Schiano Explains Reason for Benching Freeman


Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano stated twice during his Monday day-after-the-game press conference, “Josh [Freeman] is our starter.” By Wednesday, however, his tune had changed. The Bucs are moving forward with a new starter in rookie Mike Glennon.

“After the game on Sunday, I told you Josh Freeman was our starting quarterback. Again, on Monday, I reiterated that, because he was. After I met with you guys, [general manager] Mark Dominik and I spent a lot of time together, in some intense meetings trying to decide what’s best for football team.”

“We got with our ownership, when we came to a conclusion as a group, we made the decision organizationally that we’re going to make a change at quarterback and now Mike Glennon is our starting quarterback,” Schiano explained.

He cited the Bucs’ lack of offensive production in the last nine games, eight of which were losses. He said after Monday, he had a further chance to evaluate the direction of the team.

“Mark and I met Tuesday because this is a huge decision for our organization and I wanted to make sure we were doing the right thing. We agree, as we do on almost everything, and it was good. We talked to ownership and made the move.”

Freeman was the first player Dominik selected in his first draft as general manager in 2009, taking then-head coach Raheem Morris’ Kansas State quarterback with the 17th-overall pick.

Schiano would not discuss if Freeman was on the market for a possible trade.
“I’m going to leave that up to Mark, he handles that end of things,” said Schiano. “We’ll talk about it obviously, but that’s the business side of things.”

Schiano wouldn’t discuss what gives Glennon and edge over Freeman, but he reiterated that this isn’t a one-time experiment before the bye week.

“This was a performance-based decision and the fact of the matter is we were not getting the job done on the field. That’s why we made the decision.”

He added, “Mike’s our starting quarterback from this point forward. We’re moving forward and Mike’s our quarterback and that’s the plan and we’re going and that’s how we’re going.”

Injury updates

Starting wide receivers Mike Williams (hamstring) and Vincent Jackson (ribs) were both held out of practice, as were defensive tackles Gary Gibson (back) and Derek Landri (knee).

Offensive guard Gabe Carimi has yet to practice since suffering from an undisclosed illness, which forced him to miss all of last week.

Tight end Tom Crabtree (ankle) continues to be limited but may be a possibility to return this week. Cornerback Rashaan Melvin (hamstring) and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (ankle) fully practiced.

Roster moves
The release of tight end Danny Noble created a vacant roster position, which the Bucs used to re-sign fullback Spencer Larsen, who was with the club earlier this year. The Bucs also signed wide receiver Dan Buckner to the practice squad.