In the NFL, it doesn’t take long for someone to lose his job. That’s why it’s so important for players, coaches and even executives to be as proactive as possible in maneuvering themselves into the best possible positions.
That’s what Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano appears to be doing in his move to bench starting quarterback Josh Freeman in favor of rookie Mike Glennon.
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com first broke the news that Freeman had been benched by the Buccaneers, and the move raises many questions while answering only a select few. Is this the beginning of the end of the Greg Schiano era? Will Freeman be traded?
Before those questions can begin to be answered, we have to consider what the move means. First and foremost, Freeman has no confidence in his own team, and the decision makers with the Buccaneers clearly have zero confidence in him.
Next, we can’t avoid the obvious appearance that Greg Schiano is simply trying to save his own job. At 0-3, the Buccaneers don’t seem even a little close to making it back to postseason play.
With a disastrous year already well underway, Schiano seems to have abandoned hopes of winning games for a strategy that will give him a leg to stand on at the end of the year when he has to convince the powers that be that he is still the best man to lead the Buccaneers.
Unfortunately, the strategy that gives Schiano a better chance to keep his job means his team will likely suffer. While Freeman has never developed into the quarterback the Bucs had hoped he would become, he’s still miles ahead of most rookies, including Mike Glennon.
The Buccaneers are now in a peculiar situation. Their best quarterback will now be on the bench for the foreseeable future, but there may be a trade market for Freeman, even if it’s not exactly a hot market. Still, one would believe that if the Bucs are rolling with Glennon, they’d want to get rid of Freeman if for no other reason than to avoid the added distraction of an unhappy backup.