Did Greg Schiano “Ruin” Josh Freeman?

September 17th, 2013

Two losses that easily could have been wins and a bleak, at best, outlook for a playoff berth has Bucs followers dizzy pointing fingers for the source of a season on the brink of calamity.

Take away two plays at critical moments of both games — Lavonte David’s bonehead penalty on Geno Smith and Saints linebacker Junior Galette being the lone defender not fooled on Doug Martin’s last run Sunday — and the Bucs are 2-0. But There are plenty of targets to point fingers at.

Lavonte David, the inconsistent blocking, Josh Freeman’s hallmark career trait of inconsistency, dropped passes, missed field goals, and more. However, ESPN’s Pat Yasinskas believes he has solved the mystery of the Bucs. Bucs commander Greg Schiano has ruined Josh Freeman.

When Schiano took the job last year, it appeared the one thing he had going for him was a franchise quarterback. But, to this point, Schiano and his coaching staff have done nothing but ruin Freeman.


Schiano is too rigid. He’s trying to make Freeman into something he’s not, and that has led to a quarterback regression unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

Has Freeman really regressed? Let’s do a bit of research, shall we?

Freeman’s knock in college is the same knock on him in the NFL. He is inconsistent. Nothing new here. To Freeman’s credit, in fourth-quarter crunch time of the first two games this season he marched his team down the field and gave his team a chance to win. Rian Lindell kicked a go-ahead field goal in Week One but last Sunday choked at a chance to likely seal a win.

Does that sound like a “ruined” quarterback?

Mind you, Freeman’s most atrocious season (2011) was with a coach by the name of Raheem Morris. Schiano was nowhere near the area.

Last year, Freeman rebounded for a strong statistical season, cutting down on his picks while increasing his touchdowns thrown by double-digits. Under Schiano. Does that sound like a ruined quarterback? Last year, shortly after Schiano took over the Bucs job, the head coach did an interview where he was asked about getting hired. Schiano said after being told to study Bucs tape prior to his first interview, he advised Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik and Team Glazer that the biggest offensive problem with the Bucs was Freeman forced too many passes to DJ Toes on the Line. Yet his previous coach couldn’t figure this out, even though virtually every person watching a Bucs game could see this.

So correcting that was ruining Freeman?

Not to mention, Colin Kaepernick, bratty Jay Cutler, Matt Schaub, Drew Brees and Eli Manning all have more picks this season than Freeman (two). Are those quarterbacks ruined? Is keeping a quarterback’s turnovers to a minimum ruining him?

Has Freeman been inconsistent this year? You bet. Newsflash: He has been inconsistent since he played for Kansas State. This is who Freeman is. For better or for worse.

If Freeman could have been more consistent the past two weeks, then would the Bucs be 2-0? Quite likely.

But you know what, when the Bucs needed Freeman the most, to move downfield late in the game and put the team in position to win, just like a franchise quarterback, he did just that.

That’s not the sign of a ruined quarterback.

51 Responses to “Did Greg Schiano “Ruin” Josh Freeman?”

  1. Tony Says:

    JBF….FINALLY a great breakdown of Freeman and what has transpired over two coaching regimes. This difference this year? They drafted a 3rd round QB that offers a teeny tiny amount of competition at Freeman’s position. People tend to forget Freeman set ‘franchise records’ last year (I use that loosely) under Schiano/Sully. Would love to sit in a room with those guys and watch film to know what is really going on. I have a feeling Free is missing a ton of ‘coming open’ guys (he can’t see them come open, zero anticipation). This team is close guys, really close. Almost all of the pieces are in place. Remember, last year around this time our talent was bare and we were not competitive.

  2. SteveBucsFan Says:

    Jfro did not set up that win against the saints the d did. If not for the d scoring we woud have been down. If we would of had to rely on jfro to score it wouldn’t have happened. Jfro is ruining schiano.

    Jfro has got to go! I agree tony. He has no anticipation of throws and he can not make readrogressions through a defense. And yes there were WRs running wide open.

    Start glennon asap!

  3. lightningbuc Says:

    Man, Greg Schiano has really pi$$ed in a lot of Cheerios to make all these media types dislike him so much. He should go out and party like Rah did to make them like him more.

  4. Bojacksonsucks Says:

    Where did the Freeman from 2010 go? Schiano and his staff need to find that QB.

  5. JH Says:

    In my opinion, it’s time for them both to go. Draft a new new QB with our top 10 pick. Hire a head coach with real NFL experience. Then watch the magic happen as we ascend from worst to first.

  6. Nick2 Says:

    Its too bad that Yasinkas didn’t bother to watch the Bucs in 2011 when Raheem was shown the door and Freeman had a horrid year. Did Schiano ruin him that year too?? At some point Freeman decided to prolong his career and quit scrambling and extending plays with his legs. Thats not Schianos fault, as Ben Rothlesberger still does that. Yes Ben gets injured but he also is much more of a threat on the field. Freeman ruined Freeman and if you saw that one lone play on Sunday there usually is open field for him to run he’s just scared of the outcome. Yasinkas should be fired for making such stupid statements but they are BSPN so there you go.

  7. Biff Barker Says:

    Cud chewing at it’s finest while points are left on the field, I’m tired of losing.
    All the sloppy penalties, missed assignments, dropped passes, awful passes etc.
    Lets just keep blaming the coaches who never take a snap.
    How come the D and ST’s look vastly improved yet the offense remains anemic
    Must be the coaches fault.

  8. Josh Free the Man Says:

    If you buy a car with a cracked windshield and drive it off the lot, THEN someone throws a rock and the windshield crumbles did you ruin it?

  9. Eric Says:

    Ruined isn’t the right term. I think there is a question of whether the current coach and staff are capable of getting the best out of Freeman, meaning devising game plans to take advantage of his talents.

    The man has been coached by Raheem and Schiano.

    Wonder how he would have done if Marty had been brought in to stabilize things. Hey Mike Sherman has done a nice job with miami’s QB. Fisher the same with Bradford.

    What QB did Schiano ever develop at Rutgers? And we expect him to do it at this level? Not happening.

    Lastly if the guy sucked the whole time, even in college, doesn’t Dominik have the responsibility of drafting the guy?

  10. NJBucsFan Says:

    Freeman is erratic and needs to become more consistent. Either push past this and become great or suck it up, either way, just be consistent. A well-prepared coach that knows what they are doing would of seen this and taken the challenge. At Rutgers, it was easy to allow your QB’s to remain raw and not develop them with the likes of Ray Rice, Brian Leonard, and Kenny Britt. Not to mention a defense that turned out multiple pros. Schiano has never been tasked with developing a QB. He should of internalized and understood he cannot handle this job without the proper coaches around, but not only that, he must let them do their job. At this point, it has gone too far for him to stay. Players will not come here first choice, draft picks will lament being picked by the Bucs, and we will be relegated to the basement to spend time with the other pirate based franchise…..the Raiders.

  11. gotbbucs Says:

    Schiano will get at a minimum, 3 years, so those calling for his head need to relax, unless you long to be the Oakland Raiders.

    If the offense continues to sputter we’ll see a new play caller. Bottom line, they have more invested in Freeman than they do Sullivan. They absolutely, without a doubt, will want to find out if Freeman can be functional before they pull the plug on him.

  12. Nick2 Says:

    Why do we even talk about “developing” a player in their fifth year??? Freeman cannot be developed but he can be told to start to use his legs as he did in 2010. How many times do we see Freeman scramble for yards when they are there? The answer is rarely but if you watch tape of 2010 he was regularly running for first downs and thats why he was such a threat.

  13. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Schiano hasn’t ruined Freeman, Freeman has ruined Freeman!!

    Doesn’t he have Sully…the coach that made Eli great?

    Freeman can’t adjust….he stares down his target and seems intent on running whatever play is called no matter if its open or not. He is terribly inacurate on short passes….and appears to panic when things don’t go as planned.

    Sure, he marches us down to field at the end…usuall that’s needed because of his incredibly poor performance eariier.

    “Oversleeping” for a team photo is Schiano’s fault?.Schianio has to play Freeman for a few more games in order not to be second-guessed, but Freeman is gone!!

    And for those who think Schiano will be fired…I hate to dissappoint you…you’ll be seeing him as our coach for a long time. What he has done with this defense will eventually produce a winner!!!

  14. Tampa2Step Says:

    LOL @ Nick: “At some point Freeman decided to prolong his career and quit scrambling and extending plays with his legs. Thats not Schianos fault, as Ben Rothlesberger still does that.”

    Acting as if Freeman has chosen to remain a pocket passer when he hasn’t done that since his sophomore year of high school. And I’ve got news for you my man, Greg Schiano is not Big Ben’s coach, so Big Ben has the luxury of doing what he believes is best for the team.

    The only person afforded that luxury in Tampa Bay is Greg Schiano. Hence the 3rd-and-3 and 3rd-and-6 in back to back weeks where the box was stacked but we ran the ball anyway – despite everyone on the field knowing that if you throw the ball and get a first down – you win both games.

  15. Seth B Says:

    I think everyone needs to take a deep breath. Mike Glennon isn’t going to take us to the promise land this year and recent history shows that QB’s who sit as rookies typically are better for it.

    Let this season play itself out. It’s never as bad as it seems when were down, It’s never as good it seems when were up. Even Keel, let the story write itself, it’s chapter 3 of 20…It may have a kick a$$ ending

  16. BirdDoggers Says:

    The fact that Freeman is inconsistent makes it difficult to tell if Schiano is the problem. At this point in his career, Freeman should be showing signs of progression. He is in the second year in the same offense, which should make him more comfortable in the system and more productive.

    Freeman showed signs of leadership and a desire to get better under Raheem. That part of Freeman’s personality/game changed when Schiano arrived. His attitude certainly changed this past offseason. Maybe it’s the lack of commitment from Schiano and the organization. Maybe there are other issues we don’t know about.

    Shiano may not have ruined Freeman, but he should be looked at as the potential catylist. However, Freeman has to own his job, regardless of his contract situation or apparent lack of support from the coach.

  17. MegaDaveUK Says:

    So is this what joebucsfan does now? Pumps out article after article about the conjecture regarding Schiano / Freeman / coaching staff?

    Surely you can make one article about some of the positives – of which there are a few, and that defense.

    Schiano hasn’t ruined Freeman, i’ve seen nothing from Freeman that I havn’t seen before without Schiano.

  18. Joke Says:

    C’mon, Joe. Freeman is terrible this year. QB rating of 63.0 (way worse than his 2011 74.6). His rating is 30th in the league among starting QBs.

    Yes, we’ve had a chance in the last two games, but that was because the Jets are terrible and the D was great against NO. Had we won either of those games, it would’ve been in spite of Josh’s overall performance, not because of it.

    That said, my opinion is Schiano is our biggest problem. The entire team has looked unprepared. This team has enough talented personnel to be quite good. Some obvious holes, like a decent return man, but overall we should be challenging for the division this year.

  19. MegaDaveUK Says:

    @Joke – we challenged the shit outa the Saints yesterday, we challenged that Jets D which are not as crap as everyone makes out – IMO we are gonna challenge the Patriots aswell.

  20. bucfanjeff Says:

    The best, most accurate article yet on Freeman, and Bucs in general. QB gets the attention, but there is more than just one player.

    This Freeman supporter has been saying this, yet called an ‘apologist’ or whatnot. Everyone would love to have a Rodgers or Brees..or a Johnson or a Dilfer. Yes, they all chase\chased the same prize and they all only have 1 SB to their name.

  21. SteveK (MGM) Says:

    The Saints found a way to win because their QB was able to provide more production for their offense.

    The Saints TE had 10 catches, 1 TD, 170 receiving yards.

    Freeman had 9 completions, 1 TD, 125 passing yards.

    The TE for the opposing team outperformed our QB.

    Our entire passing offense was outperformed by the opposing team’s TE.

  22. Capt. Tim Says:

    Amazing insight. I posted the same thing last week. Schiano as taken a QB who is mobile, throws accurately on the run, is atheletic, and can hurt a defense by running- and tried to turn him into a pocket passer.

    Freeman had the talents that every team in the league is looking for in a QB. Schiano has tried to turn him into a pocket QB- which is dying out faster than the dodo in today’s NFL

    Freeman won 10 games in one season. With a team far worse than this one. He had rookie WRs, a crippled TE(Winslow), and a RB who didn’t know the offense- and didn’t pass block. Or catch.

    The next season, Raheem’s lack of discipline-and Olsens offense, caught up to the team. Plus the team quit on Raheem with 8 games left.

    Now- freeman is told not to run, not to roll out( even thought Schiano has admitted he is more accurate on the move), and to stay in the pocket.

    Ordered To be everything he is not. Plus two head coaches and 3 offensive systems in four years. And everyone forgets how young Josh is. He is still just a kid.

    If you were to write a book on how to destroy an NFL QB , it would be titled”The Josh Freeman Story”. He wants to leave, either via trade or as a free agent. Schiano makes stupid calls, loses games that Freeman just won with Seconds on the clock- then publically blames the QB.

    Yeah, I don’t blame him. He doesn’t even want to finish the season here. I don’t know if an experienced coach can revive his potential. But I know two rookie coaches have sure screwed him up. I hope we send him to a QB starved team now. Let good coach( which he has never had) see what Josh is capable of.

  23. Dave Says:

    Did he ruin him? No. There was nothing to ruin. He was already inconsistent. He already gets locked on one WR. He was already no very accurate.
    Sullivan and them are trying to help him, if it doesn’t work, so be it… Go get someone next year.

    I loved Freeman’s potential but I am done with him now. Ready to move on. I understand they can’t because they have a lot of players that want to win now and Glennon is not ready.

    Sadly, I am already waiting for next year.

  24. Couch Fan Says:

    Man a lot of excuses going around for the womanly like play of Freeman. We have had busts here before… not sure why people just can’t accept the fact Freeman is not very good without trying to place blame on someone as to why.

    Schiano didn’t bring him here. Rah did. Schiano HAD no choice but to work with him. Schiano DID not ruin the guy. He ruined himself with his crappy play. Can’t wait for this guy to get the eff out of here so we can move on and people can stop pretending like he is some savior.

    Free’s horrible play started 3 years ago.. BEFORE Schiano got here. Yea i guess Schiano was in his mind before he ever got here right? The excuses are just stupid now.

  25. Capt. Tim Says:

    And again my post disappears. Why does this keep happening? It’s getting to be more trouble than its worth!!

  26. 911bucs Says:

    True story

  27. ctord Says:

    I don’t know about ruined but Freeman has proved he can play in this league. 2010. There is a disconnect between the talent and coaching on this team that needs to be fixed.

  28. waterboy Says:

    A lot of people forget about the NFL lockout that took place prior to the 2011 season. With Freeman being in his 2nd season as a starter that year along with a lot of other rookies in skilled positions (Mike Williams, Arrelious Been, Preston Parker and Blount) I think that had a huge impact on Freeman’s progress that year and ultimately ended up with Morris getting fired. The next year in comes Schiano who has shown no confidence in his QB since day one and now that lack of confidences seems to have filtered thoughout the team. It’s going to be interesting watching Freeman in a different system next year with a group of (hopefully) experienced coaches that believe in him.

  29. bucrightoff Says:

    Doing the bare minimum to lead us to victory in his 4th year as starter is pretty much unacceptable. I’m glad he puts forth C- performances, beats D’s and F’s, but that doesn’t make it good. We need good QB play, like we had with Brad Johnson. Thats it, and thus far Freeman has looked like one of the 3 worst QBs in football.

  30. LaughingCat Says:

    Both Josh Freeman and Coach Schiano DEFINITELY qualify for Adderall. They need to get focused and get the job done.

  31. gracelivin Says:

    Having coached for many years on various levels, the one thing that is hardest to do is to be willing to adjust your philosophy of how you want from your team. The second hardest thing is to keep a QB focused when bad things happen around them, penalties, miscommunication, having to rush a play, drops, being one of the worst, it kills their confidence/trust making them hesitant. One of the Bucs biggest problems is 3rd and long and the vertical passing game vs the quick hitters and letting people run after the catch. The vertical game is very hit or miss, whereas the short game has a better chance of completion it does require a good mix of size and speed the speed thing we are short on. I do believe we will get it together, we’ve had two tough losses and now the so-called fans are ready to jump ship, they’ve turned eyore! and the media is totally negative doesn’t help team/fan moral. Let’s keep our heads up and continue to look for the best and rout our team through thick and thin!!!

  32. Nick2 Says:

    Tampa2Step, when was Freeman using his legs during Raheems last year when he tanked our season and gave Raheem a ticket out of town. Schiano had nothing to do with his poor play that year. Give me a break lets blame everything on Schiano about a player who stank before he got here. Good call.

  33. buc4lyfe Says:

    Schiano has pissed off everyone. i guess the reports about the referees not like him are false also, even other coaches dont like him. coming in last year trying to change rules of the game. regardless of what we say about freeman the point is we should be 2-0 and freeman was the one who got us in position to attempt a field goal remember he decided to kick a 47 yarder assuming it was gonna go in, why not do that with your qb? he’s the one gave drew brees that short field to work with and put this defense in that tough position.

    we have our own adrian peterson type running back with our own christian ponder so it comes down to coaching as the reason the team collapse. we beat the vikings easily last year and people think it was the players but it was just as much as the way they decided to attack. PLANNING

  34. buc4lyfe Says:

    before schiano got here we had no running game, they wouldnt resign cadillac williams one dependable #2 that was playing #1 so if you take him away theres no one else to fear, thats exactly what the saints did. they took vjack and williams away and besides doug martin theres nothing else. who in the nfl is successful when they cant throw to a tight end because we dont have one?

  35. Splengo Says:

    Rotoworld is reporting that Darelle Revis is growing tired of Schiano’s controlling ways and playing him out of position. Unlike that spineless Freeman, Revis is outspoken is is not going to sit by and let Schiano destroy the reputation he’s built as a cover corner. Yasinskas is no hater, biased for the Falcons maybe but no hater. Sooner or later, Schiano is going to be driven out of the league.

  36. steve Says:

    The only person ruining freeman is freeman. When you over sleep for the team photo that is bad. But when you don’t even show up on time for your own quarterback camp that is very telling of some personal issue’s and a lack of commitment.

  37. bucsfan13 Says:

    why is it that these “reporters” can make up stories and name “unnamed sources” and call it real stories or journalism? How many of these “stories” are really true? I have yet to see one direct quote or named source! This is worse than politics! now they are saying revis is unhappy?!? this is such a joke….these reporters belong in the tabloid business!

  38. lightningbuc Says:


    Were you in a coma yesterday? Joe reported that on Revis here yesterday.

  39. Mr. Patrick Says:

    Pat Y is totally wrong on this. Schiano and Sullivan designed this offense around Freeman’s strengths and style because they knew they were stuck with him for a while. They have given him every chance to succeed.

  40. Nick2 Says:

    Buc4lyfe if our defense hadn’t played pretty much lights out for the first two weeks Freemans frantic comebacks which put us ahead would never have happened. Freeman is near the bottom of the league in quarterback rating which means he is stinking it up. Schiano didn’t put him there and he didn’t make him thrwo 4 picks in consecutive games last year to knock us out of the playoffs. We are almost winning in spite of Freemans terrible play not because he is so great at comebacks. The 2010 magic is gone unless he decides he can run again which he won’t because his agent won’t let him.

  41. Splengo Says:


    I know Joe reported it yesterday, but I wanted to give it legitimacy. Lol.
    But that’s not the point. If it’s true the national media who love Revis is going to have a field day with this. By the way, do you believe it? Like most hide in the woodwork guys , I don’t expect you to answer that question.

  42. lightningbuc Says:

    “hide in the woodwork”

    I’m on here every day.

    And yes, I do believe it to a certain extent. First of all, from what I remember with the Jets, he’s always outspoken. Second, I’m sure it has been an adjustment for him coming to a new team, and that, coupled with two tough losses, he’s probably venting a bit. I don’t believe it is like he wants to get the hell out of Dodge right away, but who knows.

  43. Splengo Says:


    My apology for the cheap shot. Reflex from posting in the mosh pit. I hope that the guys that I may take a shot at from time to time understand that it’s not personal. It’s wry comedy. Nice response, by the way. But be forewarned,I will say something stupid again because I want to fit in at JBF. Lol

  44. DWC2 Says:

    Capt. Tim Says:
    September 17th, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Best post on this thread !!!

    Freeman can only do what he is allowed to do.

  45. Dennis Says:

    They need to fire the QB coach (Wide receiver coach!) and then I’m sure we will see improvement.

  46. Mean D Says:

    What’s next, Joe? It’s George Bush’s fault that Freeman sux?

  47. BucFan20 Says:

    So I guess Brees must have been “stinking it up” Sunday. After all, if he had put the Saints in position to win to begin with they would they would not need that last panic drive for a FG to win. All those fancy stats and he has to have a panic drive. Had Lindell made the FG or Martin moves the chains he loses. If you want to play it that way. By the way, The QB has a hand in the score with himself, receiver or RB. Not the Kicker. So the only points Brees scored were 6 same as Freeman. QB’s don’t kick extra points and FGs. Their kicker won it. What happen if he missed? See all this QB won or lost is BS. What were Brees stats to Freeman’s? And if the Saints Lost?

  48. Hall Says:

    With Freeman it’s apparently mental. Hie mind is not in it. Looks more like a rookie than most rookies. Shiano looks like a college coach, poor pro game management. Draft Burt Reynolds, he can at least act like a QB.

  49. Mark Schellhaas Says:

    This article is a joke! Not one mention of the more than 10 dropped passes in the last 2 games. No mention of the phantom lineman lined up in the back field negating a 73 yard touchdown pass that would have won the game , or the poor o line blocking.

    Lets be serious for one article
    The coaching staff has a big problem .
    They can’t coach on this level.
    The bucs don’t have 5 years for them to figure it out or run off all the talent then the coaches get fired.

    They better figure it out soon or they are in trouble.

  50. PewterPirate Says:

    Freeman is not a runner people! He has come out and said that he doesn’t like to run. He ran in 2010 because he was basically a rookie and was worried about forcing throws so he would take off and run. Now he thinks that he can make every throw so he doesn’t run as much. Also think about this, how many of those runs from 2010 were pass plays where Freeman just pulled the ball down and took off….I’d say 90% of them. No one is handcuffing Freeman’s running except Freeman.

  51. Capt. Tim Says:

    Splengo- gonna have to work harder! Post are intelligent, and pretty spot on so far!

    That definately doesn’t blend in with the masses here.

    Try saying that you think our best chance to win, is by starting Glennon! That’ll help! Lol