Coaches Find Real Hope In Freeman Pick

April 27th, 2009

Top QB coach Bob Johnson, father of former Bucs quarterback Rob Johnson, is impressed by Josh Freeman's talent.

[Mike Jalazo is head football coach of Clearwater Central Catholic High School and is a regular reader of Jalazo shares an interesting perspective on the Bucs drafting quarterback Josh Freeman with the No. 17 pick.]

Believe it or not (it should be no surprise), most high school football coaches, and football coaches in general, are fans of all levels of our sport.

We may have a much different perspective, but are junkies nonetheless. 

After reading for months about the seeming love affair between the Buccaneers organization and Josh Freeman, I should not have been surprised to see that the Bucs drafted him, but I was hopeful that with the signings of Luke McCown and Byron Leftwich we may see the team focus more on areas of need.  Maybe a Vontae Davis at corner, Robert Ayers at defensive end, or maybe even a Peria Jerry at defensive tackle  (even if he wasn’t the right size for defensive coordinator Jim Bates style of defense) – all of them drafted after the Bucs traded up to No. 17.

The value of a good quarterback is immeasurable in football; like many I was (and maybe am still) not sold on Freeman as the future of the franchise. My mind was changed a little bit on Sunday, though, and I thought I would share a perspective with Joe and his thousands of readers of his website.

During the offseason I work with Rivals/NIKE/ESPN Student Sports with combines and camps for underclassmen.  Ultimately, through a lot of this work, combined with high school film, games, coaches, etc., we get the rankings so many follow heading into national signing day for colleges.

Bob Johnson, a nationally noted quarterback guru (and father of former Bucs quarterback Rob Johnson), has worked with just about every top high school QB across America in recent years through these combines and skills camps. These include the Rival’s Elite 11 national camps and his own camps he runs with his sons along with a veritable who’s who of NFL alumni and Division I quarterbacks.

Johnson runs the quarterback groups and also is head coach of Mission Viejo High School, easily one of the top high school programs in the nation.  I have had the pleasure of working with him for the last few years in the southeast camps, always with quarterbacks.

Johnson and I were talking about this weekend’s draft – mainly that one of his former high school players, quarterback Mark Sanchez, was drafted No. 5 overall by the Jets (As Joe knows, I have been high on Sanchez from the beginning, loving his swagger and the “it” factor a quarterback must have to be successful on any level).

The conversation with Johnson moved to Freeman, who Johnson has worked with, and his comments gave me (and maybe the Buccaneers nation) hope. 

Johnson’s eyes lit up a little bit when he described a young man with all of the physical tools and intangibles one needs to be a very good quarterback in the NFL.  Johnson always stresses the non-physical aspects a quarterback needs in order to play at the highest levels of college and in the NFL over the physical aspects.  While Johnson certainly did not ‘endorse’ Freeman (that was not the nature of our conversation), for someone of Johnson’s knowledge, background and stature to think pretty highly of this young man certainly warrants consideration of what he may bring to the Buccaneers’ table.

When we were talking, another coach spoke of Freeman as a physical specimen and athlete, which we all have known to be the case; Johnson alluded again to the fact that he was much more than just a specimen – that this kid could really play. 

I think we all know about the win/loss record at Kansas State and the less than impressive completion percentages in college and high school, but Johnons offers a little hope from someone who is very well-respected who really knows quarterbacks (outside of all of the draft gurus). 

While I am certainly not ready to jump on the Freeman bandwagon quite yet, I am less apt to jump off the Sunshine Skyway with those in the Buccaneers nation who question the short and long term future of the franchise when Raheem Morris and Mark Dominick made this pick.

Here is hoping that maybe the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have landed the long sought after franchise quarterback after all.

11 Responses to “Coaches Find Real Hope In Freeman Pick”

  1. e2 Says:

    Who the heck is Matt Sanchez?

  2. admin Says:

    Nice catch.

  3. babs Says:

    cool article

  4. e2 Says:


    no prob…..

  5. Sargeant Mike Says:

    well we could of done a lot worse, maybe. We’ll see said the blind man.

  6. Mr Lucky Says:

    Hey Joe, Mr Lucky has a remedy for your bad feeling about Josh Freeman: Grab a cold brew, pull up a picture of Carmella and then go twitter – you’ll feel better!

  7. MTM Says:

    It always comes back to twittering.

  8. admin Says:

    >>> Hey Joe, Mr Lucky has a remedy for your bad feeling about Josh Freeman: Grab a cold brew, pull up a picture of Carmella and then go twitter – you’ll feel better! <<< LOL!

  9. dave Says:

    You ready to join the lovefest now, ey? Figured as much.

  10. admin Says:

    No Dave.

    Jalazo — who like Joe hated the pick — thought it was interesting what a former coach of Freeman’s said about him.

    Joe still loathes the pick.

    Joe doesn’t suspect you will read something like Jalazo’s story anywhere else in the local MSM.

  11. e2 Says:

    Kiper liked the pick, gave us a ‘B’ grade over all……