Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano said Monday that he thinks quarterback Josh Freeman will win Super Bowls over the course of his career, but he stopped short of saying that Freeman will continue to be the team’s starter next season.
Schiano was complimentary of Freeman’s season during his postmortem on the Bucs’ 7-9 season, but he also said that he wants to evaluate Freeman before the start of next season to make sure that he’s the right quarterback for the team in the future. Part of that evaluation will be to bring in competition for Freeman in the offseason.
“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,” Schiano said, via the Tampa Bay Times. “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.”
Freeman was all over the place during the 2012 season. He struggled a little early then went on a five-game spurt where he threw 13 touchdowns and one interception before posting consecutive four interception outings in Weeks 15 and 16. The end result was better than 2011, to be sure, but Freeman remains an athletically gifted but erratic quarterback after four seasons.
Next year will be a big one for the quarterback as it is the final year of the deal he signed as a rookie. If Freeman can’t raise his game, he might not get another deal from the Buccaneers and, if Schiano follows through on his plan, he might not even be their starter next season.