Can’t Blame Josh Freeman On The Fumble

December 14th, 2010

Bucs rookie Derek Hardman took blame for a fumble on the goal line last Sunday.

It was distressing enough for Joe to throw an empty beer bottle at his standard-def TV.

The Bucs had just got a first down and goal after a remarkable Josh Freeman to Arrelious Benn 43-yard pass. It looked like the Bucs were about to go up 16-9, pending an extra-point.

But rather than do the smart thing — which Bucs offensive coordinator Greg Olson finally did later — the Bucs decided to get fancy at the least desirable place on the field and had Derek Hardman, starting at right guard in place of injured Davin Joseph, pull.

In doing so Hardman knocked the ball out of Freeman’s hands. The ball rolled into the end zone and the Redskins recovered.

Thankfully, the Bucs rallied later and won. Still, Hardman didn’t try to hide from his mistake, so reports video star Anwar Richardson of the Tampa Tribune.

“I was trying to get off fast and we’ve never had that problem. It just helps that we were able to come back and score.

“That was a big deal at the time and would have been a big deal if we weren’t able to come out with a win.”

That’s way cool of Hardman to man up and take the blame but Joe can’t fault Hardman. There was no reason to call that stunt of a play — with a rookie starting his first game no less! Joe has asked this before live on WDAE-AM 620 for all the world to hear and will ask again:

“Why is Olson so allergic to having Freeman run the ball up the center’s arse on short-yardage situations?”

10 Responses to “Can’t Blame Josh Freeman On The Fumble”

  1. tha truth is... Says:

    both of them took ACCOUNTABILITY and not point fingers at each other.

  2. Hunter Says:

    It is a good idea to let Freeman take it now, but if he gets injured, since he turns his back, everyone will be saying how dumb it was….

  3. sunrisejeff Says:

    Exactly Hunter. If Free took a shot in his back from McIntosh and had to leave the game we’d be calling for Ollies head. Hindsight is 20/20 🙂 My question is why the hell do we never use Graham down there.

  4. Joe Says:


    When’s the last time Roethlisberger got hurt on a quarterback sneak? Pittsburgh calls his number all the time.

  5. d-money Says:

    Freemans run on that two point conversion was a thing of beauty.

  6. Cannon Says:

    I agree with d-money… nothing quite like watching your quarterback push a linebacker and a d-lineman into the end zone.

  7. Ash Says:

    We still need good short yardage back to mix it up a bit. Having Free be the sole short yardage guy isn’t ideal IMO. Free and someone need to share that role that way the defense doesn’t know what’s coming

  8. Sensiblebuc Says:


    Regarding your comment to Hunter, I think we’ve got to limit the shots Freeman takes regardless. Did you see the shot he took on the bomb to Benn where his helmet nearly came off? How about when Talib concussed Jim Clausen earlier this year on a relatively innocous QB sneak? Coupling the shots he takes in the pocket with the shots he takes while scrambling, I’d rather we limit him to 3rd/4th and inches plays only and continue to search for new runners and new blocking schemes for short yardage plays.

  9. captain shane-O Says:

    Freeman is a great kid…. (He’s barely old enough to drink lol ) He’s going to be a great QB for a long time. So glad we found him. love your site Joe Bucs Fan!

  10. k_bassuka Says:

    The bottom line is that Hardman sucks and we need to replace his surry @ss soon.