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.
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.