Dominik Details Freeman’s “Tremendous Season”January 8th, 2013
Now Joe realizes beat writers at the Tampa Bay Times and Tampa Tribune both wrote this weekend about how the Bucs aren’t sold on Josh Freeman and are crafting Plan B and competition scenarios behind closed doors.
But Joe’s rather cynical and is taking more of a we’ll-see approach when it comes to how the Bucs really feel about Freeman and the prospect of potentially replacing him and pushing him with “competition.” Keep in mind that rockstar general manager Mark Dominik wasn’t interested in providing competition for Freeman in 2010, 2011 or 2012, and Greg Schiano didn’t make competition happen in 2012, when Freeman was coming off a dreadful 2011 season. So why should Joe be so quick to believe these two leaders will make competition happen, even if they desire it?
Eight days ago, Dominik took to the Buccaneers Radio Network airwaves and sang loud-and-proud praises for Freeman. Dominik didn’t sound like a GM with any doubts about his young quarterback.
“Although Josh went through a stretch there where the turnovers were heavy, Josh still had a tremendous football season if you look at it as a whole,” Dominik said.
“Knowing that, again, he’s 24 years old, going to be 25 years old in the offseason, he guided this football team to the most touchdowns we’ve ever scored in franchise history. It’s the most points we’ve ever scored in franchise history. It’s the most yards we’ve ever had in franchise history. It’s almost 6,000 yards. So when you sit there and think about what Josh Freeman did, he set, you know, the season record for touchdown passes with 27, season record for yards, it’s very exciting to say, ‘Wow, this is a young quarterback who’s got in here who has helped us create the strongest offense in Tampa Bay Buccaneers history.’ And yet, you know, we still continue to want to look at this football team and say, ‘How can we improve it?’ And I know Coach [Schiano] probably touched on it a little bit, it’s competition. We’re going to continue to try and push competition at every level. And I am really excited about what Josh Freeman did [last season], but I know that he can do better and am excited about what he can become for our football team.”
Nobody can say with certainty that they know how the Bucs brass really feels or how they even define “competition.”
And there could be a whole smokescreen element to all this. It doesn’t hurt the Bucs to have the league think they might jump at a quarterback in the third round, for example. That could help Dominik make a quality trade down to pick up another mid-round pick, like the one he snagged last year that allowed him to trade back into the first round and draft Doug Martin.
Nothing would surprise Joe when it comes to the Bucs adding another QB alongside Freeman next year, including if the Bucs bring back Dan Orlovsky and a third veteran QB to compete for a backup job.