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Greg Schiano says Josh Freeman tried to do too much last year

Josh Freeman, Jason Jones AP

Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman looked like one of the NFL’s rising stars in 2010, throwing 25 touchdown passes and six interceptions as the Bucs went 10-6. Then he looked like one of the NFL’s biggest disappointments in 2011, throwing 16 touchdown passes and 22 interceptions as the Bucs went 4-12. Freeman’s new coach Greg Schiano says his plan for getting Freeman back on track involves getting him to do less.

“Listening to Josh, I get the sense that he tried to make just a little bit too much happen,” Schiano said on NFL Network after the team opened its offseason program on Monday.

In Schiano’s view, Freeman is too hard on himself, and the new coaching staff will be tasked with making sure the whole offense works, and not simply focusing on getting Freeman back to form.

“I don’t think that’s fair — I think that’s a guy that’s putting the brunt of the blame on his own shoulders,” Schiano said. “There were a lot of breakdowns, things that he had no control over. At the end of the day, we’re going to start from scratch. We have a new system, new coaches, new people, and we’re just going to try to build from ground zero, build it up and see where we can go with it.”

A big part of that offensive improvement will be a better running game, which might include drafting Alabama’s Trent Richardson. But Schiano also spoke highly of running back LeGarrette Blount, even though he had put Blount on notice about fumbling, and even though Blount chose not to attend the first day of the Bucs’ voluntary offseason program.

Ultimately, Schiano said, Monday’s first team meeting was about making sure the players know what their new coach expects of them.

“We’re just trying to get them to understand what we expect,” Schiano said. “Most frustration comes from people not being clear what the expectations are.”

And Schiano expects Freeman to get better without trying to do too much.

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17 Responses to “Greg Schiano says Josh Freeman tried to do too much last year”
  1. meatfish66 says: Apr 3, 2012 10:45 AM

    FYI: it’s been confirmed the reason that Blount was not at One Buc Place yesterday is because he is representing the team at the being Nike apparel launch today. So sorry if that spoils the narrative about Blount not being ‘the guy’.

  2. jenniferxxx says: Apr 3, 2012 10:46 AM

    I think he set the modern day checkdown record.

  3. bucforever says: Apr 3, 2012 10:54 AM

    Sounds promising , I am getting excited about this team again. Coach has a plan. Players need to play their part! Go Bucs!

  4. colbrant says: Apr 3, 2012 11:05 AM

    @jenniferxxx

    If by “checkdown” you mean throw a bullet into triple coverage because Kellen Winslow wants the ball, then sure.

  5. amgdds says: Apr 3, 2012 11:15 AM

    Freddy “freddy mitchell” Mitchell thinks thats what happened in freddy mitchell’s whole career

  6. orthomarine says: Apr 3, 2012 11:22 AM

    Josh “One Read” Freeman tried too much? Kids got talent, but cannot read a defense

  7. sterilizecromartie says: Apr 3, 2012 11:26 AM

    Freeman’s actual performance this year was even worse than the stats show. He may have taken over Kyle Orton’s spot as the ultimate “garbage-time” stat guy. I couldn’t tell you how many times he would finish the first half with a statline like 4-12, 55 yards. Then after the opponent is up 21 and drops into a prevent he puts up the large majority of his yards and TDs.

  8. milkmandanimal says: Apr 3, 2012 11:27 AM

    I remember watching games at the end of last year and thinking that a grand total of two people on the Bucs were still playing as hard as they could–Freeman and Adrian Clayborn. Everybody else seemed to be going through the motions at best.

    What passes for optimism these days is at least Freeman was trying last year. Loads of forced balls, but lots of them came with the Bucs getting their butts kicked and him at least TRYING to do something. Most of the team barely even showed up in the latter half of last year.

  9. milkmandanimal says: Apr 3, 2012 11:32 AM

    I remember watching games at the end of last year and thinking that a grand total of two people on the Bucs were still playing as hard as they could–Freeman and Adrian Clayborn. Everybody else seemed to be going through the motions at best.

    What passes for optimism these days is at least Freeman was trying last year. Loads of forced balls, but lots of them came with the Bucs getting their butts kicked and him at least TRYING to do something. Most of the team barely even showed up in the latter half of last year.

  10. blacknole08 says: Apr 3, 2012 11:39 AM

    Freeman really didn’t have a running game down the stretch and no true #1 at wideout. Heck, Earnest Graham was leading the team in catches before he got hurt. Add on to the fact that the defense couldn’t stop you or me running the ball.

    Give him time. He played on a bad team last year. It wasn’t just him.

  11. buccaboo says: Apr 3, 2012 12:14 PM

    Freeman’s problem is actually Winslow. K2 is doing to Freeman what Shockey did to Eli in NY. He is bullying the young QB and pouting when he is not targeted.
    Addition by subtraction would be applicable in this case. Get rid of Winslow add a couple of REAL TE’s.

  12. wecomefromthestars says: Apr 3, 2012 12:16 PM

    I almost fumbled the blount the other day whilst cruisin with my boy SilkyJohnson. Good thing I didn’t have to pull a Leshoure….

  13. 6ball says: Apr 3, 2012 12:20 PM

    .

    Their whole season was “Murphy’s Law ” . I’m hopeful the fans give the new regime a fair chance.

    .

  14. nflfollower says: Apr 3, 2012 12:33 PM

    He bought into his own hype….thought he could make all the throws, when he couldn’t. That’s the translation of “tries to do too much”.

  15. leeeroooyjeeenkiiins says: Apr 3, 2012 12:53 PM

    @bucaboo

    You’re right on target, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we tried trading Winslow to the Bears. Freeman still deserves some blame, but there were a lot of other factors as well, with Win slow, Olson, and the injury to Graham being the biggest.

  16. tundey says: Apr 3, 2012 1:05 PM

    Last week, Jeff Fisher was complaining about players not being allowed access to practice facilities in the offseason. I said then that even fans, along with teams, have gotten into the habit of considering voluntary activities to be mandatory. Or even worse, we consider attendance at such activities as proof of allegiance to our team.

    I was wrong. Even the press have bought into it and this article’s statements about Blount is proof. So when everybody seems to have drunk the kool aid, it’s up to the NFL and NFLPA to ensure that the offseason is observed by making silly rules like the one Fisher was bitching about.

  17. zampft says: Apr 3, 2012 1:25 PM

    Blount did pretty fantastic 2 years ago as well. But it was the DEFENSE that was the problem this last year… they were the worst in Bucs history!

    Even the top level QB’s and RB’s would have had difficulty digging out of the holes the Bucs defense dug in game after game last year.

    FIX THE DEFENSE… the offense will be okay. The offense is upgraded for sure, but unless they get some LB, CB and S help, they’ll be right back in the same boat by end of next year.

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