Finally, consistency from Greg Schiano on Bucs QB Josh Freeman
Since we’ve made it a point to highlight Bucs coach Greg Schiano’s inconsistent statements on Josh Freeman, we thought it appropriate to document his latest quotes on the team’s starting quarterback.
This time, in an appearance on NFL Network Monday, Schiano was actually quite adamant that Freeman is the team’s unquestioned starter, a bit of a departure from the string of qualified statements he’s made since January, statements that were compounded by the selection of quarterback Mike Glennon in the third round of the draft.
“I believe in competition,” Schiano said. “Mike Glennon is going to be a tremendous quarterback in his time. But we have a quarterback and it’s Josh Freeman.
“He had a real good spring. I think it’s really coming together, being in this system for the second year now and hearing the (terminology) over again after being able to study it. I’m really encouraged. I know Mike Sullivan, our offensive coordinator who does a great job, he’s encouraged. We’re looking forward to big things. Josh is going to have a big year.”
Well, then. No wavering there.
This is only news because Schiano has so often left things open to interpretation when speaking about his quarterback situation. Although most astute NFL observers would agree Glennon is no immediate threat to Freeman, a four-year veteran, Schiano’s open-ended statements raised questions.
At times, Schiano went further. In an article published in May on nationalfootballpost.com, he said Glennon playing this season is not in the team’s plans but “if he wins the job, look, I'm not against that. We have a starting quarterback. It's not like we're looking to find a starter. But competition is competition. Mike Glennon is a fierce competitor. I knew that when he was coming out of high school. Now being able to work with him a little, you can see it on the practice field.”
In any case, this latest statement by Schiano is clearly more reality-based and keeps things in the proper perspective: Freeman was, and is, the Bucs’ starting quarterback.
Another noteworthy comment from Schiano’s appearance on the NFLN set (he’s in Southern California for a family member’s wedding) is a statement about an important lesson he learned as a rookie coach in 2012.
“I think the biggest thing is that when you’re dealing with NFL players, there’s such a (disparity) in the age,” the former Rutgers coach said. “You have 21-year old rookies, and they’re not fully developed. They’re not even close to being fully developed. Then you have a 37-year old guy like Ronde (Barber) who, really, you better just get him to game day and let him go do his thing and make sure he has all the mental stuff down.
“I think you really have to customize the plan for the guy, whereas in college you kind of coach the whole group very similar. That’s something that I saw more and more as time went on, especially with the length of the season.”
This is an interesting point and begs the question of whether we’ll see an altered approach from Schiano in training camp and beyond.