Commentary | History says Greg Schiano's double talk doesn't bode well for Bucs QB Josh Freeman

adell@bradenton.comMay 22, 2013 


Greg Schiano said all the right things as if he had his hand on the Vince Lombardi bible for NFL head coaches.

Josh Freeman is his quarterback, the Tampa Bay Buccaners' head coach insisted at this week's OTAs.

He drafted Mike Glennon in the third round because he wants competition at every position. People around the country have misconstrued remarks he made regarding the Bucs' quarterback situation, Schiano lamented.

The coach is tailoring his comments to fit his audience and what he didn't say this week might be more important.

Freeman should be planning his exit strategy and a way to make the Bucs pay for their head coach's lack of trust in him.

Here are some good reasons Freeman shouldn't put much faith in Schiano's comforting words: Bill Belichick, Drew Bledsoe-Tom Brady; Kurt Warner-Marc Bulger; Joe Montana-Steve Young; Roger Staubach-Craig Morton; Drew Brees-Phillip Rivers; and throw in Phil Simms-Jeff Hostetler.

Even if Freeman has a great year next season and the Glazers throw a ton of money at him, there is no guarantee he's Schiano's guy.

They are friends and both said they talk about many things, including life off the field. That's warm and fuzzy, but it has nothing to do with whether Schiano believes he is the best guy to lead his offense.

This is a fickle love affair that is a few interceptions away from imploding.

Schiano told National Football Post that he has loved Glennon since he tried to recruit him out of high school for Rutgers.

Schiano added Glennon will play "only if he is needed or wins the job."

As votes of confidence go, that comes as a double-edged sword.

Freeman says he loves having Glennon around, just like Mark Sanchez said he welcomed Tim Tebow.

In the NFL, friendships don't mean a lot when the backup QB comes off the bench, wins games and provides the head coach with job security.

So when Schiano says Freeman is his quarterback, we need an interpreter.

What he didn't say Monday is that he thinks he can do better with someone else and doesn't have that much patience.

Quarterback controversies can be deadly silent.

Schiano is good friends with Belichick and looks to the New England Patriots coach for advice.

That is Freeman's worst worry because Belichick can love you and play the grim reaper with your NFL life without flinching. Bucs receiver Tiquan Underwood had a few Belichick daggers thrust into his heart when he was yanked from the 2012 Super Bowl less than 24 hours before kickoff.

Belichick and the frugal Patriots signed Bledsoe (the No. 1 overall pick in the 1993 draft) to a 10-year $100 million deal in 2001. You couldn't show more faith in a person! But Bledsoe got hurt in '01 and a guy named Tom Brady (drafted 199th) took over and led the Pats to a Super Bowl title.

Bledsoe's head was on the trading block the next season, so don't think for a minute that Glennon has no shot.

Schiano admitted there is an invisible man out there waiting to take his job. At least Freeman can see those trying to take him out, though it has to be unpleasant to think it might be your head coach.

NFL quarterback controversies go back to the 1940s, when star Bob Waterfield was the NFL's highest-paid signal-caller at $20,000 a year and had to share the job with a rookie fourth-round pick named Norm Van Brocklin.

Remember this: Freeman has never taken the Bucs to the postseason.

If the 49ers can trade four time Super Bowl winner Montana and keep Young, and the Rams can rid themselves of two-time NFL MVP Warner (who won them a Super Bowl) for a guy named Bulger then why should benching Freeman for Glennon cause a ruffle in the trees?

Alan Dell, Herald sports writer, can be reached at 941-745-7080, ext. 2112. Follow him on Twitter at @ADellSports.

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