Josh Freeman Consistently InconsistentJuly 2nd, 2013
Joe knows one reason many Bucs fans are less than giddy over Josh Freeman is thus far he is what his college stats purported him to be: inconsistent.
Well, the numbers crunchers at Football Outsiders decided to do something called “DVOA,” which to Joe is akin to some worthless, empty made-up baseball stat like OBG-YN.
(The stat geek have all but hijacked baseball and done their best to chase Joe away from the game but thankfully, Joe has found a way to ignore them so Joe can enjoy the sport. Joe learned way back in high school one can concoct any statistic to prove whatever point you want to make.)
These Football Outsiders nerds were trying to figure out which quarterback is the best/worst at throwing the long pass, they accidentally found out that Freeman is, well, inconsistent.
Outside of Jackson coming in last year, there hasn’t much turnover in Freeman’s offense. Mike Williams, Arrelious Benn, and Kellen Winslow were constants in 2010 and 2011. Winslow declined heavily and Dallas Clark wasn’t the answer — is Freeman’s large drop in Short DVOA since 2010 all because he has no tight end? Williams said that part of the problem in 2012 was that receivers didn’t know when to break their routes off. Is that something that gets fixed?
That’s the kind of straw-grasping that Freeman’s advanced stats leave you to make. When he’s been below average in DVOA, he’s been below average on all downs. When he’s above average in DVOA, he’s above average on all downs. His red-zone DVOA follows a rollercoaster pattern (which is true for most quarterbacks, to be honest). I know we have a few hardcore Bucs fans here. What theories do you have about what has happened to Freeman since 2010?
Based on what I’ve seen and researched of him, I can see why head coach and haircut watch-setter Greg Schiano is peeing down both legs when it comes to Freeman. It’s been four years, and Freeman’s main trait as a quarterback is that nobody knows what to expect him to be in four years.
Joe would suggest there hasn’t been much consistent with Freeman prior to last year, other than disc-spinning Sgt. Winslow, which may explain why Freeman was always forcing balls to Sgt. Winslow.
In his first four years in the NFL, Freeman had three different coordinators and three different quarterback coaches. That’s not exactly consistent in Joe’s eyes.
But Rivers McCown, the author of the piece, does make a point that in the past four years, it’s hard to judge what Freeman will be in the next four years. It is this reason why popular sports radio and television personality Adam Schein proclaimed last mid-season that he trusted Christian Ponder over Freeman. And, voila, with two solid games to close the 2012 season (against two playoff teams), Ponder got the Vikings into the playoffs where Freeman, with the Bucs in position to make a playoff run, disappeared.
Joe really believes Freeman will improve this year. He’s got another year with offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan, another year with Vincent Jackson and another year with Doug Martin — consistency with both personnel and coaches for a change. That can only be a good thing.
Will Freeman be a Pro Bowl player? Joe’s not going there yet. But he should be better. Which, in turn, should make the Bucs better.