A day after Buccaneers left tackle Donald Penn said somebody was trying to bring down quarterback Josh Freeman, the man who has been in charge of Freeman's protection for the past five years decided he's not interested in discussing the subject with the media any more.
“The media, the media, y'all, trying to find every way to tarnish his character and make Josh seem like he's not a good guy ... like this is all his fault," Penn told a number of reporters Wednesday, via the Tampa Tribune. "That's y'all reporting this stuff. The Freeman stuff is getting old. It's over. I'm tired of talking about it."
Well, let's not place all the blame on the media shall we? As CBSSports.com's Gregg Doyel wrote Tuesday, some of the blame for this latest kerfuffle -- when it was revealed that Freeman was in Stage 1 of the NFL's drug program -- has to go to the person who leaked the info to ESPN in the first place.
My opinion: Most of that ire and scorn should go on the person who would leak such personal information in a non-national security situation.
But either way, Penn can see what's going on behind the curtain. And he knows it's not an appetizing view.
“It's just real tough. I feel bad for Josh being put in this situation,” Penn said Tuesday on Sirius XM NFL radio, via PFT. “You know, the stuff that came out [Monday, regarding Freeman being in the drug program] and stuff like that, it's like they're really trying to bring him down and Josh is a great guy. Josh is a very humble spirit. He's a very good guy. He's a very good person and he really cares about him teammates and cares about his team.”
As far as who “they” in the “they're really trying to bring him down” is, Penn apparently didn't say. Could be the media, I suppose.
Meanwhile, the Buccaneers reportedly tried to keep Freeman away from a team meeting earlier this week. But, as the team reportedly is trying to trade him, Freeman practiced Wednesday.
“Just because this may not be the place for Josh doesn't mean his career is over,'' guard Davin Joseph said. “He has all the tools in the toolbox and it's all about finding the right fit. He's worked his tail off here. It's not uncomfortable right now. It's going to be uncomfortable if there's a point where he's no longer here. Tampa Bay and Josh Freeman are like rice and beans, almost.''
A dish that has gone rotten in just the past few weeks.
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