Tampa Bay’s Josh Freeman was stripped of his captaincy last week — never a good sign for a starting quarterback. This week, Buccaneers fans found out why.
Head coach Greg Schiano told reporters Thursday that Freeman missed the team’s official photo shoot last Monday, apparently the latest in a line of absences for the fifth-year signal caller. Schiano said that the quarterback had overslept, a statement Freeman did not deny.
“Basically I overslept,” Freeman said, according to NFL.com. “Point blank.”
Freeman has been the team’s starting quarterback since 2009 and a team captain since 2010, but his teammates chose not to elect him again prior to this season, with the honor instead going to wide receiver Vincent Jackson. Rumors circulated that Schiano may have rigged the ballot against Freeman, but the head coach dismissed those Wednesday as “100 percent inaccurate.”
Freeman said losing the “C” is disappointing, but he called Jackson, a Pro Bowler last season in his first year in Tampa, a deserving replacement.
“I think Vincent Jackson deserves every bit of the captain spot,” Freeman said. “I feel like the talk about me not being a captain kind of takes away from the honor of those guys being captains. Do I want to be captain? Yeah, sure. But it’s not something that’s going to make or break anyone.”
Freeman’s stats have dropped precipitously since his impressive sophomore campaign in 2010 (25 touchdowns, six interceptions), and this season is off to a disappointing start, as well. Freeman was just 15-for-31 passing in a loss to the miserable Jets last Sunday, leading some in Tampa Bay to believe rookie Mike Glennon may get his shot under center sooner rather than later.
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