Freeman, Schiano Had “Good Relationship”

June 13th, 2014
josh freeman and greg schiano

Freeman’s old coach weighs in

As Joe heard someone say yesterday at One Buc Palace, someday, someone will write a book about what the hell happened to make Josh Freeman go mental and totally meltdown his football career.

Not even a year after throwing for 4,000 yards, Freeman suddenly lost any and all ability to read a clock, was dumped as captain by his teammates and landed on the NFL unemployment line. It was one of the most stunning career nosedives Joe can recall in any sport.

Now the haters out there immediately blamed then Bucs commander Greg Schiano for Freeman’s downfall, dreaming up wild reasons, from Schiano mentally running Freeman through the ringer so bad that Freeman lost any desire to play football to some twisted, drummed up conspiracy to set his franchise quarterback up for a fall.

The Freeman crash is a mystery to Florida International University coach Ron Turner. It was Turner who was Schiano’s 2012 quarterback coach. Appearing with Joe’s good friend, “The Commish,” Justin Pawlowski of WHFS-FM 98.7, Turner stated during his time with the Bucs, Freeman and Schiano were tight.

“No, not really,” was Turner’s answer to whether he sensed brewing storm clouds in 2012. “I was there one year with him and I had a good relationship with Josh. We had Dan Orlovsky also in the room, a veteran, along with Josh. Nobody prepared like Dan so he kind of helped teach Josh what it was like to be a professional. He helped Josh mature a little bit. There was some inconsistency there, but for a while, Josh was really tuned in. Really focused in. There was a little stretch where he lost focus but was able to get it back. He did some really good things at times.

“I was really surprised at what happened afterwards. I have a lot of respect for Greg [Schiano]. He’s a very good head coach and really intelligent. I thought they had a good relationship. I know they met every Saturday morning. Greg had the quarterbacks in. I wasn’t in the meeting. He would have Dan and Josh come in and they would meet for a half-hour and talk about the gameplan and stuff. So, I didn’t see anything [untoward]. I thought they had a good relationship. I thought Greg did a great job of being patient with him and being supportive of Josh during the time I was there.”

Joe thinks that the conspiracy theorists, the ones who believe Schiano set up Freeman to take a fall, are out of their minds. Because it was the fall of Freeman that was largely the impetus for Team Glazer to wave goodbye to Schiano.

Currently, Freeman is out walking the streets. If he is looking for work in the NFL, then he’s painted himself into a nasty corner. It’s not good when teams are finishing their minicamps and going into the annual NFL summer slumber before, and Freeman has yet to find a suitor wanting to keep him on the roster entering training camp.

Right now, it sure appears Freeman’s NFL career lies in some Kansas City ashbin.

48 Responses to “Freeman, Schiano Had “Good Relationship””

  1. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    John Lynch thought Freeman was “heading in the wrong direction” before Schiaino was even hired

    National Media was telling us that Freeman was having a good time, and not putting the time in ( thank you Esiason for telling the truth).

    The facts are easy to find, The local media just will not look.

  2. buccanstopit Says:

    All of this points to partying, with some pre-existing mental issues being magnified by whatever his choice of fun. People with issues tend to gravitate to drinking, drugs to get the high from a lack of serotonin, he was on Adderall, used for ADHD people. Add in some depression, translates to lack of motivation and I don’t care about what I should. He checked out, and needs professional help. Stop the raving, partying and get help Josh, you’re too young.

  3. Buc Fan #237 Says:

    He liked the adderall because it made him happy and helped him focus in meetings… but the drawback of such a drug is it made him aloof. He lost his edge, his drive.

    But the honest truth, he wasn’t a good NFL quarterback. Why? Because he was terribly inaccurate.

  4. lightningbuc Says:

    “someday, someone will write a book about what the hell happened to make Josh Freeman go mental and totally meltdown his football career.”


    Boomer Esiason might be a good source for that book. Just like The_Buc_Realist said, this was common knowledge but the local media were afraid to dig for fear of what they might come up with.

  5. Chef Paul Says:

    Even though there is no “proof” to some, being an ex-addict, I saw Freeman had all of the most common symptoms. I will always believe the drugs did him in. I’m not saying I know what particular drug/s he was on, but definitely a stimulant. I would bet the bank that the clock did not lose power, but instead he slept right though his alarm. I did those same things, and used those same excuses, and no one bought from me, just like they aren’t buying it from him.

  6. Joseph Mamma Says:

    The Giants kept Curtis ‘will be a’ Painter and released Freeman. Some kind of rumor of substance abuse or immaturity is going around the league about this guy. Also the way he acted to get released by the Buc’s totally blew up in his face and I believe probably contributes to his unemployment.

  7. BFFL Says:

    The local sports media in the St Pete / Tampa area are absolutely pathetic. Most of them are transplants from other cities and closet fans of other teams so they are not very passionate about Tampa. They are afraid to report controversial stories or rock the boat with the team’s ownership in fear of loosing their job or contract with the teams.

  8. Harry Says:

    @Realist, both are very good points. But I remember when Esiason said Free was partying too much, he was very much alone in that opinion. It was kind of out of the blue at that time and Boomer was the first to say that.

    I don’t hate Schiano at all, but I do think he contributed to (not caused) Free’s problems – how could you not? I thought it was odd for a coach to repeatedly tell media ppl that Free had to compete for his starting job, especially in the beginning of Schiano’s 2nd year. Its likely Schiano saw some of the immature behavior, and whatever else, and was trying to motivate Free to straighten up. But even at the time, I don’t think Schiano went about it the right way (obviously).

    And as far as it being “…one of the most stunning career nosedives…”, I don’t think it that different then what happened to Schaub. He was a damn good QB too. Then things started to go awry with him. I think Schaub’s issues were also mental – its a huge part of what goes into being a franchise QB – being mentally strong and confident. This is one of the biggest reasons I love Johnny Football.

  9. Espo Says:

    The fact Turner just called Schiano a very good coach makes me doubt anything else he said. I’ll give him credit as a talent evaluator but he’s a terrible coach and worse in game manager.

  10. The Ether Says:


    You hit the nail on the head. Pre-existing mental disorders, young dude, ten figures in the bank. Bad combo… But would make for one hell of a party binge… Hunter S. Thompson-style

  11. buccanstopit Says:

    Wow, read the thread for this site about Esiason and Freeman comments. Lot of Bucs fans need to apologize to Esiason.

  12. DallasBuc Says:

    Seems to me something happened early in the offseason after 2012 season. Something that caused them to want to draft a QB in the third round and eventually lead to his not being a team captain anymore. Ron and Ian guest rainbow Ricky always talks about him being at the Honey Pot. Maybe he just got a little caught up in being young and having fun. We all make bad decisions when we are young. I think Freeman is a special football talent and hope to see him pull it together and be great again!

  13. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    as bad as some commenter were, the local media was worse. Saying how off base he was, and he was not in “Tampa” so how would he know. Mean while just from my friends that would occasionally go out would spot #5 everytime.

  14. ToesOnTheLine Says:

    “I’ll give him credit as a talent evaluator”


    ” he’s a terrible coach”

    ^^^ not this

    “and worse in game manager.”


    Amazing to see if anyone will still try to blame Schiano for Freeman’s freefall, Josh did in Josh folks

  15. robert8 Says:

    A whole bunch of Debbie downers in here. This young man came into this organization as a coveted 1st round pick. He then went on to have a very successful season of 10-6 I believe. From there he embarked on a quest for greatness while setting multiple Buccaneer QB records and was embraced by the national media and enshrined in a Michael Jackson photo shoot. He was on top of the world, until a new coach came in, the Bucs would not renew his contract and his replacement was drafted. His fall from grace has been traumatic and I hope he finds the support he needs to put the pieces back together before it’s too late. Not sure even Oprah can help him at this point.

  16. Eric Says:

    The local sports media, for the most part, had their noses so far up Mark Dominik’s arse it was pathetic.

    No way were they going after his prized franchise QB.

  17. SteveK Says:

    Freeman screwed the pooch. Schiano did nothing but try and support/help/motivate Freemadonna.

  18. BoJim Says:

    If you have ADD and abuse Adderall, it makes you very lazy and will keep you up all night. Then you take a little more in the morning to keep you awake all day but it catch’s up to you eventually and then your body will crash real hard. You are late for team meetings, photos etc. Hmmm, could explain a lot. Just guessing though. 😉

  19. Eric Says:

    Sure wish we could go back to the glory years we all enjoyed with that really intelligent and great coach Greg Schiano.

    Good luck at FIU Turner.

    Stay by the phone I’m sure an NFL team will be calling soon.

  20. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    Look at Gary Shelton in this article, even Joe’s second to last paragraph is dismissing Esiason, Heaven forbid if someone followed up and asked around to what was going on back then. To ask questions now is 3 years to late. And until i see a doctors prescription, a Nfl exemption for adderall, and the orginal failed drug test of Josh Freeman for Adderall or Ritalin, [There is no evidence Freeman is a felon, so don’t come here with that. — Joe].

  21. Touch_Down_Tampa_Bay Says:

    Turner said what anyone expected. He is not turning over any rocks. If there was rocks to turn common sense tells you he is not going there.

    I still think Freeman and Schiano had different personalities that was never going to work. Both men need to work on their issues and become adults.

    But I’m sure glad we don’t have to deal with those issues anymore. Barking is no longer necessary by the coaching staff. Players who want to be lazy and party will find themselves looking for another team. I like Lovie’s way either you are in or you are out. Nice and simple. Drama not necessary…

  22. Barry Says:

    Freeman’s a coach killer. He doesn’t deserve another opportunity in the NFL. Period. Quit on this team, quit on his coach. Dirt bag.

  23. buc4lyfe Says:

    Schiano is a good coach and very intelligent? Lol lost all credibility there and most of that was about Turner and Freeman but saying Freeman lost focus sounds about right, must be when he threw 7 picks in two games that he”lost focus”. Freeman had a great year in 2012 but article is No different than cops protecting their own, coaches don’t talk bad about other coaches even if they don’t like them.

  24. SAMCRO Says:

    After his 10-6 campaign, Freeman felt let down by the local media. Instead of celebrating his record setting year, the media tore him down and minimized his achievement, saying it wasn’t Freeman’s effort that almost got them in the playoffs, rather a weak schedule. The media turned OBP into a circus. Don’t believe me?, then ask McCoy, or anyone who doesn’t feel they are under a gag order not to say anything.

  25. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Wealth can corrupt just about anyone under the right (or wrong) circumstances. Obviously Freeman became increasingly enamored with partying and with certain substances. He lost his focus on the important things and got his priorities all effed up. It happens, and it happens a lot.

    Some people are able to hide their mental and emotional weakness until a situation arrives that exposes those traits. Then seemingly overnight they “lose it”. In reality they were ready to “lose it” for years and years prior but the circumstances of their life were controlled enough that they didn’t go over the edge.

    Take it from someone who has past experience in the mental health field…everyone has a breaking point. It’s just that different people have different points, and some are much easier to trigger than others. Sometimes you don’t know how mentally or emotionally weak a person is until the right situation presents itself. Some people are weak, some are so-so, and some are relatively “strong”, but everyone can be made to break and everyone has their vulnerabilities.

    It’s just unfortunate that the Bucs had a “franchise” QB who was so weak that a taste of wealth allowed him to eventually go off the rails. It empowered him to feed desires and even addictions he probably didn’t even know he was vulnerable to. Such is life.

  26. ToesOnTheLine Says:

    @ buc4lyfe

    “coaches don’t talk bad about other coaches even if they don’t like them.”

    There is truth to that (don’t want to bad mouth someone you could end up working with or for), but a lot of football coaches genuinely do respect Schiano’s football knowledge and coaching. I don’t think Turner is blowing smoke. Schiano is guilty of trying to come in as a heavy handed NFL rookie HC and command Belichick or Coughlin respect without the proven track record. First go didn’t work, but I think the dude will learn from his blunders. I fear that Freeman is a list cause who won’t be able to learn from his and grow.

  27. ToesOnTheLine Says:


    Lost cause…damn iPhone isn’t so smart this morning (much like its owner) 🙂

  28. OAR Says:

    I tried to log onto my iPad. Turns out it was an Etch A Sketch and I don’t own an iPad. Also, I’m out of vodka.

  29. Eric Says:

    The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. DSM -5

    Covers Freeman and Schiano.

  30. Couch Fan Says:

    Never feel bad for a quitter. Just glad Schiano took out the trash while he was here.

  31. Rob Says:

    Setting up Freeman to fail would have been career suicide for Schiano, who hitched his wagon to Freeman from day one. And subsequently, Freeman’s implosion took Schiano down too – fairly or not.

  32. buc4lyfe Says:

    I think speaking to someone like Ron Turner who want here when it all feel apart was another scheme. Yes if you wanna say Freeman fell apart and was weak minded and not focused on football it would just as valid as saying he had talent. But what’s suspicious to me is one guy taking the fall for one of the worst seasons in bucs history I’ve witnessed since Dominick took over. Schiano is well respected and a great mind? He’s got all these excuses laid out for him I wonder why that is for a guy who alienated every we love from coming to visit, not knowing anything about our history which is why he had no clue who our superbowl mbp was when he showed up with kids and weak a$$ Dominick say around with his thumb up his butt

  33. Surf Buc Says:

    I still want my money back for my #5 jersey!

  34. Espo Says:

    Toes on the line, I didn’t blame Schiano for Freeman (not anymore), I said he was a bad coach and I couldn’t listen to Turner anymore based on his compliments towards Schiano. Pay attention.

  35. ToesOnTheLine Says:

    Sorry Espo I used your quotes and was replying to you in the first half of my comment, but the second half of my ramble wasn’t directed at you or anyone in particular. My bad, will put something like @ delusional Freemanites for a generalization in the future 🙂

  36. Buccfan37 Says:

    I am already seeing number 5 Buc jerseys in the thrift stores around here in St. Pete.

  37. D-Rome Says:

    National Media was telling us that Freeman was having a good time, and not putting the time in ( thank you Esiason for telling the truth).

    The facts are easy to find, The local media just will not look.

    Around the end of April Rock Riley was hosting a morning show on either Saturday or Sunday and he had Ira Kauffman on. Ira says he knows the story but simply can’t tell it now. He said there will be a time and a place to tell it and when the story is finally public it’ll make a lot of sense. Whatever it is I think it goes far beyond a coach looking to ruin a career or a young guy who was partying too much. Honestly, in his first two years here there was no one more focused and more dedicated. Something happened to de-rail all of that. Ira says he knows and I’m sure most others in the local sports media market knows as well.

  38. Chrispy0515 Says:

    It is quite quite obvious that Josh is into partying and the women right now and football is either #2 or 3 on his list, and until that changes he will remain out of a job or maybe land a backup job at best somewhere down the road.

  39. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:

    Absolutely zero proof that Freeman has any type of mental condition. And he had great financial motivation to claim his positive test was for ADHD meds.

    Could have easily been a drug of abuse.

  40. Espo Says:

    Isn’t taking ADHD meds proof of mental illness? Considering they’re prescribed, of course.

  41. loggedontosay Says:

    As a fan Joe, I have moved on from Freeman. I do not understand why you keep raising the same issue concerning Freeman without any evidence. I will be glad to accept your opinion if you can demonstrate that it is fact. Manipulating someone statement to continue beating a dead horse is…. well… BAD! I only whole people accountable for what they do. Freeman was never in a good place at Tampa because he had never had any help. The Bucs would have won 11 or 12 games in 2012 if the defense had held the opposing offense with 3 mins to seconds to play in the fourth quarter. Or, if the defense had played well at all during the season. Whatever happens, Freeman and Schiano are responsible for themselves. Schiano lost more games than Freeman lost. I wish Freeman well and I am indifferent to Schiano. I do not like bad journalism. Fox “news” is bad enough!

    Let Joe make this simple. Freeman’s former QB coach talked about Freeman, so Joe shared what he said because it’s interesting. If that’s some sort of bad thing, then Joe can only throw his hands in the air. –Joe

  42. Teacherman777 Says:

    I remember when Boomer said that!

    Josh hates football.

    He’s like Haynesworth.

    Thankfully Schiano stopped Dom from extending him!!

    Schiano said prove it. Josh said drop dead.

    And boom.

    Josh quit.

  43. csidedave Says:

    Funny that some forget that Freeman pretty much put an end to the Raheem era too with a horrible season featuring 16 td’s and 22 int’s.

    His fisrt year under Schiano he was better with 27 tds and 17 int’s. Freeman’s collapse was self imposed further proven by his inability to stick with anyone else. Incredibly he checked out during a contract year.

  44. Red86 Says:

    He said, “I {thought} they had a good relationship.” That sound like assumption to me. The title of the article makes it sound like he was sure of it. Very misleading. Not saying it was intentional or not. I’m just saying.

    Plus, Turner would be the worst person to comment about what happened in 2013. Turner wasn’t employed by the Bucs then. So, we can’t take Turner comment as fact or as gospel when it come to 2013, but for 2012 we can.

    At the end of the day Freeman isn’t here. I wish him the best. But it’s time to move on.

  45. Red86 Says:


    Every players have good seasons and bad seasons.

    to the forum

    I find it funny that in 2014 fans are all hyped about the defense. Since Raheem near playoff berth, the defense sucked overall. Yet, all the blame was place on one guy.

    Little to no blame was put squarely on the defense during that time period. There have been times that if the defense made a stop after a TD pass or field goal from the offense, then the Bucs would’ve won. There have been time the defense played well the first half and stunk it up the second half.

    It take all 53 guys to win the game not 1 person.

  46. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:

    “Espo Says:
    June 13th, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    Isn’t taking ADHD meds proof of mental illness? Considering they’re prescribed, of course.”

    There’s no proof he’s taking ADHD meds. Make no mistake, players lie about what there positive tests are for. There’s no way to confirm since the collective bargaining agreement won’t allow the league to reveal why the postive test occurred.

  47. Buc Fan #237 Says:

    He was such an air head that he had to have had a mental disorder.

    Freeman was a bad QB. He was terribly inaccurate. Why can’t that just be the reality? He was not a good QB. Physical talent? Sure. But he didn’t have the brains or the heart to stay focused. And he didn’t convert on 3rd down much either… because he was inaccurate.

  48. Trubucfan22 Says:

    I suppose schiano trying to trade freeman during the off season made freeman excited to work for the genius that is schiano. Of the fact that schiano tried to sign Carson Palmer… When every player on the roster said they hated working for schiano and hat he made the majority of the roster feel like not showing up for work…. Yeah, but schiano had nohing to do with Freeman’s down fall. And that’s not to say that freeman was the most stable guy, but when you take a guy with known issues and throw him into the fire, it’s just asking for problems. Freeman needed to handled with kid gloves, clearly schiano wasn’t the right choice for that type of guy. That’s why it didn’t work. I’m sure that’s why it didn’t work for freeman with the giants and Tom Coughlin. There aren’t many “player” coaches out there, and the one good one is here in Tampa now.