Josh Freeman Speaks

December 10th, 2009

Bucs rookie quarterback Josh Freeman appeared on “The Blitz” earlier today with Adam Schein and Rich Gannon, heard exclusively on Sirius NFL Radio.

(An aside: In the last two weeks, not once — not once! — while listening to NFL Radio has Joe heard anything about some golfer named Eldrick Woods and his harem, people bitching about a lack of a college football playoff, who should win the Heisman Trophy or the NBA.)

Freeman has some very interesting things to say about his development and the Jets. In short, one reason Freeman wasn’t ready to start sooner is that Raheem the Dream stunted his growth, and that the Jets throw blitzes at teams like he’s never seen before.

Rich Gannon: This is your first year, your rookie year. A lot has happened both on and off the field with the Bucs, there have been a lot of changes. How has the offensive coordinator change affected you and the offense?

Josh Freeman: Well, when I was drafted I went through rookie camp and the mini camps and almost all the way through training camp and the preseason running Jeff Jagodzinski’s offense. When they made the switch — coach Olson did a good job of integrating his offense. But I didn’t get to have all that much time with Coach O’s stuff because I was doing Coach Jags’ stuff.

Adam Schein: How long did it take you to learn the new offense?

JF: Not too long. [Olson] did a good job of making the transition smooth with a lot of the concepts. But he added a lot more volume, that jumped up a lot because he was with coach Gruden. [Olson] took a lot of concepts from him. A lot of volume. A lot of concepts. It came down to studying and grinding.

RG: What has been the hardest part of learning the NFL?

JF: The speed of the game. It’s not necessarily how fast they run but everybody finds a way to get in the right place. The windows are so much smaller. You don’t get the easy holes. Everybody is all over it. We played a team using a Tampa-2 and they played everything. You either had to check down or throw it away.

I had to do a lot of film study on blitz pickups and learning the calls to make sure how a defense works.

AS: What happened last week?

JF: It was a tough day, just in the red zone. We felt like we had a good plan and a good mindset. We marched down on the first drive and got in the red zone and we just didn’t get it done.

On the first drive, I threw blindly, I looked left and threw right and I thought I had a window.

The second one, I had a hard sell play action in the red zone on the five. [Carolina’s Jon] Beason was the middle linebacker and he’s not in your mind at all about making a play. He hid behind a defensive tackle and made the pick. I should have thrown it out of bounds since it was first down. Live to play another down.

The third one was another one to Beason in the red zone. They were in a Cover-2. I was trying to work the backside. I thought I could get it over Beason and he jumped and picked it off.

The fourth one was on fourth down in the red zone. We had a spacing concept in the back of the end zone and they hemmed it up. I threw it up for grabs. I couldn’t run it in. Everything was going wrong.

The last one I was trying to push it downfield. I gambled and underthrew it.

RG: What jumps out at you about the Jets?

JF: Really, how there aren’t that many teams that protection-planned against them that well. They don’t have that many sacks but they have brought constant pressure that has forced [bad] throws. It has allowed them to be the No. 1 in pass defense.

Every team we have dissected, we have never seen any of these blitzes [that the Jets run]. They overload and mix up the coverages.

We’ll have to mix up the cadence [of the snap counts] to see if they give it away or maybe try to quick-count them to keep them off balance. I hope it works out. I think we have a good protection plan for them.

AS: Weren’t you thinking you were going to be drafted by the Jets? Is there any revenge factor there?

JF: (Busts out laughing). I had a lot of thoughts about the draft. You never know with the draft. Anything can happen.

No [no revenge]. The Jets interviewed me and worked me out. I really enjoyed the coaching staff but I really didn’t know how [the draft] would work out.

No, no revenge. I wish them well when they don’t play us.

RG: What’s the feeling on the Bucs for the next four weeks.

JF: We want to win four games. There have been quite a few games where we should have won but for whatever reason didn’t come out with a victory. No one is hanging their head. No one is wishing the season is ending.

The offensive line, they want to win. We feel we can compete with anyone. We just have to put it together. We have not lost the competitive drive. We still have the fire.

AS: You and Kellen Winslow have a nice relationship. Is that accurate and why is he a good target?

JF: you can say that. Kellen has taken me under his wing as a little brother. He did a lot to help me, telling me about the mistakes he made as a young player and he is really smart. He understands coverages. He has helped me on the football end of and off the field with life’s aspects.

It’s almost unfair to have him. He’s a combo receiver and tight end. He creates mismatches. Some teams put a corner on him which means one less corner for Antonio Bryant or Sammie Stroughter.

Against the Packers, they were in a nickel and put Charles Woodson on him and when they weren’t in a nickel they put A.J. Hawk on him. I think he disrupted them.

RG: I was watching a third down blitz reel for the Jets. It’s lengthy.

JF: That’s for sure. They have a lot of looks. We put together their blitz coverages, the nickel blitzes, their base blitzes. We had their third down blitzes cut up and they had 163 different blitzes.
They blitz heavy, like 20 snaps a game. That is bringing it. They do a good job of disguising it. You never know where they are coming from.

6 Responses to “Josh Freeman Speaks”

  1. Louie Says:

    Joe, you just had to bring up Tiger. Geezzz.

  2. Joe Says:

    Joe, you just had to bring up Tiger. Geezzz.


  3. FlBoy84 Says:

    “Some teams put a corner on him which means one less corner for Antonio Bryant or Sammie Stroughter”. I love the fact he doesn’t mention Clayton. Second article I’ve read where he refers to his receivers as Bryant And Sammie. Hopefully he knows something we don’t.

  4. Joe Says:

    I love the fact he doesn’t mention Clayton. Second article I’ve read where he refers to his receivers as Bryant And Sammie. Hopefully he knows something we don’t.


  5. Fredrick Says:

    I love the fact we have a QB, a rookie no less, who can actually discuss the game and his position in such depth. Combined with his incredible raw physical skills, the Buc’s might just have stumbled into something very special in two to three years.

  6. Larry Says:

    Ditto, Fredrick. The more I read about this kid, the more I like that 2009 draft pick. He does seem to get it.