Was Freeman Spared To Save Health?August 29th, 2013
Outspoken scribe Alan Dell is at it again, typing another fun read for Bucs fans this morning in his publication, the Bradenton Herald.
Like Joe, Dell loathes preseason football. If it wasn’t Joe’s job to be at the Stadium in Dale Mabry Highway tonight, Joe would be on his cushy recliner watching college football, cold beer in hand. Preseason football is dreary and the final preseason game is simply dreadful.
Dell thinks the Bucs’ preseason has been painful for other reasons. He claims the past six weeks for the Bucs has been akin to the TV reality series “The Kardashians,” given the drama over Darrelle Revis, the feet of Carl Nicks and Lawrence Tynes, the Jeff Demps mystery, the MRSA outbreak and Tynes’ wife, Amanda, starting a Twitter war with the Bucs.
Oh, yeah. Then there’s the Mike Glennon Mob, which Dell describes as a collection of “rabble,” “Freeman haters,” and those who just love backup quarterbacks for no good reason.
But Dell brought up a point about Freeman that made Joe think. Dell, like many, is puzzled by how few snaps Freeman took in preseason games.
Freeman took 21 snaps in the first two preseason games, which was fewer than every projected NFL starting quarterback except San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick.
Freeman ranks 25th in snap counts overall in the preseason among the presumed 32 starting quarterbacks. But it’s the uneven approach toward his use that raised questions.
He had 41 snaps against Miami last week, which was one of the biggest increases in any projected starting QB from the first two games to the third. For the preseason, he completed 12 of 26 passes for 101 yards without a touchdown or interception and was sacked nine times, a scary number, preseason or not preseason.
Joe has never heard anyone touch this subject before, but could it be that with the Bucs struggling in pass protection, and Freeman being taken to the ground almost as much as he completed passes, that Schiano purposely held him out of games to spare Freeman futher abuse thus saving him for the regular season?
It stands to reason. Think about it: quarterbacks in practices wear different colored jerseys so defensive players know better than to touch them. If, in make-believe games, Freeman is getting abused play after play after play, perhaps Schiano preferred Freeman on the sidelines versus being lost for the season for nothing?
Capt. Lou Albano is getting raked over the coals in New York for playing Mark Sanchez late in a preseason game and behind a suspect line, damaging his shoulder, rendering him questionable to play against the Bucs in Week 1.
Could Schiano have been playing it safe, hoping the pass protection would clear up soon enough and passing on risk his franchise quarterback, and the 2013 season, in a glorified scrimmage?