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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs and Freeman will co-exist unless trade can be reached




Josh Freeman could be living the suite life for awhile until the Bucs are able to attract a trade for their deposed quarterback.

Coach Greg Schiano said while he is aware of the difficulty of trading a player who is owed $6.4-million the final three months of the season like Freeman, he will be expected to come to work like any other member of the football team.

"As long as he's a Buccaneer, then he will be a member of this team and do the things we do,'' Schiano said. "I let that other stuff be handled by (general manager) Mark (Dominik).''

Freeman, who was benched Wednesday in favor of rookie Mike Glennon, was supposed to be the No. 2 quarterback Sunday. But he was among the inactive players and watched the Bucs' 13-10 loss to the Cardinals from a suite at Raymond James Stadium by what Schiano said was a 'mutual decision.' His agent called that a 'lie, obviously.'

Schiano would not say what role Freeman might have on the team following the bye week.

"We'll take it each week as we do with the backups and inactives,'' Schiano said. "I'm not ready to comment on down the road. I'm right now focusing on today and us getting better and we'll see how everything plays out. It's not like, "What's he have to do. It's more just what we think is best going forward. We take each week independently.

"This week, that wasn't what was best. We'll see when we get into a game week a week from now what is best.''

During an interview with ESPN that aired again Sunday, Freeman expressed and interest to be traded and said he doesn't see himself in the role of a backup. It's unlikely the Bucs would release Freeman, who will become a free agent in 2014, before the trade deadline because they would owe him the remainder of his salary.

"Again, I'm not going to be naive,'' Schiano said. "There's a lot of factors involved. This is not high school football. It's professional football and there's salaries and there's contracts and there's those things involved.

"The business part of things, Mark and I talk about but he handles that. What I do is I focus on the things that are going to help us win games. Now we're in a bye week so there are a lot of things. It's not a particular opponent so there's more us, taking an introspective look at the Buccaneers and what we need to do better in all three phases. And then, it's not going to be a ton of practice, but there will be some that we can go out there, get better and then we'll get back at it next week and get ready for the Eagles.''

The 0-4 Bucs have lost nine of their past 10 games under Schiano, including three this season in the final 89 seconds. Tampa Bay is 0-6 under Schiano in games decided by three points or less.

"We're very upfront with our guys and we tell them this is what we're doing well and this is what we need to improve on,'' Schiano said. "It's a close knit team. They understand one week it can be this side the next it can be that side so just keep playing and do your best and eventually all three phases are going to mesh and that's when you start winning.''



[Last modified: Monday, September 30, 2013 5:33pm]


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