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Monday, May 21, 2018
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Martin Fennelly Columns

Fennelly: QB change won't end Bucs circus

Did the Bucs make the right decision to bench Josh Freeman this week and replace him with rookie Mike Glennon?

It's a start

Total Votes: 1908

TAMPA — This circus isn't ending anytime soon.

Josh Freeman was simply the first guy shot out of a cannon.

Yeah, maybe Greg Schiano could have let Freeman play Sunday against Arizona.

But he couldn't take that chance.

I mean, what if Freeman had won?

Why, it would have messed up the plan.

This isn't about rookie Mike Glennon, though he takes over.

Schiano simply didn't want Freeman to be the Bucs' quarterback. He didn't trust him. He didn't believe in him. It crept into this franchise and festered. This wasn't a panic move. It was premeditated.

And so the rest of this tattered season is a referendum — on Schiano more than Glennon.

Who trusts and believes in this coach?


This team is in disarray. It goes beyond 0-3, beyond the coach-quarterback disconnect. There are all those bubbling stories, rumblings, meetings and problems. They're not going away.

Wednesday, Bucs offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan said you can't blame one player.

Guess what?

The Bucs just did.

Understand, as lame ducks go, Freeman had become a virtual delicacy. When your team has won once in nine games stretching back to last season (which is when Schiano decided, if you ask me), when you're completing only 45 percent of your passes, when you're the 33rd-ranked quarterback in a 32-team league ...what have you done to keep the fork out of your rump?

Schiano insisted that the decision to give Freeman the hook was strictly “performance-based.”

But there has to be more there, maybe something off the field, because how can you talk about performance-based ... then turn to a rookie who hasn't performed at all?

Granted, we haven't taken into account Schiano's long track record of developing NFL quarterback prospects while at Rutgers.

When you find one, call me.

Fact: Josh Freeman has done more as an NFL quarterback than Schiano has done as an NFL coach. Mind you, I'm just thinking in terms of performance-based ...

Maybe the head coach has bought himself time, to break in a new quarterback.

But is that why Carl Nicks was brought here? Vincent Jackson? To be wet nurses? Did Darrelle Revis sign on ... to help ease a rookie QB into the job?

I wonder what the Island must be thinking right about now.

This organization is a wreck.

If Schiano didn't think Freeman was his guy, and I think he decided a lot earlier than Tuesday, he should have pulled the plug.

The Bucs should have secured a veteran quarterback, maybe even Carson Palmer, who is now with the Cardinals and who'll face the Bucs on Sunday.

Instead, you have a team that was built to win now ... that won't win now. You've brought in these playmakers, spent all that money ... so you can start over at quarterback.

You know Freeman isn't your guy, but you go trade a first-round draft pick to get Revis?

That makes no sense at all.

The Bucs don't know which way they're going. That goes for the head coach, too.

I'm not saying Freeman wasn't fragile. But did the Bucs do everything, exhaust all options, to get the very most out of him?

Not even close.

Greg Schiano decided, a while back, that Josh Freeman wasn't his guy.

And now Freeman isn't, officially.

He's just another act in a circus that isn't close to done.

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