Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Joe Smith and Greg Auman

Bucs planning to make Freeman inactive Sunday

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

27

September

One night after his unauthorized interview with ESPN in which he said he wants to be traded, Josh Freeman apparently will be demoted again by the Buccaneers.

The team is expected to make Freeman the inactive third quarterback for Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals.

Freeman was benched in favor of rookie Mike Glennon Wednesday but coach Greg Schiano said he would serve as the No. 2 quarterback. But that was before he broke his silence Thursday night in an exclusive interview with ESPN's Josina Anderson that was not authorized by the team.

On Friday, Schiano suddenly would not discuss Freeman's status for Sunday's game.

"I understand the question and I can appreciate it,'' Schiano said. "I just feel this has been a focus all week. I'm not going to go there. Ninety minutes before the game, I'm going to name who our 46 active players are, the guys who are up and we're going to play.

"I'm locked in now and our team is locked in. I am done discussing all that other stuff. I do understand the question though.''

Schiano was then asked if Freeman was still the backup quarterback for Sunday?

"Again, 90 minutes before, I'm going to name our actives and inactives and that's how we're going to go.''

Freeman left the locker room abruptley after the media approached him. "I'll get with you guys later,'' he said.

Friday's media session with Schiano just added another chapter to what has been a bizzare saga involving Schiano and Freeman.

After Sunday's 23-3 loss at New England, Schiano said Freeman was the starting quarterback and still gave the team its best chance to win. On Monday, he reiterated that point. "Josh is our starting quarterback,'' Schiano said.

But after meeting with Bucs general manager Mark Dominik and ownership Tuesday, Schiano changed his mind. On Wednesday, he named Glennon, a third-round pick from North Carolina State, the starter against the Cardinals saying it was 'performance based.'

The Bucs encouraged Freeman to be available to the media both Wednesday and Thursday, but he declined. Then unknown to team officials, Freeman arranged an interview with ESPN Thursday night and broke his silence on the matter.

“Josh just needed his voice to be heard,’’ agent Erik Burkhardt told the Times of the decision to make Freeman available to ESPN.

Dan Orlovsky would serve as the No. 2 quarterback if Freeman is inactive. When asked if he was going to be Glennon's backup Sunday, Orlovsky smiled and said, 'you'll have to ask coach that.''

In Thursday night's interview, Freeman told Anderson he wanted to be traded.

“If you want things to change something has to change,'' Freeman said Thursday. "At the end of the day, yes, I think that moving forward that is going to be the best option.''





[Last modified: Friday, September 27, 2013 1:29pm]

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