Jaworski: Freeman “Benching Wasn’t Warranted”October 19th, 2013
Unable to score a second-half touchdown all season, Greg Schiano and the offensive gurus on his staff didn’t need any more criticism. But they got another hefty dose of it from a very credible source this week.
Longtime NFL quarterback and noted film guru Ron Jaworski claims he studied all of Josh Freemans 2013 snaps and he did not see a bad quarterback. The Star-Tribune out of Minnesota snatched a chunk of Jaworski’s breakdown behind an ESPN subscription wall and shared some nuggets. Jaworski puts a load of blame on the Buccaneers’ offensive line.
As we know, the quarterback gets too much credit and takes too much blame for most situations on offense. So let me start by saying Freeman’s position certainly amplified his issues with the Buccaneers. When I re-examined all of Freeman’s throws thus far in 2013, I came away confident in my opinion that his benching — and ensuing release — wasn’t warranted. Moreover, I’m convinced Freeman has it within him to be a good quarterback in the NFL. And he’ll prove it in Minnesota.
I’m not about to give Freeman a free pass for the Bucs’ struggles, but he was a victim as often as he was a perpetrator.
Start with the pass protection. In Freeman’s 103 dropbacks in 2013, he was under pressure on 26 of them, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Compare that to Peyton Manning, who has felt pressure on just 29 of his 245 dropbacks to date in 2013, and you get a decent idea of the uphill battle Freeman was fighting the first three weeks.
Again, Jaworski is a top notch source on QB play. He has said in previous interviews that he spends a load of his time working out of NFL Films headquarters, often alongside Greg Cosell, the film guru who claims the Bucs are, in fact, using Darrelle Revis in zone coverage most of the time.
Whatever reality may be, the New Schiano Order’s credibility is taking beating after beating – seemingly day after day.