Josh Freeman benched, Bucs to start rookie Mike Glennon
It only took three games for Josh Freeman reportedly to lose his starting quarterback job in Tampa Bay.
That’s because Freeman will be benched in favor of rookie third-round pick Mike Glennon.
"The main thing for us was the performance of the team the last nine games was 1-8 and that's tough," Tampa Bay general manager Mark Dominik told USA Today on Wednesday. "He hasn't played well. That's a part of it. If you don't have a quarterback in this league, you don't have a shot. We felt like we'd seen enough of what we needed to see."
Though the thought had been that the Buccaneers were looking to make a move away from Freeman, Schiano seemed pretty sure of his team’s direction in February.
"At that point, every year I've been a head coach, I step back and evaluate every phase of our program," Schiano said at the NFL combine. "As a staff, we went through every single player in a series of evaluations. So I made the statement 'I want competition at every position.'
"Josh Freeman is our quarterback. And I believe with Josh Freeman, we'll be able to accomplish our goals."
Freeman is in the final year of his rookie contract, but it seemed like the team was showing little interest in signing him to a long-term deal. Then, the Buccaneers drafted Glennon.
Freeman has gotten off to a rough start this season for his 0-3 squad, completing 45.7 percent of his passes for 571 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. There’s also this:
Josh Freeman has the lowest adjusted accuracy percentage (counting drops as completions etc) of all QBs so far (Peyton Manning tops)— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) September 25, 2013
Partially because of that, Schiano and Freeman seemed headed for a divorce, and CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora wrote recently that the relationship was beyond repair. Freeman also had lost his team captaincy, and though there was a thought that Schiano had somehow sabotaged the vote, that doesn't appear to be true. Schiano, though, did reveal that Freeman had been late to a team meeting, and apparently, that admission didn’t sit well with his quarterback.
"Furthermore, La Canfora wrote, "several executives on other clubs believe Schiano's refusal to ever really endorse Freeman is an attempt to undermine general manager Mark Dominik, who drafted Freeman in the first round prior to Schiano's arrival from Rutgers and who has also worked diligently to add talent to that roster in recent years. Many around the league believe Schiano would like to have full roster control as well, viewing Freeman -- who threw for over 4,000 yards and nearly 30 touchdowns last year -- as a pawn in a would-be power struggle."
Glennon, meanwhile, struggled in the preseason. But despite the idea that Schiano might be on the hot seat and would need the more-established Freeman to play (and play well) in order to save his so-far disappointing tenure in Tampa Bay, Schiano apparently has decided to see if Glennon is the team’s quarterback of the future.
Said Dominik: "I'm happy with his performance and his approach to the game and he works hard. We think we can win this game with him as a game manager.
"The reason we did it now is that we have a home game this week. We have a bye the next week and then we have a home game coming out of the bye.
"Our thought process was like, 'Hey look, some people make the change at the bye week.' We felt it was better for Mike that he has a game he can learn from for two weeks, he can go back and watch. This way he's not just waiting to play."
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