM than Schiano is a coach. He will find the right man

  22. Buc1987 Says:

    Schiano is going to atleast be here for another 15 games. Why is anyone discussing his replacement in week 2 of the season? Because of the Jets game?

    The Bucs scored more points @ NY then the Pats did @ NE vs the Jets. <~that's a just saying.

  23. Biff Barker Says:

    Lewis, one game in and you are calling for the coaches head? Sounds like you are taking a radio host’s opinion that Schiano is dealing from the bottom of the deck. He was called a liar more or less yesterday by Duemeg for saying he was aware of the players only meeting. How can you hide 53 NFL guys?
    Damned if he gives an honest answer, damned if he keeps things inside as a team matter.
    These same people claim to have “inside information” yet will not disclose it.
    I call BS. Take the hook out of your mouth!

  24. (BFormerly) Brown Bag Says:

    It’s difficult to imagine the Bucs rallying around Free, and possibly Schiano. However, the Bucs have a knack for losing to weak teams and showing greatness against strong teams. A strong team comes here Sunday. Yes, if we pull out a victory, and do it with some punch, the media and public will forgive Schiano, Free and the others for their trespasses. But if we get humiliated, the Glazers might start thinking about big changes sooner than we think.

  25. SensibleBuc Says:

    @ Lewis

    I completely agree.

    On one hand I’d argue that Schiano HAD to make this move. He has been covering up for Freeman for months, got tired of trying to motivate him in other ways and decided to pull back the curtain in one last, desperate attempt to maximize his potential…

    But I don’t think Schiano has the credibility in the locker room or in the NFL to pull that kind of move off. He’s underachieved in the W-L column in college and now in the pros, he’s a known dictator, and he’s literally the least popular coach in the League. If I was a member of Bucs or a potential free agent I’d be pretty turned off right now. If he just threw his franchise QB under the bus what is he going to do with a guy at a less important position? What happened to trust, belief & accountability? Family?

    I think that Schiano should’ve just kept everything under wraps until Freeman sunk his own ship on the field i.e. going 0-3, 0-4. If/when Freeman did that, Schiano comes out smelling like roses. It’s water under the bridge now.

  26. 911bucs Says:

    OK you’ve said your point over and over again. We all get it, how about he does it consistently throughout the year.

  27. Buc1987 Says:

    “Yes, if we pull out a victory, and do it with some punch, the media and public will forgive Schiano, Free and the others for their trespasses.”

    (BFormerly) Brown Bag….for what about a week?

  28. Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers win this Sunday, all this stuff will be forgotten!
    Go Bucs!

  29. Buc1987 Says:

    “What happened to trust, belief & accountability? Family?”

    Are you talking about Freeman or Schiano when you ask that question?
    Because that’s the question I’d be asking Freeman.

    Did you listen to yesterdays Schiano presser? The guy was getting peppered by the media like a mofo about Freeman. As was expected. Simply saying no comment to this and that was not going to cut it. Probably would have looked worse on Josh if Schiano took the no comment route.

  30. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Lewis Says
    “Schiano’s actions are most definitely not a good thing. He needs to go and so does the ”rock star” GM.”

    Just curious. Are you going to games?

    Schiano is fine. Fan memory is short. Raheem had made a laughing stock of the Bucs. Heck, toward the end of his tenure so had Gruden. We literally had play-by-play tv announcers laughing as they called or games when Gruden was in his last season.

    Before Schiano came our team was a mess. Out of control. He came in hard because the Glazers wanted it. The Bucs needed it. He has admitted that this year he is trying to ease up a little and give his assistants more flexibility. Easing up may well be what led to our current issues.

    You can talk about how these are grown men. And they are. But respect is earned. Look at how many of these grown men throughout the league get themselves in trouble. Look at how many cross lines they shouldn’t, both on and off the field.

    Suh has been fined 6 times for dirty hits. Most recently $100,000. We have players involved in drugs, crime, shootings. They surely do not act like adults.

    Greg Schiano teaches exactly what the Bucs need. And he’s assembled a coaching staff that teaches instead of points and commands. If a player struggles they actually teach them through it. Morris didn’t. Gruden didn’t. Morris was too stupid. Gruden went with aged vets so he didn’t have to teach. Hexjust gave them a playbook and said, “Learn it, master it” and that was that.

  31. Splengo Says:


    On one hand you’re right. But on the other hand this stuff may be remembered for a while. Lol

  32. bucrightoff Says:

    Is Raphael even a football fan or just a Josh Freeman fan? How the hell can you finish 3-11? I’d love to know.

  33. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ Splengo

    “Come on TampaBucFan. Nobody is going to trade a draft pick for a player that’s going to be UFA in a few months.”

    What was Revis…..of course any team would want to negotiate a long term deal with Freeman and to be able to do that with no other team competing is worth a draft pick….I didn’t predict what we would get.

  34. MTM Says:

    This organization has put its self in a bad position with Freeman. He’s in a contract year and has not shown yet that he can warrant a new contract(save the stats for someone who cares). Now with the off the field issues, captaincy yanked and just a lack of drive make him next to worthless in the open market.

    The Bucs organization should have kept all these issues internal so that in the event they needed to trade Freeman the value would be greater.

    Dominick has a knack for getting nothing in the trade market. If Freeman goes Dominick should be right behind him. Too many draft picks have been wasted.

    If the Bucs play well on both sides of the ball Sunday this will go away. If Freeman has a lights out game against N.O. and the defense blows. It will be interesting to see how the local fan base reacts.

  35. SensibleBuc Says:


    On Schiano’s end. He’s not paid to win games, not to tell the media and fans about the inner workings over at OBP and potentially lose the locker room in the interest of transparency to the media/fans.

    Schiano need players to win games. If all 53 won’t run through a brick wall for him then he’ll be out of a job this offseason just like Freeman. Schiano has a very high profile employee who is not performing. If he’s not living up to your expectations, replace him with someone who will and do it responsibly. As I said earlier, let Freeman sink his own ship and then replace him with your guy. Instead, Schiano’s credibility within the locker room is damaged coming out of this whole thing.

  36. SensibleBuc Says:


    “The Bucs organization should have kept all these issues internal so that in the event they needed to trade Freeman the value would be greater.”

    Boom. Exactly.

  37. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    I believe this team will turn things around. I am certain of it.

    I like Greg Schiano.

    I like Mark Dominick. I think he is better than Rich McKay ever was. Every GM has misses. But I see a bunch of players on this team I believe could one day make the hall f fame if they continue to improve. Considering Mark started here as a rookie I think he is doing a great job. I think he’d uave done better if he had not been forced to give Morris the HC job and if he had been permitted to spend money sooner.

    I like Freeman. He is 25. 1 1/2 years older than Glennon. Yet you guys compare him to guys that are 32-38 and expect him to be as good as they are. Heck, Wilson is 24, a year younger. So he’s had 4 years of development. Think about the coaches and team during that period and it is amazing he isn’t ruined.

    Most QBs don’t really come into their own until 27. I am fine with letting him play out this year. Mike Glennon is not the answer and anyone who thinks he is loses all credibility.

  38. Buc1987 Says:

    SensibleBuc …Did you listen to the presser? If not listen to it. If you did. Listen to it again.

  39. Couch Fan Says:

    Have no fear folks. Schiano will soon rid us of the garbage known as Freeman and bring us a REAL qb. Don’t worry we will honor Freeman properly for all those historic franchise records. Once he is out of the league next year we will give him his own free seat for life at RJS so he can cheer on the Bucs while watching and learning how to play the QB position from the guy who took his job…. So entertainment AND a learning experience. He couldn’t dream of a better retirement for his efforts. In Schiano we trust.

  40. Buc1987 Says:

    And another thing…. keep what internal? It was all over the news the day before. It’s not like it was some club secret or anything….

  41. Couch Fan Says:

    Oh and to all the idiots who have the fake crystal balls that can see into Glennon’s future and can tell he “isnt the answer”… just shut up you morons. And give the guy a chance… kind of like you gave a crappy Freeman a chance for 5 years now even long after he’s proven over and over again how “God awful” he really is.

  42. Lakeland fan Says:

    Peyton Manning made Polllian look like a genius.What happened when Manning was injured?First pick in the draft.One game into the season and people want to clean house.The sky is not falling.Give this team a chance before you crucify them.

  43. Raphael Says:

    911bucs…. That’s fine just hold the rest of the team to the same standards ..

    Bucwrong …. Excuuuuuse me ! 3 – 13. Small keyboard dillweed

  44. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:

    I don’t think 27 is some magical age where someone finally blossoms. If anything, that’s because most guys come in older than Freeman did, and need a year or two.

    Most guys blossom before 57 starts. Just how many does he need to be consistent?

    75 starts? 90 starts?

    Sometimes, people just are who they are. He struggled with accuracy in college, and that has never changed.

  45. delson Says:

    Freeman wont be successful in this offense cuz schiano would rather run the football thanget his qb into rhytm. Martin wasnt throwing passes last season. Like it or not freeman is our qb and he is the SOLE REASON martin had a great rookie season. Idk why people believe it isvice versa.

  46. Couch Fan Says:

    OMG SO freeman is the reason Martin was so good last year? WOW

    Keep drinking that kool aide buddy.

  47. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:

    Of all the outlandish Freeman statements that I ever read in my entire life, giving him credit for Martin’s season takes the cake.

    I hope you keep track of Martin’s career post Freeman.

  48. Stevene Says:

    You people need to get off websites and get a job

  49. lightningbuc Says:

    It’s getting REAL deep in here now!

  50. Biff Barker Says:

    Lakeland gets it! One game in, that’s it.
    Lots of blame for last week though, it was a complete team fail from Dom right down to the trainers.
    Lets focus on the fix and not the finger pointing.
    Go Bucs

  51. Splengo Says:


    Revis had a year left on his contract when he was traded. Apples and applesauce – similar but not the same.

  52. delson Says:

    Everyone can see this season it wasnt the olines doings. If the defense aint afraid of the pass what are they gonna do? Stack the box. Vincent jackson n williams stretched that defense out. Imagine if we got a good te or a decent slot wr martin would have nice draw plays etc.. If im schiano im trusting freeman against this new orleans team to open up the run game. Nobody thinks the playcalling matters they think Its the talent of the players. SO IF U CANT HACK BEING A FAN THEN GO JUMP ON A BANDWAGON! I heard andrew luck has room. UNTIL THE WHEELS FALL OFF N BEYOND- just a buc fan

  53. delson Says:

    williams n vincent NEED a slot guy so kick ogletree in the a s s for me schiano. Matter of fact go down the o line then the sideline n find our oc.

  54. Chris Says:

    For the morons who want to compare Freeman’s performance to Brady’s against the jets. You’re fools. 1. Brady had not 1 , not 2 but 4 guys at we/te who are rookies. Freeman had Jackson Martin and Williams.

    2. Brady has 3 Super Bowls. Will get it together. Freeman hasn’t shown that ability.

  55. gatorbucs77 Says:

    “BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Schiano is fine. Fan memory is short. Raheem had made a laughing stock of the Bucs. Heck, toward the end of his tenure so had Gruden. We literally had play-by-play tv announcers laughing as they called or games when Gruden was in his last season.”

    Did you watch the game last week? It was as (if not more so) embarrassing than any game in recent memory. From the first drive to the last, a team that was was not prepared or ready to play in any way shape or form.

    “Before Schiano came our team was a mess. Out of control.”

    What is this team now, on defense guys who hit hard and play outside the rules. I know the game is watered down, but those are the rules, you have to adapt to them – playing ‘hard, physical football’ is not an excuse.

    “But respect is earned.”

    This is a two way street. What has Schiano done to earn the players respect. He has a losing record in the NFL, and has shown consistently he doesn’t have his players back. Why should they have his? He ran Ronde Barber out of town, that is just a foolish move. His ego didn’t allow Barber on this team.

    “Greg Schiano teaches exactly what the Bucs need. And he’s assembled a coaching staff that teaches instead of points and commands.”

    I don’t see any evidence, this is true. From what is on the field this team has not learned or improved since the beginning of last season. If students don’t learn, its as much the fault of the teacher as the student.

    I question if what Schiano brings to the table can be successful in the current state of the NFL. Play hard defense and run the ball doesn’t win anymore. The rules have changed and you must score points, lots of points to be successful. It’s why Freeman has a record breaking season last year, and was still basically mediocre. If has that same season in 1993, or maybe even 2003, he would have been All Pro and probably MVP. Now he was middle of the pack.

  56. Chris Says:

    You can get freeman all the weapons you want. But when you stare down your 1st option you’re lack of field vision is missing open Wrs. Steve white pointed it out and so did Aikman.

  57. Couch Fan Says:

    The Freemanites will absolutely refuse to blame anything on Freeman til there dying breath. Even if its the truth is slapping them square in the face (which it does mostly every sunday).

    Perfect example:

    Free does nothing all day but then they say “Free led them on a scoring drive that put them in the lead” when it was due only to V-jax’s great spin move. But then when we lose, they turn around and say “It’s a team game”. LMAO

    Can’t wait til he is benched and replaced.

  58. Expected Says:

    Shame on y’all

  59. BirdDoggers Says:

    Freeman has the tools to succeed. It’s a matter of making a commitment to the team and keeping a positive attitude, no matter what the situation is. It’s apparent he won’t get a fair shake with the Bucs at this point. Maybe he’s to blame for it with his inconsistent play and absence for the team photo, but it’s clear Schiano doesn’t put a lot of trust in him. An NFL QB should have the ability to call plays at the line when the situation warrants. Schiano has said it would be the last resort to let Freeman call the plays, and even then, not ideal. Maybe this is just for Freeman. At least I hope so. Dictating every single thing a QB does is common at the college level, but the pro level is a different story. At least that’s my feeling at this point.

  60. Expected Says:

    Just one loss in week one.. Relax

  61. Chris Says:


    He stared down vjacks all game. At least 95% of the time. Jets left him wide open there too.

  62. Couch Fan Says:

    Correct, he was WIDE open on that play.

  63. chef paul Says:

    Hey dumbass lakeland. Go look at polians resume. Peyton wasnt the only he did right. And I said I like Dom. So get a clue idiot. Polian is midas. Everything he’s touched turned to gold. Peyton making him look like a genius is the dumbest thing I’ve read on here yet.

  64. buc4lyfe Says:

    Couch Fan


  65. buc4lyfe Says:


  66. buc4lyfe Says:

    what coach gets beat 41-0 by the worst defense in the nfl. the saints killed them….but doug martin had a bad game and no one seems to mention it