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Bucs take “C” from Freeman


In the NFC South, one young quarterback has become a team captain for the first time. And another fairly young quarterback has lost his “C” after three seasons of serving in that role.

Via Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times, quarterback Josh Freeman won’t be a Buccaneers captain for the first time since 2009, his rookie season.

The offensive captains, as determined by vote of the players, are receiver Vincent Jackson and guard Davin Joseph.

Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and safety Dashon Goldson will be the defensive captains, and linebacker Adam Hayward has been named the special-teams captain.

Coach Greg Schiano downplayed the team’s decision to elect someone other than Freeman a captain.

“I know one thing: Josh is going to lead,” Schiano told reporters on Friday, via quotes distributed by the team. “Josh is a leader, so I’m not concerned about that. If you look the last two years, Davin didn’t play last year, so, when we voted, Davin was out for the year. The year before, Vincent wasn’t on the team. Those two guys are strong leaders and it just so happens that Josh is on a team with other strong leaders. But I wouldn’t read to that that Josh isn’t a leader. I’ll tell you, to a man, I think every offensive player will say, ‘We follow No. 5.’ So I think it’s a good thing. I guess it all depends how you look at it, but I’m fine with it.”

Here’s how we look at it -- the combination of not signing Freeman to a long-term deal, of drafting Mike Glennon in round three, and of the things said and done during practices, in meetings, and in the locker room caused enough of them to believe that a quarterback change isn’t out of the question, based on how Freeman plays in 2013.

It’s also impossible to rule out the potential influence of he who counts the votes. Not having a “C” affixed to Freeman’s jersey makes it much easier to make a change, if the powers-that-be eventually decide a change is needed.

We’re not saying there was any foul play in the balloting process. But let’s not confuse the vote for captains of a football team with a federally-supervised election. If it’s done via secret ballot, whoever sorts them out can give the title to anyone he wants to have it.

Or, as the case may be, to not have it.