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Donald Penn on Josh Freeman: “They’re really trying to bring him down”


Tampa Bay Buccaneers tackle Donald Penn considers himself close friends with quarterback Josh Freeman. It’s made the debacle of Freeman’s status (or lack thereof) with the Buccaneers even more difficult to deal with over the past several weeks.

Penn joined Bill Polian and Alex Marvez on SiriusXM NFL radio on Tuesday and shared his thoughts on the Freeman situation.

“It’s just real tough. I feel bad for Josh being put in this situation,” Penn said. “You know, the stuff that came out yesterday [regarding Freeman’s status in the league’s substance-abuse program]and stuff like that, it’s like they’re really trying to bring him down and Josh is a great guy. Josh is a very humble spirit. He’s a very good guy. He’s a very good person and he really cares about him teammates and cares about his team.”

Penn said Freeman has handled the issues like a pro and “hasn’t said one negative thing” about the situation to his teammates.

“I really do feel bad for Josh with all this stuff that’s going on,” Penn said. “You can’t put the blame on Josh. There’s 11 men on the field when we play. It’s not just the quarterback.”

Penn said he was “a little worried” about Mike Glennon taking over the offense in place of Freeman last week against Arizona but thought he handled the game well. Despite the rift between the front office and Freeman, Penn said Freeman is talking to Glennon and is still trying to help him out.

The Buccaneers have lost their first four games of the season with the only sizable defeat coming at the hands of the New England Patriots. In their other three losses, they’ve lost by a combined six points. Penn said regardless of what happens with Freeman in the future they have to find a way to not let it affect them so they can start winning games.

“We have to [overcome it],” Penn said. “There’s not no ‘can’ it’s a must. We have to and I think the players know that and we all know that.”

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41 Responses to “Donald Penn on Josh Freeman: “They’re really trying to bring him down””
  1. jeremywflores says: Oct 2, 2013 12:19 AM

    Mike Schiano is making Lane Kiffin look good. That is not a good thing.

  2. falcons999 says: Oct 2, 2013 12:23 AM

    I fail to see how TB is creating trade value.

    Talk about destroying an asset….

  3. sc711 says: Oct 2, 2013 12:27 AM

    At age 23 the kid has 5 comeback wins and is named an alternate to the pro bowl, kid can play…..I blame Morris and Schiano for being lousy head coaches.

  4. sabatimus says: Oct 2, 2013 12:35 AM

    This Josh Freeman crap is today’s Aaron Hernandez crap.

  5. stlluna7 says: Oct 2, 2013 12:43 AM

    I really felt he is a character guy and I believe that has never been in question and if the Glazers are trying to shut him down and ruin his reputation then they should be ashamed of themselves.

  6. thestrategyexpert says: Oct 2, 2013 12:44 AM

    Arrggh, another mate wants to walk the plank!

  7. ninjapleazee says: Oct 2, 2013 1:05 AM

    Don’t wanna say this but Kharma is a b. When Freeman got drafted his arrogance was off the chart declaring that he was drafted to start during the time when Greise was still their starter. He only got lucky because Greise went down with injury. Humble my ash!

  8. tom48212 says: Oct 2, 2013 1:11 AM

    Penn should not have done the interview. He should be in the film room studying how bad of a job he did on the O line. He allowed guys much smaller than him (one on one) beat him. It is time for him to hang it up.

  9. edelmanfanclub says: Oct 2, 2013 1:17 AM

    I don’t blame Schiano is wrong for benching Freeman, he has played poorly for the first three games and he obviously doesn’t think he gave them the best chance to win. I think the problem is Schiano has lost the locker room due to his ego, which has caused such a poor result from a talented roster. Their defense is good but their offense is pitiful. Dominik can save his ass by cutting Freeman and firing Schiano.

  10. deidunx says: Oct 2, 2013 1:26 AM

    Wait if this is true does that mean all we had about Freeman last week was spin?

  11. arctantheta says: Oct 2, 2013 1:37 AM

    The Bucs are on the hook for more to their coach than their exiled QB. I’d be very surprised (and happy) if they pulled the plug on the former and released the latter. But this is a poorly run organization currently cutting off their nose to spite their face, so I expect poor decision making for the duration. Sorry TB fans, you deserve better.

  12. nathpz says: Oct 2, 2013 1:50 AM

    It’s pretty pathetic how far out of his way Schiano has gone to make Freeman look bad. If I were an NFL player, I’d wonder if he would treat me the same way as soon as he decided he didn’t like me.

  13. borisbulldog says: Oct 2, 2013 1:59 AM

    IS Donald Penn Kellen Winslow Jr’s long lost brother?

  14. earpaniac says: Oct 2, 2013 2:47 AM

    Sounds like Schiano has already lost the locker room. I thought it may happen, but this doesn’t sound good. At all.

  15. hawaiifunfnull says: Oct 2, 2013 3:31 AM

    Schiano is presiding over an absolute clown show. He should be fired immediately. He’s already destroyed the 2013 Buc team and has now graduated to seriously damaging the Buc brand. A complete farce from top to bottom.

  16. connormyboy says: Oct 2, 2013 5:10 AM

    Better watch out Donald if Schino hears your on Freeman’s side you could be next,

  17. vtpack says: Oct 2, 2013 5:55 AM

    Donald Penn needs to worry about himself before anyone else. To say he has played horrible this season would be a huge understatement

  18. orivar says: Oct 2, 2013 6:04 AM

    Confirmed, the Bucs are a messed on how they handle situations and it’s effecting everybody. I always wonder how players that witness situations like this stay around. I’m the type of person that I’d want to get out the environment the moments things like what’s happening to Josh start, also have the bad MRSA handling, etc.

  19. thehuddleisondeathrow says: Oct 2, 2013 7:09 AM

    Fire Schiano!! Fire Dominik! End this circus and move on. We are the laughingstock of the league & its embarrassing.

  20. selmonfan63 says: Oct 2, 2013 7:17 AM

    Interesting comments from Penn considering he looked like a turnstile against the Arizona defense.

  21. realfootballfan says: Oct 2, 2013 7:25 AM

    Hmmm, doesn’t sound like the partying malcontent Schiano and his lackeys have tried to paint him to be. Who to believe, this player who was as low key as you could imagine prior to recently or the coach who’s nasty reputation precedes him. Hmmmm.

  22. trilbilly says: Oct 2, 2013 7:33 AM

    The players know who’s responsible for this mess. I doubt there’s anyone in that locker room that trusts or believes in Schiano if there ever was.

    And as for Mike Glennon, all week long I’ve been hearing interviews with NFL scouts from the combine. Their take on him is that out of the 15 QB’s at the combine he rated dead last. No matter what the measurable, vertical jump, speed or arm strength he was 15th out of 15. Nice pick Greg!

    Schiano needs to go ASAP!

  23. billsfan85 says: Oct 2, 2013 7:39 AM

    Schiano is a joke of a coach. What they are doing to Freeman is disgusting

  24. qdog112 says: Oct 2, 2013 7:59 AM

    The Tampa Bay players should collect money from the players and the captains should present coach Schiano a bus ticket back to New Jersey.

    If they’re afraid to do it at a team meeting, they should have it left on his desk. One more loss and things will begin to really smell. A mutiny can’t be far off.

  25. luvbucs says: Oct 2, 2013 8:32 AM

    Most of us know what’s up & we’re in it with the team 100% , I personally feel badly about what happened to Josh & am wishing him the very best. I also have said things out of frustration & wish I could take them back !! I love our Bucs & nothing will end that ,( not even my adult son , haha,) if you are reading – but just letting you know DPENN 70 , We are riding out this storm together !! GO BUCS !

  26. klutch14u says: Oct 2, 2013 8:46 AM

    Seems like a situation comes up like this every year or 2 and in EVERY ONE of those they just end up letting the guy go. Can’t the Bucs just pay attention to history and cut the guy already? What a distraction

  27. evilglazers666 says: Oct 2, 2013 8:51 AM

    I wouldn’t expect anything less from the classless Glazers and Schiano.

  28. tubad4ya says: Oct 2, 2013 8:58 AM

    What the Bucs are doing to bait Freeman into a suspension is a travesty. Schiano has turned this organization into a dumpster fire. It’s an utter disgrace to both their own fans and the league. The sooner this house is gutted, the better.

  29. myopinionisrighterthanyours says: Oct 2, 2013 9:18 AM

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! Freeman is the anti-christ. And sad thing is half the fans in Tampa are buffaloed into believing it. The sooner Schiano is shown the door, the better.

  30. climbinghigherexpectingmore says: Oct 2, 2013 9:26 AM

    The ability to judge someone without fact or evidence, isn’t that defined prejudice? Might be wise for the investigation to reveal who actually leaked the info. Could be Freeman’s agent, looking to screw Bucs out of any trade chance and force them to cut him. That way he gets to negotiate a contract while a team still thinks they can do a better job of coaching Freeman instead of playing out a try and see approach till end of year. Advantage: Freeman and agent. Of course that opinion does not support evil Bucs theology. I seem to remember the captain vote as being improperly assumed, as well the inactive status. When all is said and done it becomes evident Freeman earned these decisions by his conduct.

  31. barneyrumble says: Oct 2, 2013 9:42 AM

    And that my friends is how you divide a locker room.

  32. zam1104 says: Oct 2, 2013 9:56 AM

    It’s amazing how many opinions people have without any facts to back it up.

    When Penn says “they’re really trying to bring him down”, the “they” is you media and rumor mongering fans and guys like Mortensen who violate a person’s privacy in order to be first to tweet about it.

    It’s a pathetic display and you media people should be ashamed. This is the career and lifework of real human beings like Freeman, Schiano, Dominik and even the Glazers and you treat it like they are charactors on Lost or something.

  33. klm0331 says: Oct 2, 2013 10:23 AM

    Bill Cowher or Brian Bellichick IS STILL AVAILABLE let’s make the move befor Jacksonville does.

  34. broncostevenp says: Oct 2, 2013 11:28 AM

    Schiano needs to go for sure…I live in Tampa and hate the guy…and I’m not even a Bucs fan. That crap he pulls on the kneel downs is just bush league. The Bucs would be way better off firing Schiano and keeping Freeman. QB’s with his skill sets are harder to find than good coaches. If the Bucs hired Cowher I think Freeman would improve greatly.

    Freeman needs to grow up, but once he does, I think he could be a star.

  35. packersarethebest says: Oct 2, 2013 11:31 AM

    Wow – don’t mess with Schiaron; he’s as vindictive as a scorned woman!

  36. cheapglazers says: Oct 2, 2013 11:49 AM

    [stlluna7 says: Oct 2, 2013 12:43 AM
    I really felt he is a character guy and I believe that has never been in question and if the Glazers are trying to shut him down and ruin his reputation then they should be ashamed of themselves.]

    The Glazers have no shame.

  37. mogogo1 says: Oct 2, 2013 12:04 PM

    Seriously, how did it get to this? Teams bench QBs all the time. And it almost never turns into this sort of mess…largely because it makes no sense to destroy a guy’s image when you’re trying to get something for him in a trade. Schiano may be the worse coach in NFL history.

  38. granadafan says: Oct 2, 2013 1:02 PM

    Both sides have acted and behaved badly. The relationship is clearly unrepairable. Cut or trade him ASAP. The problem is, the Bucs have done everything to hurt their negotiating position by ruining his trade value. Teams will offer a case of beer (mass produced domestic crap, not quality craft beer) for Freeman at this point, and the Bucs would be lucky to get that.

  39. sclobernocker47 says: Oct 2, 2013 2:20 PM

    Penn clarified today that “they” was I’m fact the media, and not the Buccaneers.

    But hey, if you (media) ain’t cheatin, you (still media) ain’t tryin!

  40. wallskol86 says: Oct 2, 2013 3:44 PM

    Getting tired of this. If the Bucs don’t want him. Drop him. Separate the team from the drama.

  41. i10east says: Oct 2, 2013 4:18 PM

    Mutiny on the high seas. #laughingstockfranchise

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