Although this drama is not playing out in New York or another major media market city, the move to bench Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman continues to draw criticism by some. This morning, former Buccaneers QB, and now NBC Sports employee Shaun King made his rounds around various media outlets to try to discredit the current Buccaneers front office and coaching staff.
King made his first appearance on the NFL Network morning show. He later appeared on the Tampa Bay area sportstalk channel, WDAE. After trashing head coach Greg Schiano on the league’s network morning show, he continued on the local sports channel by apologizing for Josh Freeman. He called the current Buccaneers coaching staff and front office dysfunctional. He claims that Josh Freeman, after 60 career starts, has not had the support that he needs to further develop his career. You can listen here.
King goes as far as to say that the Buccaneers have screwed Freeman up so bad, that he should start seeing a sports psychologist. Maybe that’s the case, maybe that’s what he needs but after 60 career starts, there is a pretty good read on what Freeman’s abilities are and his inability to deal with adversity shines through.
King played for the Buccaneers for four seasons, then once released, he drifted around the league joining the Detroit Lions, Indianapolis Colts and the Arizona Cardinals. He joined the arena league Las Vegas Gladiators in 2007 and eventually made his way north of the border to the Hamilton Tiger Cats in the CFL. In his career which spanned 1999 through 2007, King posted a career 4,566 passing yards with 27 touchdowns and 24 interceptions. After finishing his professional football career, he has meandered through various sports outlets.
In 2008, according to his Wiki page, King made the comment on “The King David Show” in Tampa based 1010AM, that he and other African-American quarterbacks such as Dante Culpepper, Aaron Brooks, and Byron Leftwich weren’t finding work in the league, and that was “outside of normal”. Couldn’t have anything to do with the fact that Culpepper was not back from a knee injury, Leftwich had a windup for his delivery that made Tim Tebow look like Dan Marino while Brooks and King just were not NFL caliber quarterbacks?
King has been very vocal about the Buccaneers after being jettisoned from the team after 2003. He was on NBC Sports, his current employer in preseason of 2011, dissing Jon Gruden and what the team has done since Tony Dungy was released. He also strongly believed that Raheem Morris would be retained in 2012.
He seems bitter over his lack of a highly successful NFL career. Yes, he does have a Super Bowl ring from the 2006 Colts, but he contributed nothing to that, he was a backup that was added mid-way through the season for Peyton Manning. King seems to hold a deep seeded resentment to the Buccaneers organization.
If he were such a great analyst of the NFL and scouting talent at quarterback, he’d realize that the Buccaneers needed to move on from Josh Freeman despite his “potential”. If you don’t realize potential after 60 games in the NFL in this day and age, it’s time to move on regardless of his deep animosity towards the organization that first drafted him.
Another former NFL quarterback with a more impressive resume lined up this offseason to weigh in on Josh Freeman. Fran Tarkenton. His take-”He plays just God awful.” Listen in.