On Wednesday afternoon, we reported that the Buccaneers already have conducted a players-only meeting. It happened not after an ugly and undisciplined loss to the Jets in Week One, but before the regular season even opened.
One of the concerns, we reported, was the legitimacy of the vote that resulted in quarterback Josh Freeman losing his role as a captain after three years with the designation.
Former Buccaneers quarterback Shaun King, who now contributes to NBCSN’s Pro Football Talk and still lives in the Tampa area, addressed the issue on Tuesday’s show.
“It speaks to a deeper issue,” King said. “There’s a lot of disarray in Tampa. One of the points being that some of the players felt like there was an unfair counting of the captain vote, feeling like Josh Freeman should have remained a captain. . . . Greg Schiano is a micromanager, and it’s starting to wear thin with some of their veteran players.”
King said the problem is that Schiano comes from a college program that wasn’t highly successful.
“When it comes to college coaches making the transition to the pros, it’s very difficult . . . when the college coach never won anything of significance in college. [When] Greg Schiano was hired, he was 20 games under .500 in the Big East at Rutgers. Those are real numbers, so I don’t think those guys are currently buying into that ‘my way or the highway’ style.”
Ross Tucker, who spent seven seasons in the NFL, shed a little light on the topic, too.
“I talked to guys on the Buccaneers this summer. I said, ‘What’s up with the quarterback kneel-down thing, where you have to dive at the legs?” Tucker said, regarding Tampa’s habit of attacking the offensive line when in victory formation. “They just shook their head. . . . When you ask NFL players to do things that they know is bogus, that they know is bush league, that’s not a good thing.”
So has Schiano lost the team?
“It’s close,” King opined.
“It doesn’t sound good when you have a players-only meeting before the first game,” Tucker added. “I’ve never heard of that.”
The situation reminds us of our report from December 2012 that one of the players said privately, “Can we send these coaches back to college?” This year, the sentiment seems to be percolating a lot earlier.