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It’s players-only meeting time in Tampa
Posted by Mike Florio on September 11, 2013, 3:42 PM EDT

At a time when the team coached by the son of legendary Buccaneers defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin may or may not have had a players-only meeting, Monte Kiffin’s former team definitely did.


Per multiple league sources, the Buccaneers conducted a players-only meeting in the wake of Sunday’s defeat-from-the-jaws-of-victory performance at MetLife Stadium against the Jets.


The full agenda isn’t known.  One league source tells PFT that the discussion included the raising of concerns regarding the legitimacy of the vote that resulted in quarterback Josh Freeman losing the captain’s “C” from his jersey.




UPDATE 5:40 p.m. ET:  We’re now hearing the meeting actually happened before Week One, which suggests an even deeper level of problems and/or dysfunction.  Former Bucs quarterback Shaun King and former NFL offensive lineman Ross Tucker addressed the situation on NBCSN’s Pro Football Talk, and we’ll be posting the clip here.




Freeman had been a Bucs captain from 2010-12, after starting nine games as a rookie in ’09. That he lost the honor headed into this season was a rather surprising turn of events.


“I know one thing, Josh is going to lead. Josh is a leader, so I’m not concerned about that,’’ Schiano said after the team’s captains were announceed. “It just so happens Josh is on a team with other strong leaders. But I wouldn’t read into that that Josh isn’t a leader. I’ll tell you, to a man, I think every offensive player will tell you, ‘We follow No. 5′.”


The Tampa Tribune reported that prior to losing out in the voting, Freeman actually missed the annual team photo. The Tribune also reported that Schiano emphatically denied anything seedy went on during the process of picking captains.


“That story is 100 percent inaccurate,” Schiano said.


Whatever the case, the growing unrest in Tampa Bay does not reflect all that well on Schiano, and it certainly bodes poorly for Freeman.




There’s been little to no indication that the Buccaneers plan to extend Freeman’s contract beyond 2013, so Glennon, for now, appears to be the future at that position. As the firestorm around Freeman grows, a change at QB could be approaching rapidly.


This story definitely does not seem like it’s headed toward a joyous conclusion for the Freeman-Schiano pairing.





it's embarrassing that we lost to these clowns at all, much more having been swept....actually HANDING them the win at home.


the bucs are a clusterf*ck in the making. we have to sweep these guys. i think by the time we face them the first time, they should be bordering on implosion and we could be instrumental in that happening. by the time they come here they should be just a pile of bones.


when schiano first got there i had this feeling that freeman was going to be on his way out and that schiano wouldn't be around much longer than that. the bucs went from an the argumentative prick in gruden to the players best buddy raheem morris with no disciplinary skills to a big bully in schiano.


i love it. if we can't win, i'll take watching drama in tampa until we do.

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So schiano counted the votes by himself? I say they revote. It is Florida after all. If anyone can rig a vote its the state of Florida.

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There's more!


After reports emerged regarding the Buccaneers’ pre-Week One players only meeting that addressed among other things the legitimacy of the vote for 2013 captains, reports emerged that quarterback Josh Freeman (who lost his “C” after three years wearing it) missed the official team photograph.

Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune appeared earlier this morning on SiriusXM NFL Radio with Ross Tucker and soon-to-be-Hall-of-Famer Derrick Brooks to discuss the situation.
Kaufman addressed his belief that the relationship between the team and its starting quarterback is reaching “critical mass,” explaining that he doesn’t believe the statement amounts to hyperbole.  The problem, per Kaufman, is a perceived lack of commitment to the team from Freeman.
“My information is that it’s not the first time Freeman has been late for or completely missed a team function,” Kaufman said.
With some prodding by Tucker, Kaufman acknowledged that a players-only meeting occurred last week.  While Kaufman initially explained the meeting as an effort to address Freeman’s lack of commitment to the team, Kaufman eventually conceded that, as he hears it, the meeting was aimed at addressing concerns about both Freeman and the coaching staff.
Still, the concerns about Freeman are coming out only after reports surfaced of the players-only meeting that included concerns about the coaching staff.  It’s impossible not to at least wonder whether the Bucs, who declined comment to PFT about the players-only meeting or its contents, have launched a P.R. assault on Freeman in order to take the focus away from potential player concerns about the coaching staff.
Either way, after an offseason of denials it’s becoming more and more clear that 2013 will be Freeman’s last year in Tampa, barring a dramatic and unexpected shift in mindsets and attitudes.
“If the Bucs had a viable option, Freeman might already be replaced,” Kaufman said.
So, basically, the Bucs will stick with Freeman while Mike Glennon engages in a Gale Boetticher-style crash course aimed at getting to the point where he can take over the operation.
By the way, Freeman is due to meet with the media on Thursday afternoon.






lolololol what a dumpster fire.

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I think PFT is blowing this a little out of proportion. If the coach isn't happy with the QB he inherited that wouldn't be a first. The suggestion that he tampered with the voting seems far fetched but that would be a different story.

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I agree, but he beat Ron twice.


maybe once, but ron giftwrapped that game for schiano the second time. tampa didn't earn it. we gave it to them.

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