Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman missed last week's annual team photo because he overslept and defended coach Greg Schiano against a report claiming that Schiano fixed the voting for team captain to prevent him from being honored.
Schiano said the team has moved past the team photo controversy, according to ESPN.com.
"That was dealt with by me internally, and we've moved on," Schiano said. "That was a long time ago in football days. That's all that was to it. He overslept and missed a picture."
Freeman admitted that he overslept.
"I know exactly how (it looks)," Freeman told The Tampa Bay Times on Thursday. "Quarterback is a position of leadership, and obviously, missing the team photo is a big deal. It's something I feel badly about, and it's obviously upsetting. But at the same time, I've got to put it behind me and get ready to play."
Tampa Bay takes on the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.
Schiano said there was a players-only meeting last week but denied that players suspected the voting for captains was rigged by him.
"I was not aware of any questioning on the captain's vote because there isn't any," Schiano said.
Several players said the team meeting did not include anyone mentioning the voting for captains.
Veteran long-snapper Andrew Economos said he called the team meeting and that it served more as a pep rally to start the season off in a positive way.
"I trust the players," Schiano said. "When the leadership of the team wants to talk amongst themselves, I think that's healthy."
Freeman was a captain the last three years. Rumors circulated that Schiano manipulated the voting after Freeman was not elected this year.
"I know there's a story out there," Schiano said. "It's 100 percent false. If there was such a thing as 102 percent, this would be it."
When asked Thursday about the report that Schiano rigged the voting for captains, Freeman defended his coach.
"Coach would not do that," he said.
Freeman said during a radio show Tuesday that his votes for captain went to wide receiver Vincent Jackson and guard Davin Joseph, according to ESPN.
"Everybody wants to make it out like it's a demotion," Freeman said. "I don't look at it like that. They don't look at it like that. Essentially, the conversations, the day-to-day actions are the same."
This could be Freeman's last year as the Buccaneers' quarterback. He is in the last year of his contract and the team drafted Mike Glennon in the third round of this year's draft.
In the season opener, Freeman completed 15 of 31 passes for 210 yards with one touchdown, an interception and he lost a bad snap that resulted in a safety as the Bucs lost to the New York Jets 18-17.