McCoy calls Freeman an 'unfair target'
Gerald McCoy played a little defense for quarterback Josh Freeman Tuesday.
The Bucs Pro Bowl defensive tackle said Freeman is taking too much blame for the team's poor offensive performance in the preseason.
"I think he's an unfair target,'' McCoy said of Freeman. "He is a franchise quarterback but so what? There's a lot of players on the team. I think one of the reasons I'm so sensitive about it is I got it for two years. They talked bad about me for two years, so I don't take too well to it when they talk about my teammates.''
Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton, appearing Tuesday on the 620 WDAE with Tampa Bay Times reporters Rick Stroud and Tom Jones, said Freeman has proven he can't play.
“He plays sometimes at a nice level,’’ Tarkenton said. “I’ve watched him a lot. He just plays God-awful. Josh Freeman has proven to me he can’t play.’’
McCoy says Freeman has improved in his second season under offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan. That improvement hasn't shown up in preseason losses to Baltimore and New England. Freeman is 6-of-10 passing for 42 yards and has been sacked four times.
Freeman has participated in only 21 offensive snaps in two preseason games, which ranks 29th among starting NFL quarterbacks.
"The way he's taken control,'' McCoy said. "It's just like the way he's taken control of the offense, 'Listen to me. No, we're not doing that we're doing this.' You can hear it out there on the field."
Bucs coach Greg Schiano said he was unaware of the recent criticism aimed at Freeman but said the fifth-year quarterback has had a good training camp.
"Nothing surprises me, trust me,'' Schiano said. "That goes with being the quarterback and the head coach, and probably the quarterback, even more than the head coach, is open to a lot of that. But the only thing that he needs to know is the only people that really matter are his teammates, his coach and his owners and management.
"He just needs to keep going. I think he's had a really good camp so far.''