Greg Schiano Sold On Josh FreemanMay 7th, 2013
There seems to be no end to the debate on whether or not Josh Freeman can lead the Bucs to the playoffs. This discussion ran wild for weeks on local airwaves and on interweb sites after the 2012 season, partially fueled by comments from Bucs coach Greg Schiano.
After dying down, this issue was whipped up again when the Bucs drafted quarterback Mike Glennon.Even Joe has admitted he is leaning skeptical about Freeman but is of the mind that Freeman still is the Bucs’ best bet.
A reader recently asked Woody Cummings of The Tampa Tribune if Freeman is Schiano’s guy in a TBO Bucs Q&A.
Q. Any truth to the rumor that coach (Greg) Schiano is “not sold” on Josh Freeman? All the coach’s public statements support Freeman as the Bucs’ guy. Despite some inconsistency – and a couple of really bad games down the stretch – Josh performed well last year, not to mention that spectacular midseason streak when he was awesome. At least three or four losses were due, not to poor play by Freeman, but to the collapse of the pass defense late in the games.
How about some comparison of Josh’s performance to today’s “elite” QBs at a similar stage of their careers?
– Carl Weekley, Lake Placid
A. I’ve heard the unsourced reports suggesting Schiano does not support Freeman, but I have a hard time buying them, especially after he’s gone out of his way this offseason – several times – to say Freeman is his quarterback and that he believes No. 5 can lead the Bucs to where they want to go (which I assume is the Super Bowl).
Schiano is right to want more out of Freeman, but I also know from talking to Schiano that after he looked back at last season he felt a lot better about Freeman’s play than he suggested at season’s end. He realizes that Freeman only had a couple of bad games. Now, those bad games need to be turned into good ones, but Freeman, at age 25, isn’t so set in his ways that he can’t make the necessary adjustments.
As for comparisons, the Bucs offered one late last season, just before Freeman had the two meltdown games that soured everyone on him. It showed his passer rating to that point ahead of several notable Pro Bowl quarterbacks.
– Woody Cummings
This is what Joe will say about Freeman: Joe is sometimes called a “Freeman hater,” which is absurd. Joe hates Freeman’s inconsistency.
There is no question Freeman is the answer for the Bucs, if the team is to make the playoffs this season. Anyone who thinks Glennon can lead the Bucs this season to January games, well, the bartender needs to cut them off before they hurt themselves.
As far as quarterback ratings that Cummings cites, don’t get Joe started. Stats, damned stats and USA Today. Quarterback rating may be one of the worst made-up stats in recent years. It’s bogus.
What is Joe supposed to say about a stat that is purported to measure the value of a signal-caller when slugs like Jeff George, Marc Bulger and Neil Lomax have higher quarterback ratings than Johnny Unitas and Phil Simms?
To quote the great Normal Chad, only in fantasy football would you actually want Jeff George. As Joe has stated countless times, aside from Rachel Watson, Joe doesn’t live in a fantasy world.