Buccaneers center Jeff Faine, the team’s NFLPA* representative, is raising some eyebrows in Tampa for his inconsistent stance regarding the value of player-led lockout workouts. The folks at JoeBucsFan.com have pieced together Faine’s past and present words on the subject.
For starters, and as we pointed out not long after the comments were made, Faine expressed pessimism regarding the ability of the team’s quarterback to marshal the troops.
“You’re not going to see Josh Freeman and our receiving corps down at the University of Tampa soccer field,” Faine told Rick Stroud of the St. Petersburg Times. “They might go out there and run some routes and throw. But you’re talking about getting an entire receiving corps together being able to work against an entire defensive backs corps. It’s just not going to happen.”
And, of course, it’s now happening. Even though Faine has passed on the opportunity to participate.
“I was actually invited,” Faine recently told WQYK in Tampa. “I guess they wanted me to come snap the ball a little bit and block air. But I decided my time was best served in the weight room than making sure that our snaps were still good.
“They’re definitely putting in some work. These guys are out there throwing the ball. It’s good. It’s great for our young receivers and our young franchise quarterback to be able to get together and throw the ball around the yard a little bit and spend a little time together. They’ll hopefully be able to basically supplement what we’d normally be doing. But of course it definitely isn’t replacing the amount of work we’d normally be putting in, and that’s something that’s definitely going to be missed this upcoming season.”
Faine sings a slightly different tune when raving about the Saints’ chances to rule the division if the lockout wipes out the entire offseason program and chews into training camp.
‘I think that New Orleans, especially, with the pieces that they’ve had in place for some time,” Faine said. “Not much change. You’ve got a hell of a quarterback that’s leading his team in an offseason program. Those guys have played together for some time. They’ve had the same coordinator in Sean Payton and also the head coach for some time.”
It’s hard not to get the feeling that, if Drew Brees had invited Faine to work out with the Saints, Faine would have accepted in a heartbeat. If Freeman has developed that feeling, things could get very interesting in Tampa once the lockout ends.