Tampa's problems lie with Freeman

Greg Schiano has made questionable calls, but Bucs' issues start with the QB

Updated: September 17, 2013, 12:14 PM ET
By Rivers McCown | Football Outsiders

 Josh Freeman and Greg SchianoJeff Zelevansky/Getty ImagesJosh Freeman has regressed as a quarterback under Greg Schiano in Tampa.

In the broader narrative of Tampa Bay's 0-2 start, with a pair of heartbreaking losses on late fourth-quarter field goals, Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano has been singled out for blame because of the team's audacious number of penalties. The irony of a self-styled disciplinarian leading the team with the most penalties in the NFL -- especially when they are as poorly timed as Lavonte David's 15-yard penalty for hitting Geno Smith out of bounds that put the Jets in position for the winning field goal in Week 1 -- is rich and hard to ignore.

To his credit, Schiano has already accepted blame for the actual problem here: a bogged-down passing game. "It squarely is on me. I'm the head football coach, and … we're not doing things offensively that we're capable of doing -- mostly in the passing game," Schiano said at his Monday news conference. "We have to look at what we're doing coachingwise, what we're doing executionwise, and, again, it falls on me."

But should the blame fall on Schiano or on his quarterback, Josh Freeman?

Rivers McCown

Football Outsiders
Rivers McCown is an associate editor for Football Outsiders.