Sullivan Should See The Difference

February 13th, 2012

Former Bucs QB Jeff Carlson is encouraged about what the hiring of offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan could mean for Josh Freeman.

Simply put, Carlson has no love for Josh Freeman’s mechanics and, during an interview on PrimeTime on WHBO-AM 1040, Carlson said Eli Manning’s mechanics are so sound that Sullivan should recognize the contrast as he studies the Bucs’ franchise QB. Sullivan was Giants quarterbacks coach for the past two seasons.

However, Carlson, a longtime quarterbacks coach and analyst, makes no guarantees that Sullivan is a mechanics guy and will recognize Freeman’s troubles. Alex Van Pelt didn’t get it done and should have, Carlson explained.

Joe’s got the audio with all the specifics. Just click the fancy arrow below.

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62 Responses to “Sullivan Should See The Difference”

  1. Fatmosh Says:

    I can only hope our new coaches correct fundamental flaws all across the board, with Freeman’s mechanics probably being the biggest problem.

  2. Big Picture Guy Says:

    Why would the OC concern himself with mechanics of the QB? I thought they had QB position coaches for that sort of thing…..

  3. TheProsUseAdvoCare Says:

    @Big Picture Guy OC = Offensive Coordinator….. Kind of hard to coordinate anything positive if you don’t care about the mechanics of your QB.

  4. Bricen Says:

    So basically saying Carlson might or might not recognize Freeman’s mechanics.

  5. kh Says:

    Well Carlson should apply for the QB coaching gig then.

  6. Brad Says:

    I like Carlson most of the time but for crying out loud, he sounds like Freeman is the first coming of Tebow. Freeman might of threw some passes from his backfoot occasionally and it’s not like Freeman had issues that aren’t easily correctable. Freeman’s mechanics, once a solid coach works with him some, will be easily resolved. Forcing passes to Winslow and Williams will be fixed as well. I see Freeman bouncing back in a big way this year. Personally I think he carried the weight of the entire team on his shoulders. Once he has good coaching and realizes to use his weapons (Blount, Benn nonend around) he will be a great QB.

  7. mainebuc Says:

    Freeman’s mechanics are fine. Poor article.

  8. Vic Says:

    Carlson says anyone can look at Freeman photos in Google and see a QB with a poor release and shoddy mechanics. He’s been writing and saying that for years it seems. Can’t imagine it’s bogus.

  9. Capt.Tim 2.2 Says:

    Two years ago, Freeman showed decent footwork and Balance.

    Last year, his fundamentals got worse each week. Throwing off the wrong foot, no follow thru, often off balance and shoulders/feet not sychrionized.

    It was so bad, you have to re ask all the questions he answered the year before
    ” is he a franchise QB?”
    He did not look the part at all last year.
    Time will tell if 2010 was a fluke

  10. McBuc Says:

    Eli put up a bunch of INTs with his great mechanics…I belive he may have led the lead…winning has a way of allowing people to get by the INTs, and a bunch of TDs to go with it. It is hard to judge anyone after last years mess, they all sucked. In 2009 everyone was all over Freeman, so let’s wait and see before Jeff gets back to his old tricks of ripping on the Bucs. I do not remember Jeff’s mechanics, and most likely none of you do either, since he play3ed a couple snaps with a couple teams. He did make it to the big time though, so he must of had talent…He has not been picked up as a QB coach even though he runs a school. I will wait for the NFL coaches to evaluate him.

  11. McBuc Says:

    Capt, I hate your new screen name! That being said, the entire team took a huge collective step backwards.

  12. McBuc Says:

    Why do you JBF posters rip on Kings oppinions based on his playing time, and gush all over Jeff and ingnore his playing time? Just wondering. King did a great deal more than Jeff in the NFL.

  13. SensibleBuc Says:

    You can see what Carlson is talking about in this vid and in the picture Joe attached to this post. Front shoulder open before he’s ready to release. He looks like El Duque from the Yankees.

  14. BKNYfootballhead Says:

    @ McBuc
    Freeman lead the league in interceptions.
    Freeman was the worst full time starting QB in the league last year. Nobody can name one worse.

  15. TheProsUseAdvoCare Says:

    Hard to not throw off your back foot when stepping forward equates a sack.

  16. SensibleBuc Says:

    @ McBuc

    LOL go back and look at Jeff’s posts. They get after him too about not knowing what he’s talking about. I think everybody on JBF just loves to hate the local media. Can you name one guy who is NOT belittled here?


    I guess everybody loves the Commish!

  17. SensibleBuc Says:

    @ BKNYfootballhead

    Colt McCoy
    Sam Bradford
    Blaine Gabbert


  18. BKNYfootballhead Says:

    I’ll give you Blaine Gabbert.
    McCoy had the same rating as Freeman, but had a better TD:INT ratio. Also, maybe had an even more porous offense than the Bucs.
    Bradford was full time, as he was hurt much of the season.

    I was wrong about Freeman leading the league in INT, Fitzpatrick threw one more.

  19. BKNYfootballhead Says:

    *Bradford wasn’t…sorry
    Gabbert beat the Bucs, btw.

  20. SensibleBuc Says:

    @ BKNYfootballhead

    That’s not what Advanced Statistics say. Freeman surpasses them both in DYAR & DVOA.

  21. Macabee Says:

    BKNY, check your stats on most ints.

  22. Fernando Says:

    Another has been with a negative opinion. Freeman will be fine, the hiring of Sullivan will help.

  23. eric Says:

    everyone used to scream about doug throwing off back foot.

    back footed his way to super bowl.

  24. MTM Says:

    It is a fact that quarterbacks running for their life every down have poor mechanics. How many back foot throws are made under duress. Freeman needs tweaking not a major overhaul.

  25. Patrick Says:

    Can the Glazers just buy out Davis’s contract at UNC and make him the DEFENSIVE Cordinator?! This is becoming a huge joke. The combine is in 9 days and we still don’t have a f’kn DC, when really, our “should be” DC is right here with us.

  26. Drew Says:

    Let’s play the wait and see game. I think he’ll be fine.

  27. K2theSoldier Says:

    LOL did somebody just say Eli Manning and Great Mechanics in the same sentence? What is Carlson smoking? Has he not watched Manning play over the course of his career? Up until this year Manning was notorious for throwing off his back foot. A lot of his interceptions came from poor mechanics. Even this year Eli made a lot of throws off his back foot. BTW, I love Eli Manning and I’ve watched a lot of the Giants, I’m just giving the facts. Over the course of his career Eli has had poor mechanics.

  28. kh Says:

    I agree Capt Tim – his mechanics got worse as the year went on, that’s down to coaching, and I’m pretty sure with Sullivan at the helm, Josh will get better coaching then Greg Olson gave last year.

    The stats arguments are dumb – just b/c Josh had a bad year last year, would you take Rex Grossman over him? No.

    Last year was a write-off for Josh but it was for the whole team, yes he took a step back, but in my opinion he starts with clean slate next year.

  29. kh Says:

    @Patrick, did it ever occur to you that Davis might not want to be bought out from his UNC contract?

    They’ll hire a DC soon, if the Sullivan hire is any indication, their process is working.

  30. K2theSoldier Says:

    And BTW, BKNY, if you’re telling me you’d take Grossman, Tebow, Mccoy, Gabbert, Sanchez, Kolb, Tavaris or Henne over Freeman you’re crazy. That’s a lot of guys that apparently are better than Freeman according to you, and you could only even make an argument for a few of those.

  31. kh Says:

    yup k2, even if you put Brees, Eli or Aaron Rodgers on the Bucs we still would have been awful with our disgusting defense. Conversely put Freeman on the Jets a few years ago and he’s probably been to a Super Bowl already and would be the toast of the NFL. Last year was a complete joke all around & Freeman suffered from it.

  32. SensibleBuc Says:


    If you listen to the soundbite Jeff doesn’t really single in on Freeman throwing off his back foot. Jeff does a good job of zeroing in on Freeman letting his front shoulder fly open before he throws thereby screwing up his accuracy & velocity. Eli does a great job doing this time after time after time correctly and efficiently. I think Jeff has a good point.

  33. Macabee Says:

    Don’t know for sure, coaching may be the culprit. His QB coach from last year, Alex Van Pelt, just took a job as RB coach at Green Bay. Go figure!

  34. eric Says:

    how many guys really change their mechanics after going pro?

    free has been throwing the same way since pee wee ball.

    ever see clips of pro qbs from high school. always looks exactly the same.

    free can throw it. with a little time to a good receiver off a good play call.

  35. gotbbucs Says:

    First things first, we have a very poor pass blocking offensive line. They do not work well as a group at all. They are awful at passing off pass rush games to one another. Now I don’t know if it’s all the o-line because it could be that Freeman is calling out the wrong protections sometimes, but Faine should be able to recognize that when it happens and correct it. None of our left guards are starting caliber and I wouldn’t feel confident with Zuttah starting at center when Faine is released. Penn runs hot and cold, Joseph isn’t a good pass blocker, and Trueblood…well, we all know that story. Until Freeman can actually step up into the pocket and feel comfortable his mechanics will suffer. I’m personally not as big a stickler on throwing motion if it’s not slow, I think footwork is more important.
    I would hate to devote too much more money into the middle of our o-line, but we may have to throw out another $50+ million dollar contract to Carl Nicks if he comes available. If we get a stellar left guard then I would feel alot more comfortable with Zuttah at center and I think Freeman would too.
    Also, the running game must improve, because I think Freeman is alot more comfortable if he can run more play-action sprint outs. He’s more comfortable and confident on the move.

  36. Jeff Carlson Says:

    Decision-making is more than half of playing QB and the most beautifully thrown ball with perfect mechanics, but is half a second late turns into a pick six for the other team.
    Charlie Weiss “developed” Tom Brady and has never played football at all. Mike Sullivan played defensive back and is now credited with Eli Manning’s improvement, even though Eli won a Super Bowl before Sullivan coached him. Neither of them completed a pass–ever. Alex Van Pelt played 10 years in the NFL and Freeman did not get better. Neither way is a guarantee, but Freeman can and should improve his mechanics to improve his consistency and accuracy.
    Tim Tebow threw a perfect post route in OT to win a playoff game for the Broncos, but everyone agrees that Tebow’s mechanics are not top drawer. Does Tebow not need to work on his mechanics and accuracy because he threw a good post one time?
    Joe Montana turned his two sons over to a private QB trainer who never played in the NFL.
    Don’t worry about Shaun King’s or my NFL statistics allowing us to have opinions about current quarterbacks. We watched and learned from players and coaches and our own experiences along the way.
    They are informed opinions.
    Why did Tiger Woods take lessons from Butch Harmon and Hank Haney? I don’t remember either of those guys winning anything on the PGA tour, but they have studied the swing motion for years and for some reason one of the best players of all time listens to these guys.
    I have never sought an NFL or college coaching job because I don’t want one. I don’t want to work like a dog (actually much worse than a dog) for the rest of my life. I like my children. I like spending time with my children more than anything else in this world and football coaches don’t do that very often. Football coaches also change addresses regularly. Most of the new Buccaneers coaches just moved themselves here from New Jersey. Where are their families? Probably still in New Jersey going to school and living their lives. Where will they be in three years? Probably moving back to New Jersey or some other football town with a new job or looking for a new job.
    No thanks, but I will continue to give my WELL INFORMED opinion to those wise enough to listen and read!

  37. stanglassman Says:

    The only game Jeff played well in I remember was a preseason game I went to in Jacksonville when the Bucs kicked the NE Pats bad and Carlson was on fire all game. Guess that’s why NE picked him up the next year. He says he played for the Gaints and Denver but I can’t find any record of that. I agree with trusting a NFL coach judging Free’s mechanics over a TV annalist and self proclaimed expert.

  38. eric Says:

    arent there a lot of good qbs with less than stellar mechanics

    rivers comes to mind.

    kosar looked like a trained gorrilla at times.

    how can a guy like free throw 25 tds vs 5 picks in 2010 and have poor mechanics.

    does not compute.

  39. SensibleBuc Says:


    It’s not like he needs a complete Tebow-like overhaul…but he does need to make some changes. He just needs to be more efficient in his motion because he has WAY too much wasted upper body movement. Look at his best game (statistically at least): 1) Front shoulder is tight 2) He has his feet planted and weight toward the balls of his feet, 3) Throws the ball with conviction because he knows where it’s supposed to go:

    That game is not the norm. Generally, he has a bad throwing motion (slightly sidearm/pushes the ball instead of throwing it/cocks the ball down before throwing it like a baseball player) and throws off his back foot even when he’s not pressured. He can get away w/it because he’s big and strong and super athletic but this year his form completely fell off.

    The good news is that it’s all imminently fixable.

  40. SensibleBuc Says:

    @ Jeff

    Keep fighting the good fight brother. If you’re a student of the game and you’ve put in as much time developing knowledge of the game as you have (both inside and outside of the game) your opinion is just as valid as any Hall of Fame QB.

  41. BKNYfootballhead Says:

    Everybody gets their panties in a wad when Freeman gets criticized.
    Macabee, never do I say I’d take any QB over Freeman, I just state the (near, if not) fact that Freeman was the worst full season QB in the league. Anybody that disagrees is a has been, Fernando.
    You’d think I said your Mamas were ugly.

  42. gotbbucs Says:

    @ Jeff
    Question for you, in Freeman’s case, we have a very young starting QB that obviously has a few problems with throwing motion and footwork. Considering the fact that he has to be the starter and won’t get a chance to work exclusively on the practice field for a couple years and learn behind a veteran, is there a point where you just have to accept that there will be mechanical flaws with him and work harder on the mental part of the game, or is there time for both?

  43. BKNYfootballhead Says:

    Sorry Macabee, it was K2 putting words in my mouth. I did correct myself Macabee, b/f you did.

  44. tonytwocents Says:

    So Jeff, most of the new Bucs coaches will “Probably moving back to New Jersey or some other football town with a new job or looking for a new job in three years”?

    Way to sound optimistic about our new staff.

  45. BigMacAttack Says:

    Well, I’m no expert, but I listen pretty well. I value Jeff’s opinion because of the amount of time he puts into his study and teaching SINCE he left the NFL. I also tend to believe if Josh Freeman was doing everything right then he wouldn’t have had the season he just had. I believe Josh is also a student of the game and willing to put in the work to be great, whatever it takes. I also believe spending a little time in the off season with Jeff, even a couple of weeks could help Josh. Now it may be easy for some of the armchair QB’s here to criticize Eli Manning, but the guy has 2 Super Bowl rings that the Giants would not have if he was not their QB. Eli all but won both of those games on his own in the 4’th quarter, and at the very least was awesome with his play. I don’t know how anyone could have watched those 2 Super Bowls and say Eli sucks. You can suck all season long, but if you get to the Playoffs, run the table (as they did, twice) and come from behind in the 4’th quarter to win, you’re the man in my book. So you guys that hate Jeff can bark and holler, but the guy puts out some good material on this site, just like Steve White did, and we’d all be smart to listen and learn………… and that’s all I have to say about that.

  46. Keith Says:


    Guys at all positions have mechanics issues that are worked on from Day 1 through the rest of their career. It would be one thing if Freeman has been consistent in his three years, but he’s been a virtual interception machine outside of year 2.

  47. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Great post BigMac. I don’t see anything wrong with his mechanics, but that’s probably because I’ve never played football beyond pop warner. I think it would be wise if we actually listened and learned from someone who actually played in the NFL. Regardless of how good he was or how much he played, he is a helluva lot more educated on it than we are (not to mention the fact that I don’t see anyone else on here who even sniffed an NFL field). Can Freeman not work on his mechanics and still be a good NFL QB? Probably. However, how much better could he be if he actually had good mechanics? I would venture to say considerably better.

    Correct me if I’m wrong Jeff (I’m speaking from basketball experience), but isn’t it very difficult to change someone’s mechanics at this point in their career? I would imagine muscle memory would be pretty strong, so it would be very difficult to change. It would be kind of like me trying to change my shooting form. Even if I were able to successfully change it, there would be a lot of struggling while I was working on it. Wouldn’t that be very difficult for him, as I would think he would be not only having to focus on opposing defenses trying to kill him, but trying to make sure his mechanics are sound?

  48. Macabee Says:

    BKNY, relax my friend, I’m not criticizing your opinion and you’re right, I apologize, I didn’t see your correction before I posted. I think Freeman needs work too, but I think the majority opinion here is that his problems appear to be correctable and perhaps Sullivan can help him. I personally thinks he stares down his intended receivers too often and he has a tendency to overthrow his receivers or throw high. I’m no expert here, so I will concede to those who know more about mechanics and the technical aspects of his position. Just my opinion and as always,opinions don’t have to be right!

  49. McBuc Says:

    @ Jeff C…Good points

  50. Fatmosh Says:

    …and Jeff lays the smackdown. Well done 🙂

    Anyone saying Freeman needs no help with his mechanics isn’t paying attention. LOTS of QBs tweak their mechanics when they get to the pros (see: Rodgers, Aaron).

    He doesn’t need a complete overhaul, but he does need to be coached on the finer points that can lead to inaccurate passes. Not a huge deal, but one that needs to be corrected if he wants to progress.

  51. raphael Says:

    @J Carlson and S King …. Freeman is a better QB than both of you guys combined ! I suppose 2010 his mechanics were off …

  52. Pete Dutcher Says:


    1) Last off season you insisted Freeman needs a QB Coach with qb experience. The same the year before. This lack of continuity is why you failed in pro football

    2) Time with kids did seem to matter when you were playing

    3) How many QB’s that you tutored are nfl starters?

    4) How many NFL QB coaching jobs have you rejected?

    5) If NFL experience doesn’t matter why do you think the new staff will be looking for work in 3 years?

  53. Bucnjim Says:

    I think it’s way less complicated than everyone is making it out to be. Take a 23 year old KID at QB and take away all off season training; then add a little over confidence and the result will be the same every time. Young players need structure to grow and become professionals at the NFL level. Last year there was no structure or teamwork. Just a bunch of individuals trying to do too much.

  54. micronole Says:

    Mechanics can absolutely be changed and improved. Perfect example is Aaron Rodgers. Listen to Phil Simms talk about Rodgers’ improvements after being with Mike McCarthy for a couple of off seasons. The guy practically overhauled is throwing motion.

  55. Josh Says:

    Even Brady would have looked as bad as Freeman last year down 14 points five minutes into the start of every game. Down 14…time to pass. There was no mystery with what the offense was doing. The whole team let Freeman down counting on him to win in the fourth, and when he couldn’t he got called out by his coach after the game to the media.
    Can’t wait for next year.

  56. McBuc Says:

    I understand Jeff knows football way better than I do, only a fool would think otherwise. He also gave great points in his rare rebuttle on these pages. I just remember his Bay News 9 days with the post game show, it always seemed he had a negative take win or lose. I do admit he has written some great articles for the Joes. I just am amuised at the people that bask king for his playing time, and praise Jeff for his studies take on the QB position. Both of these guys proved that they are great athletes by making it to the NFL, and no one can take that away. They both are also negative most of the time, and I guess that helps sell to the general public.

    Jeff, why not go with a half full stance. The new coach will help improve Freeman’s mechanics and over all game. Thaty would work, but instead it is all about him noticing the difference between the great Eli and Freeman.

  57. BigMacAttack Says:

    Pete, have a hard night buddy? Pretty harsh, don’t you think?

    There really is no such thing as failure in the NFL when you consider how hard it is to get there, and how few ever make it to begin with. Getting to the NFL and collecting a real check is a win.

    It really irks me when people slam coaches that work with kids, because so many of them do it for free, and even those that get paid usually don’t make much. The long hours of preparation it takes to make these kids successful is staggering. We’re talking about first being able to motivate kids that aren’t getting money and who knows what type of home they live in. I have personally seen this over the years as my wife has been an Allstar & Pop Warner Cheerleading Head Coach for over 15 years. These girls are her kids from the time they start until they are adults with kids. Ask Rachel Watson. They mould and shape these kids and instill qualities that last a lifetime. It is a gift and Jeff is no different, I am sure, so, Pete buddy, I like you but you are way off base with Carlson and that post. If as one coach, you change the lives of 20 or 30 kids each year, after year, I’d say you are far more successful than any NFL player and all their on field accomplishments, because you are building for tomorrow.

  58. eric Says:

    Silly idea I know, but I wonder what sort of kings ransom the Skins would give for Freeman.

    Herschel Walker type of trade?

  59. Dave Says:


    No. Freeman can be the man for the next decade.

    The team needs coaches and speed.

    As for a Walker type trade, no team will ever do that again.

    It really is unbelievable to me how so many want to throw a player or a caoch under the bus for one bad 2.5 month stretch. I came on board with the raheem needs to be fired, but at least I gave him a chance ofr awhile, inlike many others.
    As for the players, MANY are very good and with the right coaches will improve. Some have to go over the next 1-2 years.
    BUT, this notion of throwing players away so quickly is asinine.

  60. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Pete and Rafael have obviously never been athletes, because they don’t respect how good you have to be to even hold a clipboard in the NFL. I played my whole life, busted my arse actually, playing basketball. I was only able to sit the bench for a teeny tiny college. These guys are all superstars in high school and college. Where did you guys play? You really have no idea what you are talking about, and to be honest, you sound stupid. I’m actually quite surprised Jeff even bothers acknowledging you, because I sure as hell wouldn’t if I were him.

  61. Capt.Tim 2.2 Says:

    Freeman regressed so badly this year, he is a complete overhaul.

    I think trading him isn’t out of the question. We take a QB high, and add a couple more first round picks.

    Freeman may take a year to get back to basics.

  62. eric Says:


    Your totally right about that. Anybody who stepped on the field in an NFL game is awesome. Or, even made a 53 man roster. Getting invited to a training camp is a hell of an accomplishment.