“It Really Hurt Josh”

March 4th, 2012

Despite all the endless chatter about the Bucs adding linebackers, defensive leaders, cornerbacks, a No. 1 wide receiver and more, so much of the Greg Schiano regime and the future of the Bucs simply will be shaped by Josh Freeman’s performance.

There’s no getting around it, especially given the nearly unlimited ceiling on Freeman’s potential, and the fact he has a long way to go to reach it.

Speaking on Movin’ The Chains on SiriusXM NFL Radio last week, rockstar general manager Mark Dominik offered a glimpse inside Freeman’s mindset as No. 5 enters this critical 2012 season.

Pat Kirwan: You know I’m a big fan of Josh Freeman. I must say it four times a day on the radio how much I love the guy and how much I think he has a chace to be a great player, not a good player, a great player. How did he handle personally, last year? Because he’s got a lot of pride. That had to bother him. He may have taken it out on himself quite a bit as well.

Mark Dominik: “It really hurt Josh,” Dominik said. “He’s a really ultra competitive guy. He’s got kind of a quiet demeanor when you’re just sitting around just talking to him. But in terms of football love and passions, it’s deep. And last year was really tough. And certainly once we had to make a tough decision in dealing with the coaching staff, he called me right away and just said, ‘Hey look, I just want to win. I’m going to do whatever I can to help.

“And then when we hired Mike Sullivan, he was through the phone and wanted to talk to him and be a part of it, “How can I get there? What can I be?’ He came in right away when Greg Schiano was announced as head coach, he flew from Missouri and got back here because he wanted to be meet the new coach. He’s been great. Just know how important football is to him, Pat. And as we know, that’s the first step to becoming a great player.”

If you put a gun to Joe’s head and forced Joe to make a call on Freeman, Joe would say that Freeman will bounce back to a top-10 quarterback level in 2012. But Joe would hardly say that with confidence, especially with a first-time offensive coordinator.

26 Responses to ““It Really Hurt Josh””

  1. SensibleBuc Says:

    Top 15 QB easy. Everybody had a bad year. Our exposed/over-their-heads coaching staff is gone. We will obtain some sort of depth to be able to overcome injuries. Should be a better year all around.

  2. Mr. Patrick Says:

    Josh is smart enough to realize how horrible all the things going on around him were. A terribley outdated offensive system, slow recievers who couldn’t get separation and when they did dropped good passes, very poor coaching and game management, always playing from behind and being taken out of your game plan, etc. etc. He just has to look at last year as a learning experience and thank God for all of the changes that are being made. Hang in there Josh.

  3. thibs5599 Says:

    I have faith in Freeman, get the guy a weapon or two combined with some solid coaching he will bounce back.

  4. Josh Says:

    Josh can’t do it alone. Dominik can say whatever he wants, but the last two years the first two rounds and the majority of all picks in the draft have been defense. No free agent additions on his side of the ball. His fullback is a converted late round DE!! His RB was undrafted with no full offseason to learn. His best receiver was a chance in the fourth round again with no real offseason. And everyone wonders why he kept trying to force it to Kellen (who never practices with him). If he is going to get back and improve there must be a few high profile additions for his confidence that he doesn’t have to do it all himself.

  5. Garv Says:

    Josh is obviously committed to being the best he can be here in Tampa, to winning football games. I have no doubts about that or his talent.
    Like others have mentioned, he need to be surrounded with more players who are the same, players he can depend on to deliver when he gives them or gets them the ball…..players who can protect him when dropping back or taking the shotgun snap.

    And I KNOW Schiano knows that and came here knowing the Bucs are committed to their QB getting the help he needs.

  6. TrueBlue Says:

    Freeman has lots of weapons. (could use another running back to complement Blount) They need, and hopefully got, a coaching staff who will have them prepared to play on the opening snap on gameday. I don’t care how good a team you may have, if they are not prepared to play they are going to get beat so badly in the first half that there is little hope of bringing it back in the second. No wonder these guys quit. They had no preparation to guide them at any stage of the game.

  7. Steve From Oregon Says:

    Call me the optimist, but Im very confident in Josh’s ability to bounce back, Im also very comfortable with our new OC.

    My gut tells me, regardless of lack of coaching last year, that we need still need to add a few pieces to really make this offense dynamic.

    Im all for signing Nicks, but the reality is, our weakest piece of the line is Trueblood….he play is horrible, I would much rather see a RG picked up and some cheaper line depth…Have the most expensive guard tandem doesnt mean much when the RG is a turnstyle.

  8. SensibleBuc Says:

    @ Steve

    You mean a RT? Davin is our RG.

  9. 941-Bucs Says:

    Steve. You mean Right Tackle. Davin Plays RG and is dam good. 🙂

  10. tbfan74 Says:

    Freeman just had a bad year all great quarterbacks have one every so often.
    He will emerge as a great player just needs time, the right coaches and some guys that can get down field and open.

  11. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Actually, I thought Trueblood improved toward the end of the season. Whether it was enough remains to be seen.

    I want Nicks, bad…but I want Colston even more. If we could get both I would dream such happy dreams.

    My wish list is:


  12. jon Says:

    QBs better right now in no order. Ryan,Newton,Rodgers,Schaub,E MManning,P Manning,Cassel,Brady,Brees,Vick,Roethlisberger,Rivers.So Freeman is top 13 qb

  13. CycleTim Says:

    Cassel? Please. Problem is there are 3 better in our division #goingtobealongdecade

  14. K1ngAdroc Says:

    Mattie Ryan??? As a Bucs fan, I don’t even need to elaborate.

    Cassel??? no way, That’s why everyone expects Manning to have a arrow on his helmet next yr

    Schaub has a serous injury to rehab. Might be career threatening and won’t be performing at a high level in 2012

    Manning? i hope you are referring to Eli… if so, agreed (BUT he lost coaches and players that might affect his game)

    Vick’s – style of play gets him hurt and is getting long in the tooth. I would not trade Josh for him

    Roethlisberger – Great QB but has a new OC and team lost plenty of players to the Cap – Oline has been an ongoing issue and not getting better – in for a bad year

    Rivers – always makes me laugh. What has he done? Oh, lost a weak division to Tim Tebow…. but he puts up wicked stats… yeah, that’s right

    Freeman can work his way into the top 7 – 10 next year. He’s a smart kid, has had tasted success and been kicked in the teeth. We all know he can make plays when it counts, but the Bucs spotted everybody 14+ points and expected magic every week. Free will finally get attention from a solid coach and has the work ethic and leadership qualities to be great. At least now that will be the standard and every player and coaching will be expected to live up to that same work ethic or get cut. GO BUCS!

  15. mbaby Says:

    It’s funny2 me when everybody say that Josh needs weapons,I just watch last year game vs ATL and I slowed it down, y’all won’t believe how many WR was open or Josh waited 2 long 2 throw the ball. I’m willing 2 sit down with anyone n point out how many plays Josh could have made.I think Josh needs 2 learn how 2 read defense first cause no matter who we bring in it won’t matter if he can’t read a defense.If anybody have that ATL game please slow it down n watch it n tell me what you think.

  16. Capt.Tim Says:

    Mbaby- sadly, you and I saw the same tapes.
    This mechanics and technique were horrible last year. And his tendency to throw interceptions in the endzone was demoralizing.

    Will Josh ever be better than Breez, Ryan, or Newton?

    Meybe we should be trading up.

  17. aj Says:

    Call me more of a realist, but Free still has a long way to go. He’s not the leader of the offense yet, that has to change. He still needs to work on his progressions, has a lot of room for improvement there. Not saying he won’t get there, just that he has a lot of work to do.

    The Bucs have talent on offense. What they lack is a dynamic playmaker and some leadership. They need a speedster and for Freeman to develop into the leader of that unit. And Nicks would sure be nice, too.

    I don’t see them giving up a first, but I would not be shocked if Dominik covets Mike Wallace. Would stretch the filed, take the heat off Williams, open up the middle for Parker and keep the eighth man out of the box for Blount.

  18. Wisconsin Bucs fan Says:

    My wish list is 2 LB, 3 CB, 2 Safeties, TE, Nicks, C, V Jack, FB, all in FA, Move Penn to RT, trade up to #2 or #3 take Kalil, and a compliment to Blount and we could compete.

  19. mbaby Says:

    Capt,I was thinking the same thing about trading up.When u actually slow down the tapes and watch how many WR r open n then he throws an int makes u wonder if he’s the franchise QB we think he is.Also for Josh 2 b that big he also gets scared n leave the pocket way 2 early,This is the same thing he was doing in college (can’t read defense)Did anybody notice that when they ask Greg how was it facing Josh that 1yr n college,he said he was scared of Josh running but not throwing the ball.Just think we have the 4th best QB n our division after 3yrs and if we get RG3 he will b 3rd behind Drew and Ryan and if u don’t believe take a look @ their QB coach had 2 say about 5:30 mark http://recruiting.scout.com/2/1154014.html

  20. K1ngAdroc Says:

    We all watched the same games last yr and there is no doubt Josh had some questionable decision making and tried to fit the ball into places it didn’t belong i.e. to a double covered Winslow with zero separation over and over. I would argue every player / QB has bad games and with his youth it’s expected but where were the playmakers around him? where was the turnovers giving him short field to score???

    IMO to talk about trading up for another QB is crazy talk. Give the guy a team to lead with playmakers, a defense that doesn’t get steamrollered and gets some/any? pressure on opposing QB’s with consistent coaching and then see what’s what. This team flat out sucked last year and Freeman was/is the least of our worries

  21. K1ngAdroc Says:

    I would also argue that having an aging receiver with great hands but bad knees/zero separation in Freeman’s ear calling for the ball at all times since he was a rookie is a recipe for poor decision making.

    I think they need to cut K2 and his 9M a yr contract… Then it will truly be Freeman’s huddle.

  22. mbaby Says:

    K1ngadroc, If QB is our least of ur worries y is it teams only goes as far a QB will take them? Yeah we all watched the games but have u slowed it down n watched it?.Crazy 4 trading up? what’s more crazy paying a second rounder 24mil 4 four years or paying josh like 70 mil or more for 6yrs and he’s a bust?

  23. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    Josh was running for his Life much of last year. Hard to find open receivers with 1/2 the opposing team chasing you.
    Tampa will be the most improved team in the NFL next year I think.
    And Josh will come back from last year, watch and see.

  24. Kujolw Says:

    Freeman will get better he just needs to be coached up hell we seen what the bucs did a season ago and what they did this season difference was there was no difference they stayed the same never tried to get better never pushed there self never had the coaching staff to help them improve we have a very good older coaching staff to help the young bucs and honestly i like who we have at wr we need to move some people see if Ed Gant can be that deep threat wr and have been or williams in the slot we need to pick up a a Pierre Garcon or Ted Ginn someone fast not break the bank expensive young and coachable Ginn came even play special teams

  25. Bobby Says:

    If you’re worried about Freeman you need therapy. Get Sullivan around Freeman for a year and watch what happens to Freemans decision making. I guarantee you that they will be drilling progressions into Freeman and he will learn to stop looking at the receiver and just go through his progressions and rely upon the timing of the routes. I expect huge improvment from last year. Back to 2010 numbers and better.

  26. deminion Says:

    Josh is gunna b alright ppl keep sayin RG3 over Josh no way I would nt take Cam newton ovr him either i still think josh is better thn him