Inflammatory Comments About Josh FreemanOctober 20th, 2012
Yesterday, former NFL quarterback and current CBS talking head Boomer Esiason dropped in, via phone, for a visit with Justin Pawlowski and Gary Shelton, co-hosts of the “Gary and the Commish” show on WHFS-FM 98.7, to discuss all things Bucs.
Esiason had plenty to say about Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman and virtually all of Esiason’s comments were no less than explosive.
In short, Esiason claimed Freeman was “clubbing” and doesn’t take his job as the Bucs quarterback seriously, thus why he has struggled in the early weeks of the 2012 season.
“I hate to do this and I hate rumors and things of that nature. One of the reasons we say this is we have information on every single player in the league and what is going on and what is the thought process and what is the reputation and all that other stuff,” Esiason said. “Here is Josh’s reputation in the eyes of a lot of us that cover this league: tremendous talent, tremendous arm, tremendous football player. The sky is the limit for him and usually what makes people get to that next level is his commitment that he makes to his craft: the study in the playbook, understanding where you are in the offense and taking everything you do as a quarterback and taking it seriously and not hanging out on Friday nights and not hanging out on Tuesday nights and being above all the stuff that unfortunately a lot of young men find themselves in the midst of, and that is young men enjoying themselves when they are on their off time.
“I get all of that. We all went through that as players and that other stuff. But he if wants to be the next group of players, if he wants to be mentioned in same breath as Drew Brees, who you will see Sunday, or Tom Brady or Ben Roethlisberger, and even Ben Roethlisberger had some growing up to do, and I remember us challenging him to grow up as well, then he is going to have to take his craft a helluva lot more seriously.
“While I think he is a tremendous football player — he had a great game last week. Now I think we are starting to see the fruits of the Vincent Jackson signing and throwing the ball down the football field. This could be a really exciting football field if he gets plugged in and gets plugged in in a way that we all believe he should be in order to reach what we believe is a very, very high potential ceiling.”
Esiason was challenged on his comments by Shelton, who told the story of former Bucs offensive (keyword) coordinator Greg Olson telling Shelton that no quarterback he had worked with had a better work ethic.
Esiason responded by reinforcing his comments, throwing out the word “clubbing” in speaking of Freeman.
Later, after the interview, Shelton was taken aback. He openly wanted to know just what source Esiason was basing his Freeman comments on.
This is the very first Joe has heard of this as well, and given how dozens of people both inside and outside the walls of One Buc Palace rave about Freeman’s work ethic, Joe has to believe Esiason’s information is wrong, or a plant.
As regular readers of this here corner of the interwebs know, Joe is addicted to SiriusXM NFL Radio. One of Freeman’s biggest supporters is former Super Bowl quarterback Rich Gannon, who has worked several of Freeman’s games, watched Freeman practice several times and has sat down with Freeman many times as well. Gannon gushes about Freeman’s work ethic, going so far as to say about Freeman, “He gets it.” And this is coming from a man who still harbors a touch of bitterness at the Bucs for jettisoning Chucky.
Pat Kirwan, one of Gannon’s colleagues at SiriusXM NFL Radio, is likeminded in his support of Freeman. Like Gannon, Kirwan has attended Bucs practices before and has had sit-downs with Freeman.
To be honest, Joe has no idea if Esiason has ever attended or watched a Bucs practice much less sat down and spoke with Freeman. As Joe stated before, he has to believe that Esiason’s source is either misguided or this data given to Esiason is simply a plant.
The entire interview with Esiason can be heard by clicking the link in the second paragraph of this post.