The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have entered full-blown media circus mode. Everything's going to get blown out of proportion, but a lot of that is because the Buccaneers have allowed silly stories to turn into bigger issues simply because of the way they've handled. Which means they now need damage control on, ehm, Josh Freeman oversleeping once.
In today's press conference, Greg Schiano noted that Josh Freeman indeed overslept for the team photo, and then immediately dismissed that as not being all that relevant. Instead, he talked about the close bond he and the quarterback have, and how he trusts Josh Freeman.
So, we've entered damage control mode. A collection of relevant tweets.
Bucs DE DaQuan Bowers says the players only meeting had nothing to do with captains votes or Freeman missing the team photo.— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) September 12, 2013
Bowers on Freeman missing the team photo: "Things happen. I'm not sure why he missed it but I'm sure it was something he couldn't help"— Tom Krasniqi (@TKras) September 12, 2013
Bucs special teams captain Andrew Economos, who called the players only meeting, said it was more of a pep rally.— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) September 12, 2013
#Bucs RG Davin Joseph denies any rigged captain voting: "If there's a vote tally scandal thing going on, I have no idea"— Tom Krasniqi (@TKras) September 12, 2013
The player who called the Bucs player only meeting last week says no concerns over captains vote was raised during the conclave— Roy Cummings (@RCummingsTBO) September 12, 2013
The Bucs players only meeting was called by LS Andrew Economos who said it was more of a pep rally than a gripe session.— Roy Cummings (@RCummingsTBO) September 12, 2013
#Bucs RG Davin Joseph stands behind QB Josh Freeman: "I'm happy he's our quarterback. I wouldn't take anybody else"— Tom Krasniqi (@TKras) September 12, 2013
Freeman says he has missed some isolated things in the last. "I overslept point blank."— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) September 12, 2013
Freeman said missed photo isn't why he isn't a team captain. Talk of him not being a captain takes away from the honor of the ones chosen— Pewter Report (@PewterReport) September 12, 2013
Freeman said the Bucs' players-only meeting was team-bonding stuff and nothing negative.— Pewter Report (@PewterReport) September 12, 2013
Keep in mind that this is day-after stuff, and part of the team's public relations damage control. That doesn't mean anyone here lied, necessarily, but they're surely putting the most positive spin they can on everything to mitigate the circus that has emerged over the past days.
It's fine to be critical of unnamed sources and anonymous reports. We don't know how overblown any of that stuff is. But if you're skeptical of the journalists, it also pays to be skeptical of the players. They have much more to gain by fabricating things than journalists do, whose careers are generally built on accuracy.