Did Greg Schiano “Ruin” Josh Freeman?September 17th, 2013
Two losses that easily could have been wins and a bleak, at best, outlook for a playoff berth has Bucs followers dizzy pointing fingers for the source of a season on the brink of calamity.
Take away two plays at critical moments of both games — Lavonte David’s bonehead penalty on Geno Smith and Saints linebacker Junior Galette being the lone defender not fooled on Doug Martin’s last run Sunday — and the Bucs are 2-0. But There are plenty of targets to point fingers at.
Lavonte David, the inconsistent blocking, Josh Freeman’s hallmark career trait of inconsistency, dropped passes, missed field goals, and more. However, ESPN’s Pat Yasinskas believes he has solved the mystery of the Bucs. Bucs commander Greg Schiano has ruined Josh Freeman.
When Schiano took the job last year, it appeared the one thing he had going for him was a franchise quarterback. But, to this point, Schiano and his coaching staff have done nothing but ruin Freeman.
Schiano is too rigid. He’s trying to make Freeman into something he’s not, and that has led to a quarterback regression unlike anything I’ve ever seen.
Has Freeman really regressed? Let’s do a bit of research, shall we?
Freeman’s knock in college is the same knock on him in the NFL. He is inconsistent. Nothing new here. To Freeman’s credit, in fourth-quarter crunch time of the first two games this season he marched his team down the field and gave his team a chance to win. Rian Lindell kicked a go-ahead field goal in Week One but last Sunday choked at a chance to likely seal a win.
Does that sound like a “ruined” quarterback?
Mind you, Freeman’s most atrocious season (2011) was with a coach by the name of Raheem Morris. Schiano was nowhere near the area.
Last year, Freeman rebounded for a strong statistical season, cutting down on his picks while increasing his touchdowns thrown by double-digits. Under Schiano. Does that sound like a ruined quarterback? Last year, shortly after Schiano took over the Bucs job, the head coach did an interview where he was asked about getting hired. Schiano said after being told to study Bucs tape prior to his first interview, he advised Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik and Team Glazer that the biggest offensive problem with the Bucs was Freeman forced too many passes to DJ Toes on the Line. Yet his previous coach couldn’t figure this out, even though virtually every person watching a Bucs game could see this.
So correcting that was ruining Freeman?
Not to mention, Colin Kaepernick, bratty Jay Cutler, Matt Schaub, Drew Brees and Eli Manning all have more picks this season than Freeman (two). Are those quarterbacks ruined? Is keeping a quarterback’s turnovers to a minimum ruining him?
Has Freeman been inconsistent this year? You bet. Newsflash: He has been inconsistent since he played for Kansas State. This is who Freeman is. For better or for worse.
If Freeman could have been more consistent the past two weeks, then would the Bucs be 2-0? Quite likely.
But you know what, when the Bucs needed Freeman the most, to move downfield late in the game and put the team in position to win, just like a franchise quarterback, he did just that.
That’s not the sign of a ruined quarterback.