Bucs Need Josh Freeman To Bounce BackJune 4th, 2012
Two years ago Josh Freeman was the talk of the NFL. The Bucs quarterback put up astounding numbers, specifically his touchdown-to-interception ratio that was an otherworldly 25 touchdowns to six interceptions.
Freeman was so good, he nearly led the Bucs to the playoffs, as the Bucs lost out in a tiebreaker to the eventual Super Bowl champion Packers.
Last year expected almost as much from Freeman (which, in retrospect, was unrealistic), Freeman regressed terribly.
Joe believes there were many factors in Freeman’s step backwards. The Bucs coaching staff, for reasons incomprehensible, decided to ignore the rushing attack and put all the pressure on Freeman’s shoulders.
When Kellen Winslow became more distraction than asset and teams figured out how to double- and triple-team Mike Williams, the result was Freeman’s 22 interceptions.
Now there is a valid question Bucs fans may have: Is Freeman the quarterback we witnessed in 2010 or the quarterback we witnessed in 2011?
Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik believes it is the former, so reports Woody Cummings of the Tampa Tribune.
Freeman’s dedication to improving on last year’s disappointing 16-touchdown, 22-interception effort is very encouraging, Dominik said during the Sneaker Soiree roundtable.
“He’s an extremely competitive person and this offseason, all on his own, he’s already lost 15 pounds,” Dominik said. “He looks like a different person.
“And even though he’s still a baby in the NFL, he knows that life in the NFL can be short and so he’s done everything he can to devote himself not only to being a better football player but to learning the new system. I’m very encouraged that he takes his job that seriously.”
Well, just judging by what Joe has seen of the Bucs practicing — and Joe hasn’t been able to get much of a look at Freeman yet — the signs for a rebound are there.
There is no question under the New Schiano Order that Greg Schiano is determined to run the ball, just the opposite of last year’s offensive coordinator Greg Olson.
Further, the Bucs have acquired help for LeGarrette Blount by drafting Muscle Hamster Doug Martin and scatback Michael Smith.
Besides, it’s not that difficult to improve on 22 interceptions.