Josh Freeman “Must Deliver”

May 1st, 2013

Adam Schein

If Josh Freeman didn’t feel any pressure after Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik reworked the Bucs secondary from the outhouse to the penthouse, he should have. There really is only one Buccaneer that must advance his game, the most important player on any football roster: the quarterback.

Josh Freeman.

It seems Adam Schein believes there is only one other NFL player, coach or front-office man that has more pressure on him for this season than Freeman. The popular sports radio and television personality ranks Freeman as having the second-most pressure of any NFL employee for the 2013 season, so Schein wrote on NFL.com.

2) Josh Freeman
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are ready to rock and roll. I talked to general manager Mark Dominik after the trade for Darrelle Revis on my SiriusXM show, “Schein on Sports,” and he echoed my sentiment that the Bucs have turned a huge weakness (pass defense) into a strength. In addition to trading for the All-Pro cornerback, Tampa Bay signed safety Dashon Goldson to team with Mark Barron in the back end.

There’s also a positive development on the offensive side of the ball: Davin Joseph and Carl Nicks will be back on the line as they return from injury.

What does all of this mean? Freeman has to deliver at quarterback. He has the weapons and supporting staff, with Mike Sullivan calling plays. Remember, Greg Schiano inherited Freeman, which makes it easier to dump him. If Freeman doesn’t even out his play and improve his leadership during a contract year, I think Mike Glennon, whom Dominik adroitly drafted over the weekend, will be in the mix for 2014, either as a starter or competing with another vet who isn’t currently in Tampa.

It doesn’t take a witchdoctor to read the tea leaves. The Bucs defense is greatly improved on paper, specifically the back end. Freeman has the receivers, has the offensive line, and has the elite running attack surrounding him.

If Freeman leads the Bucs to the playoffs, Joe is certain a new contract full of zeros comes his way. The Bucs miss the playoffs and, well, Joe really doesn’t want to think about it now.

Just win, Josh.

41 Responses to “Josh Freeman “Must Deliver””

  1. stevek Says:

    Bring on the consistency in Freeman’s game.

    He is too up and down, and needs to hone in a “bottom line” performance.

    The peaks and vallies need to level out.

  2. Nick2 Says:

    Hopefully Josh can deal with the pressure and not implode as Sanchez did with Tebow looking over his shoulder. In watching film of Glennon he looks pretty good and has great touch on the deep ball. If Josh falters I feel comfortable with Glennon stepping in. Its not the best scenario but 12 picks in 4 games during a playoff run is completely unacceptable.

  3. T in Orlando Says:

    I think Schein’s list is a little out of whack, although his comments on each person are pretty spot on. I would think there’s more pressure on Ireland (especially after the Free Agent haul and trade up for Jordan) and Marvin Lewis than there is on Freeman.

    If the Dolphins stumble, this is likely Ireland’s last gig in the NFL, he’ll go on to Analyst for one of the Networks. Lewis may get another shot at coaching if the Bengals don’t go anywhere, but his tenure in Cincinnati has been above average at best, so that’s no guarantee for future employment.

    Also, I think there’s more pressure on Freeman than CJ2K. If Freeman performs poorly, and doesn’t resign with the Bucs, he’ll be fighting for back up jobs against the likes of QBs such as Fitzpatrick, Kolb, Flynn, etc. There’s a log jam of young mediocre QBs right now. A running back like CJ2K, might not be handed another starting job, but I’m sure he’ll be able to sign somewhere to get 8-12 touches as game, which if he does something with those touches, he may earn a starting job again. If a QB hits the bench, he’s has to wait for injury or someone else’s play to go to crap before getting another opportunity.

    Of any player in the NFL, Freeman probably has the most pressure on him, as there are no longer any excuses AND there’s no longer the thought “who else are the Bucs going to turn to?”.

    I want him to put it all together this year, as I am a Freeman fan/supporter, but if he doesn’t, well I’ve been a Bucs fan for much longer, and he’ll have to go.

  4. youpeoplearesodumb Says:

    If we let Josh go I guarantee that there would be several teams lining up at his door offering him starters money.

    He’s far from perfect but also far from useless.

    Careful what you wish for Buc fans.

  5. Biff Barker Says:

    Schein also cites leadership in his writeup. The point being it is hard to be a leader when you’re in a profound slump.
    2011 saw a horrid 10 game skid, last season another 6 game skid.
    Not all was Freeman’s fault. But a true franchise QB must shoulder some responsiblity.

  6. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:

    “I’ve been a Bucs fan for much longer, and he’ll have to go.”

    That’s what’s striking to me. And, I don’t know, maybe it’s the age of fantasy football, but, there sure seem to be lots of fans of individual players, more so than fans of the team.

    It’s like they are so personally committed to one guy, that they are losing it over the thought that he might not stick around. Comparing Hall of Fame players to prove your point? If you step back, and look at it with some neutrality, you will see how ridiculous and desperate that sounds.

    If he pulls it together? Great. If not? Next up!

  7. Jacko101 Says:

    I can’t see Freeman in any other uniform, he will come thru trust and believe he is ready.

  8. MarineBucsFan Says:

    Ive heard bucs fans say (including joe) that we are more than one player away from superbowl contention….I’m not sure where you guys stand with that statement post first wave of free agency and post draft but if we took the field with the personnel we have now, I’d say we are in contention.

    Freeman has to step up and I think he will, but I cannot help but think if this team had a rodgers or manning or brees QBing this squad….some would argue that on paper we are favorites! So to expect a run in the playoffs this year is reasonable. And anything short of a playoff appearance is unacceptable.

  9. Red86 Says:

    Freeman will be fine. He put up 10 good to great games. 2 winnable games whether it needed both him and the D to make a play. 4 games that both sides really deserve to be thrown under the bus.

  10. Mark Says:

    This is going to be a truly scary defense to face = stuffs the run with a great secondary. Add pro-bowl skill positions on the offence and a healthy O line and all Freeman needs to do is manage the game. If he can’t then he will not succeed anywhere in this league.

    I have not been this excited about a season in a long time! Go Buccs

  11. Cassidy Says:

    I’d love to see Freeman greatly improve his accuracy on the short, easy passes. I just can’t stand seeing him way overthrow a RB less than 10 yards away several times a game…..then we lose by <3 points. What is it about the short passes?

  12. DjoshFreeman Says:

    @nick 2

    The sanchise was terrible way before teblow got there.we just heard less about it because of the media.the guy went to two afc championships and choked.has led the league in ints and lowest qbr.and will for ever be remembered for his bit fumble

  13. DjoshFreeman Says:

    Also did anyone see the top 100 players in the NFL today?! Kinda absurd. I mean, how to two all pros in gmc and goldson, sit behind polomalu! Ya Troy was MVP back in the day, but I haven’t seen the guy play more than three straight games the past few year without getting hurt

  14. Vern4499 Says:

    @Djoshfreeman,

    GMC was not an All pro. He was a pro bowler!

  15. robert Says:

    10 good games….

    only 2 bad games…..

    threw or records…..blah, blah, blah.

    fact is Jfro still locks on to one reciever and can’t go through his progressions.

    thats all I see…..and it aint good.

  16. DjoshFreeman Says:

    @vern

    Apologize…absolutely correct! Either way tho, pretty amazing Troy is ahead of both of them. And ya McCoy isn’t all pro like goldson so why is he ahead of him? Then anquan boldin who was traded for a 6th rnd pick thru brother collusion is in front of dashon too! Fan voting sux! Probly would’ve been higher if still in San Fran? Idk just isn’t making sense.

    Freeman doesn’t always lock on.when someone does well its really easy to point out some faults.listen, our secondary lost us games last year, plain and simple.hence why we went to get goldson,revis,banks that being said, josh has did way more good then bad last season. He’ll be fine…and all of you who want him out and want competition now have glennon.its a win win for everyone so why all the complaining?!

  17. Vern4499 Says:

    @djosh,

    Just giving you a hard time. All in fun. I agree with you.

  18. robert Says:

    freeman doesn’t “ALWAYS” lock on…… LOL

    well at least he read the defense a couple times last year. LOL

  19. Biff Barker Says:

    Open the petcocks, prime the carbs, ignition on, and hit the starter. The Freeman “excuse O’matic’ lives.
    Not going to settle for “he”ll give us 10 good games” crap. When he has a bad game the whole team gets pushed off the platform and on to the tracks. Just do your job pertains to Freeman too.
    I probably hate his brainwashed jock swingers worse than watching him tank down the stretch.

  20. BucFan20 Says:

    Like I said yesturday. I hope he steps up. But Doms’ interview with the comments about Glennon were not showing thinking he will change. Now I am sure he was not talking about Dan O. because Freeman has had problems in the passing levels.

    Glennon can hit all three levels in the passing game. That is important in our system.
    I know alot more people saw and heard this. People can talk about all the yards they want. But most were on long circus catches by receivers that saved is azz. Someone said the other day about worthless Clark. Remember the come back game where he had to go to the ground in the endzone and be smart enough to keep his body inside bounds to score? Freeman was off target on a wide open receiver again throwing a dirt ball. But Clark saved him again. He hangs his receivers out to get splattered. Good QBs’ don’t

  21. Vern4499 Says:

    @BucFan20,

    So it’s frees fault when te team loses and when the team wins its because of the receivers making great catches? Freeman was brilliant in the 4th Qtr and OT of that game. You can’t have it both ways. If you blame him for losses then give him credit for wins.

  22. OAR Says:

    “Freeman has to deliver at quarterback.”……No Shiz, Schein! Brilliant! I’m sure it took all night to come with that conclusion.

  23. BucFan20 Says:

    @Vern
    No the problem is he is good just sometimes. Most of the times the receivers are saving him with the take it away catches or a circus catch or shoestring catch. Brilliant? Clark does not have the smarts to go down and get that dirt ball have the brains to stay in bounds. Game over. Yes. The receiver saved him again. More often than not the receivers and Martin won the games. Yes. I will give him credit for what he does and I also said I hope he steps up. NOT replace him.

  24. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    It would be really nice to see a list of things that this mysterious filter on this website blocks. Sometimes the simplest of comments get blocked and the longest ones go through with no problem. Frustrating.

  25. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    There is not a single person, anywhere, that doesn’t believe Freeman needs to prove himself this year. We get it, there are no more excuses. It is “put up or shut up” time. He knows it. I know it. You know it. Coach knows it. Dom knows it. I am sure there are a small group of people stranded on an island somewhere 2000 miles away that knows it.

    Can we please find anything else to talk about? Whether about Jeff Demps or Mike Williams on again off again beard or maybe an un-drafted punter somewhere?

    I’m sorry but I have not seen a dead horse beaten so badly in such a short amount of time.

  26. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    One simple sentence with no html tags or foul words mysteriously blocked my post again. I cant figure this thing out.

  27. Joe Says:

    West Coast:

    Can we please find anything else to talk about? Whether about Jeff Demps or Mike Williams an un-drafted punter somewhere?

    I’m sorry but I have not seen a dead horse beaten so badly in such a short amount of time.

    Josh Freeman is and has been the story not just of the offseason, but of the 2012 season. To ignore this is irresponsible.

    Joe is in business to attract readers, not chase them away. Joe barely gives a flip about the Bucs regular punter. There are other sites that will devote a 20-inch story to some unknown punter from West Cornfield State who, if lucky, may take the field for five plays a game. That’s not Joe’s bag, never has been, never will be.

    Joe is about topics, not transactions.

    And Joe isn’t going to devote another word to a track star that doesn’t know if he wants to play football or not until or unless he decides to sign with the Bucs/not to play football.

    Mike Williams’ Grady Wilson beard is worthy of a story and Joe will write about that the next time he sees Williams.

  28. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    I was not asking for you to ignore Freeman. I meant more of the “its do or die time” talk for Freeman. All of the comment sections in every Freeman article has everybody repeatedly saying that Freeman needs to prove himself this year. I simply don’t think its news to anybody at this point. I understand Schein had something to say and he is a respected analyst so you wrote about it. I guess its really just the “broken record” comments that keep appearing that bug me. Not your articles

    Oh, and the Demps/undrafted punter/Mike Will’s beard comment was sarcasm. Just trying to show my frustration with the topic. I don’t actually care about any of those things.

    I like this site a lot Joe, sometimes the repetition just gets to me. I understand there isn’t a lot going on right now, post-draft and pre-training camp. I apologize for coming off as angry or critical towards you. (I was also a little frustrated having to re-type my comment several times and some of that frustration worked its way into my comment.)

  29. Cannon Says:

    Honestly, if the talent on this team stays healthy and plays to their ability, it would be pretty tough to NOT make the playoffs.

    Freeman could just manage the game and make it in.

    I’m hoping for some fireworks tho… these Bucs are going to the Superbowl this year, gonna just go ahead and call it now.

    :o)

  30. Couch Fan Says:

    I really question whether some of you even watch the games at all or just look at the stat sheet. Free plays absolutely awful the first half of just about every game.

    We’ll see what happens this year when we should have a decent defense to help him out. But I’m willng to bet we are down at halftime a majority of the season.

  31. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    @Couch Fan

    Games that Bucs led/tied at halftime during 2012 season:

    1. Week 1: Panthers
    2. Week 2: Giants
    3. Week 6: Chiefs
    4. Week 8: Vikings
    5. Week 12: Falcons (a tie game at half time)
    6. Week 13: Broncos
    7. Week 17: Falcons

    Almost half the games were tied or we had lead last season. You seriously think we will spend more than half or the “majority” of next season down at halftime with a significantly improved team?

    http://www.nfl.com/teams/tampabay%20buccaneers/schedule?team=TB&season=2012&seasonType=REG

  32. Couch Fan Says:

    7 out of 16 games? that means we were down at halftime in 9 games…. is that not a majority? and if you go back and look at his whole career its more of the same….

    Yes. I believe Free will come out and stink it up again the first half of a majority of the games… its who he is. After 4 years of the same crap, I doubt he will change. I hope I’m wrong.

    But to answer your question. Yes. Even with an improved defense we still didnt do anything to help the offense put points on the board. So I expect a lot of 10 point first halfs deficits.

  33. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    “7 out of 16 games? that means we were down at halftime in 9 games…. is that not a majority?”

    Of course its majority, that is why I said it. I am talking about the upcoming season.

    To be clear, you think we will either do just as bad or worse than last season? I am not arguing that Freeman struggles in the first half more than a QB should, he certainly does. But how do you overlook the massive improvements on this team and think we will be about as bad or worse than last season? The improvement on defense isn’t enough to have us lead in just one more game next season?

  34. Nick2 Says:

    Gotta back Joe up on this one, to talk about Jeff Demps would be great. The only problem is he likes track apparently more than football. Too bad he was a great talent at U.F. As Joe says as goes number 5 goes the Bucs. Josh Freeman single handedly in my opinion tanked our season last year with the 12 picks in 4 games when we were still clearly in the playoff hunt. To not talk about him and we might as well not talk about the Bucs. Personally I like Josh Freeman and sincerely hope he gets it this year his final shot. I want to see Josh Freeman succeed as he seems to be a great guy and according to Schiano a hard worker. That being said IF he tanks again we cannot write off another year just hoping he gets better. Glennon is definitely our insurance policy.

  35. Couch Fan Says:

    @WestCoast

    I think the first half of games will play out the same way as they always have with Josh. Early deficit, with us having to make a comeback the 2nd half. I think we’ll pull more games out at the end with a better defense. But the better defense isnt going to improve Josh’s poor first half play. Josh is going to have to score in the first half a lot more in order for us to win. Especially if we make it to the playoffs.

  36. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    @Nick2

    I don’t think you read my follow up comment. The Demps mention was sarcastic. I thought following the Demps mention up with a mention of Mike Williams beard and an undrafted punter would be enough to show I was joking but apparently not.

    @Couch Fan

    No doubt Freeman needs to improve his early game. Kind of reminds of Blount the way he needs to warm up. I have faith that a second off season in the same system should help improve his consistency. If he has the same production as last year or worse then that is a REALLY bad sign in my opinion. The continuity alone should be enough to elevate his game though, if only slightly. All we can do is hope Freeman comes out plays with more consistency. We already have a contingency plan if he doesn’t. (Glennon)

  37. Daffy Buc Says:

    We also have a much harder schedule this year. NFC West is much tougher than NFC East. AFC East is much tougher than AFC West. Ownership has opened up the check book a lot the last two years, so that is another big reason for a make or break season. They have a right to expect a winning season and a shot at the playoffs.

    I hope they stress using all the weapons Stocker, Steve Smith, Ogletree etc. I felt Josh keyed on Jackson too much, like he use to key on Winslow. If he uses all his weapons there is no reason we shouldn’t be in the playoffs.

  38. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    @Nick2

    I don’t think you read my follow up comment. The Demps mention was sarcastic. I thought following the Demps mention up with a mention of Mike Williams beard and an undrafted punter would be enough to show I was joking but apparently not.

    @Couch Fan

    No doubt Freeman needs to improve his early game. Kind of reminds of Blount the way he needs to warm up. I have faith that a second off season in the same system should help improve his consistency. If he has the same production as last year or worse then that is a REALLY bad sign in my opinion. The continuity alone should be enough to elevate his game though, if only slightly. All we can do is hope Freeman comes out plays with more consistency. We already have a contingency plan if he doesn’t. (Glennon)

  39. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    Whoops. Sorry for the double post. It never registered on my screen.

  40. PRBucFan Says:

    The debate should no longer be about whether or not Josh deserves to be in the position he’s in or about his past performances. That drum has been beat hard enough, plus that’s done with and whether its fair or not Free’s in the hot seat and its now or never. IMO, The debate should now shift to whether or not Free will succeed this season.

    I hope he does!!! I’m not sure I believe he will..

  41. Bucfan55 Says:

    Josh is going to pull through. Everyone has been so fast to say how horrible he is, can’t win games, and makes big mistakes. If Buc fans would understand he has never had the same offensive scheme, same position coach, and pretty much bad coordinators, maybe he would not seem so bad. Look, i’m not saying he is a star, but he is a solid quarterback. And now that he has the same people around him this year (which is his first time with the same scheme in all four seasons), I am sure he will make a huge jump. Josh is committed and will figure out to win games again. Lets not all be too quick to forget how many comeback wins he managed his second and third season.

 
 

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