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Donald Penn on Josh Freeman: “They’re really trying to bring him down”


Tampa Bay Buccaneers tackle Donald Penn considers himself close friends with quarterback Josh Freeman. It’s made the debacle of Freeman’s status (or lack thereof) with the Buccaneers even more difficult to deal with over the past several weeks.

Penn joined Bill Polian and Alex Marvez on SiriusXM NFL radio on Tuesday and shared his thoughts on the Freeman situation.

“It’s just real tough. I feel bad for Josh being put in this situation,” Penn said. “You know, the stuff that came out yesterday [regarding Freeman’s status in the league’s substance-abuse program]and stuff like that, it’s like they’re really trying to bring him down and Josh is a great guy. Josh is a very humble spirit. He’s a very good guy. He’s a very good person and he really cares about him teammates and cares about his team.”

Penn said Freeman has handled the issues like a pro and “hasn’t said one negative thing” about the situation to his teammates.

“I really do feel bad for Josh with all this stuff that’s going on,” Penn said. “You can’t put the blame on Josh. There’s 11 men on the field when we play. It’s not just the quarterback.”

Penn said he was “a little worried” about Mike Glennon taking over the offense in place of Freeman last week against Arizona but thought he handled the game well. Despite the rift between the front office and Freeman, Penn said Freeman is talking to Glennon and is still trying to help him out.

The Buccaneers have lost their first four games of the season with the only sizable defeat coming at the hands of the New England Patriots. In their other three losses, they’ve lost by a combined six points. Penn said regardless of what happens with Freeman in the future they have to find a way to not let it affect them so they can start winning games.

“We have to [overcome it],” Penn said. “There’s not no ‘can’ it’s a must. We have to and I think the players know that and we all know that.”