The team's first-year coach told reporters Monday he believes Freeman someday will win a Super Bowl, but he hinted the Bucs (7-9) might bring in new bodies at the position in 2013.
"The one thing I do believe in is competition at every spot, including the quarterback, so I want to have as many good players on our football team as we can at every single position," Schiano said, per the Tampa Bay Times. "It's a little different in the NFL."
Pressed on if he was "all-in" on Freeman, Schiano stopped a few yards short of full support.
"That's a question that, again, I'm not all in with myself yet, so how could I me all in with Josh Freeman or any other player?" Schiano said. "I'm not side-stepping you, but I need to evaluate.
"What I can say is, a 4,000-yard passer, a touchdown record -- there's a lot of things you say, 'Wow.' Are there things that frustrate you? Yeah. There's things that frustrate him, too. And I'm not ducking the question, because quite frankly, I really like Josh Freeman. But I want to make sure I don't get ahead of my skis at all here and really evaluate every single thing to what's best for this organization.
"Do I think Josh Freeman is going to win Super Bowls in this league? I do. So I hope that happens here. But again, at the end of the day, I have to evaluate everything before I can say that's what we're doing."
Freeman seemed to be two different players in 2012. He was remarkable at times during the Bucs' 6-4 start, but he crumbled down the stretch, tossing nine of his 17 interceptions over the final three games.
Greg Cosell has studied the four-year pro closely. The NFL Films guru doesn't doubt Freeman's athleticism but has consistently remarked on the passer's erratic accuracy and sluggish decision-making. We saw a little bit of everything this season, and Freeman remains a mixed bag.
Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.