Freeman Won’t Be Anyone’s Gilligan

February 25th, 2010 analysts Jeff Carlson and Steve White, both former Buccaneers, crank out excellent insight in their weekly columns. Where else can Bucs fans find such tell-it-like-it-is takes on the Bucs from guys who wore the uniform?


But sometimes White and Carlson’s finest takes come in their back-and-forth comments here with readers.

The Bucs possibly considering Rams quarterback Marc Bulger to be their No. 2 QB and mentor for Josh Freeman was news yesterday, but Carlson, who was a Bucs QB in 1990 & 1991, explained that Bulger’s potential value as a mentor is largely a bunch of hype.

“The mentoring thing with an older QB is overblown,” Carlson wrote. “Brett Favre just told the truth a few years ago when he said it wasn’t his job to develop Aaron Rogers and to find a QB willing to do that as part of his job is to find a guy cashing a paycheck, not a backup QB!

“Having a mobile QB as my backup is what I would usually want. I liked Marc Bulger a few years ago in his “timing” system with the Rams, but things really have to be in sync to work well. If he his coming off the Bucs’ bench because the starter got hurt, then things won’t be clicking and I would rather have Josh Johnson, who could potentially make things happen on broken plays with either his arm or feet.

“The new quarterback coach (former NFL QB Alex Van Pelt) is the mentor and the guy being paid to be just that. If you want a personal trainer to wake up with Freeman and work out at 6 a.m.. you can buy those, too.

“Another older veteran QB is not going to be Freeman’s sidekick (like Gilligan and the Skipper), it just doesn’t work like that.”

Joe agrees. And, as Joe expressed previously, he never bought the Mad Twitterer’s outlandish speculation that Byron Leftwich was a goner because he wouldn’t lift weights with Freeman at 6 a.m. As Carlson wrote, you can pay someone to do that.  

It’s one thing for the starter to take a backup under his wing. It’s quite different for a veteran No. 2 like Bulger or a Chad Pennington — who both surely believe they can start — to reach up and mentor a young starter. Jeff Garcia couldn’t handle it at 39 years old. And if the Bucs cut Leftwich, then they obviously don’t think he’s cut out for that, either.

Success in that role of mentor for a young No. 1 would take an extraordinarily special guy. Maybe it’s Bulger. Maybe not.

13 Responses to “Freeman Won’t Be Anyone’s Gilligan”

  1. Sgt Mike Says:

    I still think that any QB we may bring in must still have enough gas to last at least half a season just in case Freeman goes down. He also must possess the sheer professionalism to handle being a backup and must be able to set professional standards for the his younger front man. This is why I think Pennington is a damn good candidate. He still feels he can start and he has always approached his situation with the utmost professionalism. He might have been a great QB if not for injuries in NY and MIA. If he is healthy he could press young Freeman for his job if Freeman acts the fool or pulls a Ryan Leaf or something. Learning how to become a professional QB in the NFL has to hard. Especially if you become a longtime starter and productive. Names like Marino, Kelly, Mannings, P. Simms and many others are synonymous with good character and professional leadership at QB.

  2. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    Sgt. Mike — Thanks for your service. …Agree with you on Pennington. He’s also been in that backup role and handled it with great class, despite the hounding by the NY media.

  3. Louie Says:

    Your backup QB, first and foremost, needs to be ready to come in and win games if the starter falters or is injured. He also needs to be a good fit for your offense. If he’s got the make-up to be a good mentor fine, but that’s what the QB coach is for. I think it’s a good thing that Van Pelt was a former QB, so he fits that role well — he’s been there.

  4. Sgt Mike Says:


  5. bucfanlostiniowa Says:

    just keep leftwich. He really isn’t that bad as a backup and it would cost more to bring in bulger or pennington then it is worth. Spend the money somewhere else.

  6. JDouble Says:

    I kinda agree, but just cause Favre was a dick, doesn’t mean it’s ok. Besides, Favre wass till the starting QB and had more important things to worry about. If we were to sihn an older vet QB to be a back up, I think it’s completely fair to expect that guy to go above and beyond as a mentor. I mean, if your not good enough to start anymore, you need to do whatever the team is asking of you to earn your millions….right? I think as QBs get older and that time comes where they our relugated to back up duty, they have to evolve and be willing to take on some other responsibilities. If a guy like Pennington or Bulger came in here with the attitude that “that’s not my job” then they aren’t the right guy for us to sign.

    All that said, I don’t like Bulger and I hope we don’t sign him. I’d rather see JJ get another chance if Freeman gets hurt. It would actually be interesting to see how JJ would do in a better situation. I think he showed alot of promise, but was put in the worse possible situation possible last year. In my opinion. he is the best option as back up.

  7. JDouble Says:

    Whatever we do, I hope Leftwich is cut. He is exactly the type of guy we don’t need hanging around One Buc place. I don’t want either Josh learning anything from that slug.

  8. Bob Fox Says:

    Since Favre was mentioned, just a couple of points. The guy he didn’t “help” in Green Bay…Aaron Rodgers…has thrown 58 TD passes to just 20 interceptions for over 8,400 yards in two years as a starter. Obviously, Rodgers learned something. Favre’s own career turned around due to competition (Mark Brunell) and with a mentor so to speak in Jim McMahon. The Packers almost benched Favre in favor of Brunell in 1994, and that was when the light was turned on for Favre. Favre won his first of three straight MVPs in 1995 when Jimmy Mac came aboard as back up. McMahon was on the 1996 Super Bowl champion team as well. Bottom line, a young QB needs excellent coaching, but solid competition and someone who has been there and done that doesn’t hurt either.

  9. OAR Says:

    Maybe Farve ran Warner out of Green Bay? Im not so sure, cause I’m not a fly on the wall, but Bret Farve, Mark Burnell, and Ty Detmer was a full stable in Green Bay for an undrafted QB to try and catch on. No other team would give him a chance, except the Arena Iowa Barnstormers. Maybe what he needed, cause the rest is history.

  10. OAR Says:

    Joe, why is your posting date/time stamp off by an hour?

  11. Bob Fox Says:

    Joe, no Warner was not run off by Favre in 94. Favre was not even sure of his job then. As OAR says, the QBs in Green Bay at the time were Favre, Brunell, and Detmer. Warner was an undrafted project at that point brought in by Ron Wolf. That very same season Favre almost lost his starting job to Brunell. Today he is known as Lord Favre, but then he was just Squire Favre at best. In terms of competition Joe, I would consider Johnson as the guy who would provide that, much like a young Brunell did for a young Favre. Bulger would be a steady veteran influence, that’s all. But you are right Joe, I’m not overly impressed with what Olson has done here or in St. Louis, but it looks like the offense is being hitched to his wagon. So you might as well get guys that know him. Van Pelt should help as well. To me, the Bucs never should have gotten rid of Luke McCown last year either.

  12. Will Reed Says:

    fire them cannons

  13. adam Says:

    they dont need to lift weights at 6 am …they just get up at 10 am pop some HGH and they are good to go…adam from ny