Have questions about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Send them along to Tribune beat writers Roy Cummings and Ira Kaufman.
Q. Any truth to the rumor that coach (Greg) Schiano is “not sold” on Josh Freeman? All the coach's public statements support Freeman as the Bucs’ guy. Despite some inconsistency - and a couple of really bad games down the stretch - Josh performed well last year, not to mention that spectacular midseason streak when he was awesome. At least three or four losses were due, not to poor play by Freeman, but to the collapse of the pass defense late in the games.
How about some comparison of Josh’s performance to today's “elite” QBs at a similar stage of their careers?
- Carl Weekley, Lake Placid
A. I’ve heard the unsourced reports suggesting Schiano does not support Freeman, but I have a hard time buying them, especially after he’s gone out of his way this offseason – several times – to say Freeman is his quarterback and that he believes No. 5 can lead the Bucs to where they want to go (which I assume is the Super Bowl).
Schiano is right to want more out of Freeman, but I also know from talking to Schiano that after he looked back at last season he felt a lot better about Freeman’s play than he suggested at season’s end. He realizes that Freeman only had a couple of bad games. Now, those bad games need to be turned into good ones, but Freeman, at age 25, isn’t so set in his ways that he can’t make the necessary adjustments.
As for comparisons, the Bucs offered one late last season, just before Freeman had the two meltdown games that soured everyone on him. It showed his passer rating to that point ahead of several notable Pro Bowl quarterbacks.