Bucs coach Greg Schiano believes Josh Freeman can win Super Bowls, but he indicated he would like to provide some competition for the enigmatic quarterback next season, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Freeman became the first Bucs player to pass for more than 4,000 yards and set a club record with 27 touchdowns. But he struggled down the stretch, throwing nine of his 17 interceptions in the final three games.
The Bucs started 6-4 but lost five games in a row before beating the Atlanta Falcons 22-17 Sunday to finish 7-9 in the first season under Schiano. He said he plans to begin an evaluation of all his coaches and players and will be critical of himself. But when asked if he was 'all in,' with Freeman, who has one year remaining on his contract, he stopped short of a ringing endorsement.
“That’s a question that, again, I’m not all in with myself yet, so how could I me all in with Josh Freeman or any other player?'' Schiano said. "I’m not side-stepping you, but I need to evaluate.
"What I can say is, a 4,000-yard passer, a touchdown record – there’s a lot of things you say, “Wow.’ Are there things that frustrate you? Yeah. There’s things that frustrate him, too. And I’m not ducking the question, because quite frankly, I really like Josh Freeman. But I want to make sure I don’t get ahead of my skis at all here and really evaluate every single thing to what’s best for this organization. Do I think Josh Freeman is going to win Super Bowls in this league? I do. So, I hope that happens here. But again, at the end of the day, I have to evaluate everything before I can say that’s what we’re doing.
“The one thing I do believe in is competition at every spot, including the quarterback so I want to have as many good players on our football team as we can at every single position. It’s a little different in the NFL.''