Losses tend to bring out the worst news reports and stories. Last year around this time, there was controversy over rushing kneel downs. This year, it’s a bit more serious…
According to a report from Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, league sources have said the Tampa Bay Buccaneers held a players-only meeting following the loss to the New York Jets on Sunday, and one of the topics was the “legitimacy of the vote that resulted in quarterback Josh Freeman losing the captain’s “C” from his jersey,” as stated in the article.
If this is true, it speaks deeply to the level of distrust and displeasure the coaching staff has for not only Josh Freeman, but for his teammates who may have voted to name him captain only to see him not be named as one of the team’s leaders.
The disrespect for Josh Freeman has been hidden behind subtle statements and curious decisions all offseason long. Drafting Mike Glennon, talking about wanting “competition at quarterback,” not playing Freeman in the preseason, and seeing him not earn the captaincy of the offense all seemed to be singularly explainable situations, and not a sign of an underlying desire to get rid of Freeman as soon as possible.
But if the coaches were so bold as to rig the voting to ensure Freeman wasn’t named captain, they jeopardized the entire locker room. Being a captain has no practical impact on the field of play, but it’s a clear sign as to who the players support and follow in the locker room and on the field. So if the players voted for Freeman, and they came together to confirm that Freeman was a majority choice, they now know that their opinion isn’t valued by the coaching staff.
Not to mention, this would fly in the face of the family atmosphere and “trust, belief, and accountability” mantra pushed by head coach Greg Schiano.
At this point, it’s hard to not believe the stories coming out about the inner workings at One Buc Place. Former players don’t leave Tampa happy, former Schiano players art Rutgers have spoken out against him, and he’s been voted in various polls as one of the least popular coaches to play for in the NFL.
So if one is to assume this is true, it’s downright shameful, and borderline “lose your job” worthy for the Bucs’ coaches. Creating an institutional standard for dishonesty after preaching accountability and trust is the quickest way to lose the respect of a group of 53 grown men who are the elite of the elite at what they do.
We’ll be sure to update with any new news on this topic.