“It’s not the end of his career. He’s got a lot of football left,” guard Davin Joseph said, while also expressing confidence in Glennon taking over.
“Starting quarterback is a hard job to keep and a hard job to get,” Joseph added, “and I think Mike is up to the challenge.”
The switch caps a tumultuous month in which Freeman missed a team photo shoot on Labor Day, was not voted a team captain for the first time in three years and refuted reports that he was seeking a trade. Throw in his quarterback rating and completion percentage, plus a couple of last-second losses in games in which he and the offense did not perform well, and he’s back on the bench.
And, perhaps headed out of Tampa Bay, with the trade deadline being five weeks away.
It’s been a gradual, but consistent slide toward his possible exit.
Freeman became the first 4,000-yard passer in team history last season, but his inconsistency down the stretch contributed to the Bucs losing five of final 6 games to finish 7-9 and miss the playoffs for the fifth straight year.
The 25-year-old Freeman was the third quarterback selected in the 2009 draft behind Mark Sanchez and Matthew Stafford. He made his first NFL start — a win against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers — after Tampa Bay began his rookie season with seven consecutive losses. The former Kansas State star followed with a breakout season in 2010, when the Bucs went 10-6 but failed to make the playoffs.
Freeman threw for 25 touchdowns and just six interceptions that year, and the future appeared bright — for him, the team and former coach Raheem Morris.
Inconsistent play has dogged him and the Bucs since.
Morris was fired after going 4-12 in 2011, leaving Freeman to learn his third offensive system in four seasons when Schiano was hired last year.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org