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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Freeman reveals ADHD treatment led to voluntary testing

Stung by a breach of confidentiality of his medical status, embattled Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman said Monday he voluntarily agreed to be tested under the NFL’s substance abuse program after switching from Adderall to Ritalin to treat ADHD.

Freeman says he passed 46 league-administered drug tests over the last 18 months at One Buc Place.

The revelation was in response to a report by ESPN’s Chris Mortensen that Freeman was a stage one participant in the league’s substance abuse program.

Freeman, who was benched in Sunday’s 13-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals in favor of rookie Mike Glennon, accused members of the Bucs organization who may have witnessed his frequent testing of making harmful assumptions. …

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Freeman never tested positive for banned substance

Josh Freeman says he voluntarily agreed to be tested under the NFL’s substance abuse program after switching from Adderall to Ritalin to treat ADHD.

Here is a statement he released after an ESPN report revealed he was a stage one participant in the NFL's substance abuse program.

Here is Freeman's statement:

"Let me be very clear. I have NEVER tested positive for any illegal drugs or related substances. Further, I have agreed to take, and have PASSED 46 NFL-regulated drug tests over the last year and a half.

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

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

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. …

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Notes: Goldson won't face suspension from foul

TAMPA -- Bucs safety Dashon Goldson drew a costly penalty late in Sunday's loss to Arizona for a high hit on a Cardinals receiver, but he won't face any league suspension for the unnecessary roughness penalty.

Merton Hanks, the NFL's vice president for football operations, reviewed Goldson's hit on Arizona's Jaron Brown as he came down on the sidelines, but found the play did not warrant a suspension. Goldson was initially suspended from the Bucs' game at New England for a hit, but upon appeal it was reduced to a $100,000 fine.

Cards head coach Bruce Arians still wasn't happy about Goldson's hit on Monday. When asked by reporters about the hit, he said it was "totally illegal, like he always does." Asked about the Bucs' aggressive defense on quarterback Carson Palmer's two kneeldown plays at the end of the game, he said "That's their style. I've got no comment on it."

INJURY UPDATE: Bucs coach Greg Schiano said it's too early to know whether two injuries sustained in Sunday's game -- safety Mark Barron had to leave the game with a hamstring injury, and tight end Nate Byham had  a "calf/knee" injury -- would impact next week's game against the Eagles after the bye week. …

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Agent: Schiano lied about Freeman watching from suite being 'mutual decision.'

Bucs coach Greg Schiano said the team and Josh Freeman came to a 'mutual decision,' that the inactive quarterback watch Sunday's 13-10 loss to the Cardinals from a suite at Raymond James Stadium.

But Freeman's agent, Erik Burkhardt, said Schiano's claim was a 'Lie. Obviously,'' in a text to the Tampa Bay Times.

Freeman went into the locker room for several minutes following the game but declined comment on his way to the players' parking lot.

"I'm not commenting at this time,'' Freeman said.

The Bucs led 10-0 until the fourth quarter when rookie Mike Glennon threw a pair of interceptions in the final 3:12. The first pick led to Carson Palmer's game-tying 13-yard touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald.  Jay Feely kicked a 27-yard field goal to put the Cardinals ahead 13-10 with 1:29 remaining.

On the next possession, Glennon was intercepted for the second time by defensive back Patrick Peterson to seal the game.

Schiano was asked after the game why Freeman was not on the field Sunday. …

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Late turnovers doom Bucs in 13-10 loss to Cards

TAMPA -- Just when it looked like the Mike Glennon era would open with the Bucs' first win of the season, Arizona struck for 10 points in the final 3:06, handing Tampa Bay a 13-10 loss Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.

Glennon, the rookie making his NFL debut, threw an early touchdown and led 10-0 in the fourth, and didn't make a mistake until late in the fourth, when Patrick Peterson picked off a pass at the Bucs' 13. Carson Palmer hit Larry Fitzgerald for a tying touchdown on the next play, and Arizona drove for the go-ahead field goal with 1:29 left.

The Bucs (0-4) had a shot at a long drive to win, but Peterson intercepted Glennon again with 0:48 to seal the win. The Bucs committed three turnovers in the final quarter and head into the bye week with a winless record.

Arizona (2-2)  found its passing game in the second half -- after throwing for 58 yards in the first half, Palmer threw for 104 in the third quarter alone. But twice, drives deep into Bucs territory ended with interceptions -- rookie Johnthan Banks made a one-handed, leaping interception in the end zone, and on the next drive, corner Darrelle Revis picked off a sideline pass intended for Fitzgerald. …

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Frustrated, angry, inactive Freeman told not to be on field today

Not only do the Bucs not want to see Josh Freeman at quarterback, they don't want to see him on the sideline, either.

Freeman is inactive for today's game against the Arizona and watching the game from the suite at Raymond James Stadium, as ordered by the team. An NFL Network report said Freeman was inactive because he missed more than one meeting this week, according to Ian Rapoport.

In an unauthorized interview with ESPN's Josina Anderson last week that aired Sunday, Freeman said he was "frustrated, angry, I don't really understand the decision,'' by coach Greg Schiano to replace him as the starting quarterback with rookie Mike Glennon. Freeman said he doesn't think he can be comfortable in the role as a backup.

"I think it came down to production,'' Freeman said. "I know Mike's a guy they drafted, fairly high, third round, the kid has some skill to him, he's a good player. But at the same time, I can't pretend to even be inside coach Schiano's head.

"I don't think I will ever be comfortable in this role, but at the same time, I have to try my best and it's really all I can do.'' …

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Freeman inactive for Bucs; Jackson, Williams will play

Benched Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman is inactive for today's home game against Arizona, completing a quick descent from the starting job to awaiting a trade elsewhere, a possibility first reported by the Times' Rick Stroud on Friday.

While Freeman isn't active, receivers Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams -- both limited in practice this week -- will both play. Jackson was a game-day decision on his ribs, while Williams (hamstring) didn't practice until Friday. Newly signed running back and return specialist Jeff Demps is also active for the Bucs.

The Bucs' inactives are mostly as expected -- TE Tom Crabtree, OL Gabe Carimi, DT Derek Landri and CB Michael Adams, all injured, as well as corner Rashaan Melvin and defensive end Trevor Scott.

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Bucs-Cardinals: Your morning reading

The Bucs kick off against Arizona at 1 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium, and here's a few links to get you up to that kick -- we'll start with Rick Stroud's advance on rookie quarterback Mike Glennon, who grew up trying to keep up with older brother Sean, who played at Virginia Tech. Joe Smith writes about the showdown matchup between veteran Cards receiver Larry Fitzgerald and Bucs corner Darrelle Revis, Stroud addresses the shared blame in the Schiano-Freeman split, and here are my NFL picks for Week 4, including a 21-17 win for the Bucs. We'll be back for a live blog throughout today's game ... 

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Kickin' back with Bucs rookie Akeem Spence

As the Bucs prepare for Sunday's home game against Arizona, our weekly Kickin' Back feature has us sitting down with Bucs rookie defensive tackle Akeem Spence, who talks about his love of shoes, his ridiculous strength and the joy of getting your first career sack against Tom Brady.

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Sunday: Bucs-Cardinals in-game chat, 1 p.m.

Join the conversation as the Times' Greg Auman chats live from Raymond James Stadium throughout the Bucs' game against the Cardinals Sunday, beginning at 1 p.m. Follow along, and add your comments and/or questions if you like. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Bucs' Crabtree out for Sunday, top WRs questionable

TAMPA -- Bucs receivers Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams, out of practice on Tuesday and Wednesday with injuries, took part in Friday's drills but are questionable for Sunday's game against Arizona, coach Greg Schiano said.

Williams, limited by a hamstring, had expressed confidence Thursday that he'd be able to play, saying the same about Jackson, who left last week's game at New England with an injury to his ribs. Schiano said tight end Tom Crabtree, who hasn't played this season after spraining his ankle last month, still isn't healthy and will miss Sunday's game.

One new addition to the Bucs' injury list Friday is second-year safety Mark Barron, the team's leading tackler, who was limited Friday by a hamstring injury but is listed as probable for Sunday.

With Crabtree out, Luke Stocker placed on injured reserve this week and Danny Noble released, the Bucs are even more limited at tight end, where Nate Byham is likely to start. Rookie Tim Wright is the only other tight end on roster, though fullback Erik Lorig could help there if necessary. …

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Bucs planning to make Freeman inactive Sunday

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

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? …

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Bucs considering making Freeman inactive Sunday

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

The team is considering making 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.

The Bucs encouraged Freeman to be available to the media both Wednesday and Thursday, but he declined.

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

Freeman told Anderson he wanted to be traded.

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

If Freeman is the inactive third quarterback, Dan Orlovsky would serve as Glennon’s backup.

 

 

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Freeman say trade is 'best option,' in ESPN interview

Quarterback Josh Freeman says a trade would be the the 'best option,' for him moving forward.

Freeman, who has declined comment for two days, broke his silence Thursday night in an exclusive interview with ESPN's Josina Anderson away from One Buc Place. A portion of the interview aired on SportsCenter with more to come on Sunday.

Freeman was asked if he wanted to be traded.

"I don't for a number of reasons but the bottom line is if you want things to change something has to change,'' Freeman said. "At the end of the day, yes, I think that moving forward that is going to be the best option.''

After two days of saying Freeman would remain the Bucs starter, coach Greg Schiano announced Wednesday that he planned to start rookie Mike Glennon in Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals, saying the decision was 'performanced based.'

"The head coach has come out and said that this isn't the best place for me to be a starting quarterback,'' Freeman said. "He doesn't think I give this team the best chance to win. And I don't agree but at the same time I'm a player, he's a coach.'' …

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