TAMPA — Bucs center and captain Jeff Faine, who came under fire for missing several players-only workouts this week and appearing to question their effectiveness, issued an open letter Friday to fans to clarify his comments.
Included in his letter was a vow to attend future workouts.
"I found it necessary to respond to a recent (online) post when my dedication to my team and the quality of my character as a captain was questioned," wrote Faine, who is the team's player representative.
"The Buccaneers fans deserve to hear the truth directly from me. There is nothing more I'd rather be doing than going through the offseason program and preparing for the upcoming season with my teammates on our journey to compete for a championship."
The workouts, being organized by quarterback Josh Freeman as a result of the ongoing NFL lockout, have featured primarily offensive skill position players — quarterbacks and receivers.
"I guess they wanted me to come snap the ball a little bit and block air," Faine, 30, said earlier this week on J.P. Peterson's show on WQYK-AM 1010. "But I decided my time was best served in the weight room than making sure that our snaps were still good."
Faine's letter said he missed the workouts because of scheduling conflicts and he didn't intend to question Freeman's leadership. The eight-year veteran said he was only trying to point out how difficult it would be to assemble the entire team and hold workouts comparable to offseason practices organized by the coaching staff.
"I can assure you that my dedication to my team, the Buccaneers organization and the Tampa community has never wavered," Faine wrote.
" … As Josh well knows, the relationship between a center and the quarterback is of utmost importance, and he knows that I support him completely in his efforts to prepare during the lockout. Although I missed the first three days … because of prior commitments, I will be part of future sessions to build team camaraderie."