Gil Brandt Talks To JoeFebruary 7th, 2013
“The Godfather,” Gil Brandt, kindly gave Joe time to talk Bucs football last week during Media Day in New Orleans. Brandt was the architect of the Dallas Cowboys dynasties from the early days of the Tom Landry administration through Jimmy Johnson’s first few seasons. In his heyday, Brandt was uncanny about eyeing football talent, and his current regular spots on SiriusXM NFL Radio are must-listen for Joe. Brandt works for the NFL in organizing draft activities each spring. In no uncertain terms, when Brandt talks, Joe listens.
JoeBucsFan: You made noise in the Tampa Bay area when you ranked Josh Freeman near the bottom of quarterbacks under 30. What do you think has gone wrong with Freeman?
Gil Brandt: I don’t know. As you know, I thought he was a coming star. I brought him to the draft [in New York] as you remember, I thought so highly of him. If you watched him in 2010 and you watched him beat Green Bay [in his debut as a starter in 2009], he looked pretty good. Then I thought last year [in 2011], well, the whole team was a disaster. Then you watched him this past season, he was an up-and-down guy. He was great one week and down the next week. I still think the guy has a lot of talent. I think he is athletic. I think he is smart. You know, with a quarterback, you are either in the outhouse or the penthouse. There is no in-between. I think he has the physical tools to play the position. And I think mentally, he is good enough to play the position.
Joe: Freeman has had so many different coaches, different quarterback coaches and/or offensive coordinators each season since he been in the NFL. Can that mess with a quarterback’s head?
Brandt: Of course. With something new, instead of doing things spontaneously at times, you are thinking. And if you are thinking, you may delay a throw a tenth of a second and that can result in an interception. I think he has a chance and it helps that he has very good receivers now.
Joe: Bucs general manager Mark Dominik had previously always talked about getting No. 5 toys. There are not too many other quarterbacks out there now that has as many toys as Freeman now enjoys.
Brandt: You are right.
Joe: Gerald McCoy, he finally had a healthy season, finally played a full season. Is he finally showing what he can do on the NFL level.
Brandt: (laughs) As you know, I always loved Gerald McCoy. Not only do I love him…
Joe: You just love those Big XII guys, Gil.
Brandt: (laughs)… yeah, well, not so much that, but I love Gerald McCoy as a person. I just think what a great, great person this guy is. And I would imagine he is delight for you to do business with.
Joe: Oh, he’s a treat!
Brandt: So it is great to have players that understand the media is a pretty important part of the business.
Joe: Lavonte David…
Brandt: He’s an unbelievable player.
Joe: Well, I watch Nebraska games and when the Cornhuskers were on defense when David played, he was always in the picture no matter where the play was. He was truly a sideline-to-sideline guy. I thought he would be a good third round player. Obviously, the Bucs traded up to get him late in the second round. But who expected him to blow up like he has his rookie year?
Brandt: We’ve had some good rookie linebackers this year. Bobby Wagner up on Seattle and Luke Kuechly with the Panthers who has really exceeded expectations. But I don’t think anyone was surprised [at David's success] but he is so small. So everybody was wondering how a guy his size was going to make it in the National Football League, but he has held up pretty well.