Was Josh Freeman’s Season A Fluke?

January 16th, 2011

Talk to any of the Bucs players, especially the rookies on the offensive side of the ball, and they will be quick to tell you who the leader of the team is.

“This is Josh’s team,” they will say.

Part of that is the fine season Freeman had. His only six interceptions proved he’s a stud in the making.

Or does it?

Woody Cummings of the Tampa Tribune has an interesting article about what is not known about the Bucs. In it, he wonders aloud if Freeman’s solid season is a harbinger of years to come or a flash in the pan.

We don’t know just how good a quarterback Josh Freeman can be. He had an exceptional season, but needs to put a string of similar years together to be considered one of the best in the league

To be fair, it’s an interesting question. There is no question that there were games where Freeman, like a crafty pitcher in baseball, didn’t have his location. Not many, mind you, but a few. Hey, even the best of baseball pitchers will have off games where they struggle with location.

As good of a season Freeman had, there were games where he wasn’t always on target. Baltimore was one of those games which spring to mind for Joe.

For Freeman to be considered in the class of, say, Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady, he’s got to be consistent. Freeman was, mostly, all season. Rodgers and Brady rarely have those types of games.

Off-target games aren’t quite rare enough for Freeman to be among the elite. Yet.

35 Responses to “Was Josh Freeman’s Season A Fluke?”

  1. Brad Says:

    I totally diagree.. I agree Freeman needs to continue playing well and I believe there is no doubt he did but I’ve seen the elite have bad games many many times. Look at Manning in 3 games this season, look at Brees, Brady got beat by Clevland, Rodgers lost got beat by the Bucs last season. Having the season Freeman had was no fluke. A qb that ends the last 4 games of the season with every category higher than Bradys speaks volumes. Freeman never had two bad games in row. To even suggest a qb that threw only 6 interceptions all year is a waste if time and another example of how our local media are the biggest idiots in the country. It’s not like Freeman played a couple good games. With the five plays that made a difference in past articles this team could have easily won 14 games. Cummings can do us all a favor and pack his shi$ and pick up Ira on the way out of town. I’m sure both of these idiots blasted Morris when Williams was arrested by a cop trying to make a name for himself. Ridiculous !!!!

  2. Mr. Lucky Says:

    As I recall most of Freeman’s missed passes were tosses that Josh threw high.

    Freeman has a nice touch on the downfield throws but needs to improve his accuracy in order to join the elite QB club.

  3. architek79 Says:

    Joe cmon, this is why the newpapers around the country are dying. These old dinosaur journalists making up stories to write just to stay employed. Woody’s point is moot and any quaterback that do what Freeman did with rookies and a make shift O-Line deserves credit not a reason to question what the future is. Yeah he will need to string together some years to be elite but thats not the point; lets celebrate that we may have the greatest QB in franchise history.

  4. Brad Says:

    Favre always threw high early in games cause he was so pumped up. Freeman will have no problem improving his game and working on areas that will maintain him as an elite qb.

    Joe there was nice piece on Raheem Morris today on Outside the Lines. I missed the beginning so I hope you can locate the video and make it available.

  5. Amar Says:

    Brad, here you go:


  6. BigMacAttack Says:

    …and the Buc Hating from the Tribune is back in full swing.

    …and no one has a good game against the Raven’s defense, although Freeman’s was better than most. Just ask Big Ben Rapistburger.

  7. Pete 422 Says:

    Don’t hold it against Free just because he hasn’t had the opportunity to play more years that he has been in the league. I have seen Brady make some dumb ass decisions & throws (a game in Miami a few years back comes to mind). Manning had some horrible games this year (not to mention that playoff game at home against the Steelers a few years back). I have watched A LOT of QBs through the years & I see Freeman as a great talent. I watched Jim Kelly’s entire career in Buffalo & I already like Freeman better. I also hate the comparisons to Big Ben. Most are based on the fact they are both big. So what, Freeman seems like a better athlete & a lot smarter. I see Freeman as the type of QB who can dominate a game, especially who he has around him now.

  8. Brad Says:

    Thanks Amar. At least the national media can see how special our team is now and how special were going to be. The local idiots need to learn from real reporters and quit trying tear this team down.

  9. Brad Says:

    I totally agree with you Pete. The comments you wrote about Big Ben and Freeman is the same conversation I had with my brother in law this morning… Great minds..

  10. simeon Says:

    FINE, if it takes Freeman another season to be considered a top QB, I’m OK with that, the kid is 23, but CAN EVERYONE PLEASE STOP CALLING MATT RYAN AND JOE FLACCO ELITE. It’s like the media wants them to be good so badly. Aaron Rodgers on the other hand, his last few games, have been incredible.


    I have been waiting for the post where we bask in the falcons getting destroyed. Though i dislike the packers, that game felt good. The falcons best players are old and on the decline, Gonzales, Abraham, etc. Finnernan and jenkins suck. Michael Turner is 28 and has 1-2 years max as feature back.

    watching Matt Ryan choke hard last night, getting torched at home with the number 1 seed was incredibly satisfying. I don’t think that game could have gone any better.

  11. Leighroy Says:

    I agree with most of the comments as well, but I will add one caveat. I can remember at least 3-4 times this season where Freeman would just throw it up like he was playing 500 in a school yard to Mike Williams where the CB had just as much of a chance as coming down with the ball.

    I’ve never seen Brady, Manning or Brees do that. I know Freeman trusts his guys to come down with it because they are so good at fighting for the ball, but all it takes is one slip (like atlanta’s jenkins last night?) and that prayer is an INT. Freeman got lucky on those this year and it worked out and thats great, but it just as easily could have gone the other way and we’d be talking about Freeman’s 10 INT’s this year instead of his 6.

    Really that’s the only argument I could make FOR the case that this season was a fluke.

  12. espo Says:

    First of all, Aaron Rodgers is not in the same class as Tom Brady, nor will he ever be. I honestly don’t think he’s in the same class as Josh Freeman either. Give Freeman time to prove that, but not much, because he doesn’t need it. Mostly, give him an offense that isn’t constantly changing personnel due to injury.

    I want to point out that of his 6 interceptions, probably 3 or 4 weren’t his fault. I remember him hitting a receiver in the hands and the ball popping up in a very Claytonesque manner. I also believe a couple were due to our receivers running the wrong route. Those throws were too bad to be anything else.

  13. espo Says:

    How could this season be a fluke? I don’t think anyone has ever done more with less. That goes for Freeman and Reheem also. Anyone who doesn’t see that is blind, or at least has never played any team sports at any level.

  14. jlynch Says:

    Elite Qbs Brady Manning period. Freeman is good getting better and looks like he will be up there with best of them… Give the kid some time to mature and grow instead of sticking a label on him just yet!!!!!!!

  15. Brad Says:

    ESPO you are right. He should have only had maybe 4 int’s that were his fault. Thats the same number as Brady. Also Leighroy if for whatever reason that the throw up balls did turn into int’s (they didn’t ) last time I checked only having 10 int’s is still considered awesome for an entire season. 6 is just ridiculous.

  16. MOBucs Says:

    Rodgers looked elite last night for sure. He’s 27. Give Freeman five years and then compare him to these top flight QBs.

  17. BigMacAttack Says:

    Aaron Rogers looked pretty darn good last night. I admit I was pulling for the Birds because I can’t stand Rogers-primadonna or Ted Thompson. The Falcons had no pass rush, it was worse than ours, and that is the only way to beat a QB like Rogers. Ryan is highly immobile as an NFL QB, and Freeman has better pocket presence and knowing how to get out of a collapsing pocket. There is not a stronger QB in the NFL than Josh either. He is a beast.

    It seems like some of the best DE’s in the NFL are shorter. Harrison(LB rushers) is 6-0, Woodley is 6-2, Freeney is only 6-1, Mathis is 6-2. Sapp says the low man always wins and he is right about leverage and a low center of gravity. Runners like Michael Turner and Jones Drew are the same way, power packed. I hope when the Bucs draft their new DE they look at this in their evaluation process. I know there are some good DE’s who are tall, Peppers is 6-7, Ware is 6-4, but I think the tall ones are less consistent and easier for big OT’s to block.

    I just hope they don’t draft another long lanky DE like Gaines. Not trying to bash the departed but we need quickness and strength.

  18. Joe Says:


    Thanks Amar. At least the national media can see how special our team is now and how special were going to be. The local idiots need to learn from real reporters and quit trying tear this team down.

    Dude, you need to go on tour!

    All Joe read from fans all season long as he they wanted to just choke anyone that worked for the four-letter. Now, they are all Pulitzer Prize-winning sages worthy of our adulation.


  19. Brad Says:

    Joe: I’m didn’t say anything about the 4 letter network but when any network shows the Bucs in a positive way and our local guys keep writing anything negative about our team it makes us look stupid IMO. The four letter network drives me crazy because the usually cover the same teams and players over and over and over again so when we get any coverage I think that’s a good thing. You would think our guys would be doing that instead of writing on how other coaches deserve to be coty or how Freeman must do it again or he’s a fluke. Really?

  20. Joe Says:


    So you want eye-RAH! to lie?

  21. k1ngAdroc Says:

    I agree with most posts above including simeon and Bigmac… People and pundits will continue to question the Bucs until they are showing up and winning Playoff games…. and that’s ok.

    As for QB’s………Watching the playoffs so far, there isn’t a QB in the mix that i would trade Freeman for. The Bucs success is ahead of them. Next year is a big year. My money is on hardworking Free to show the Division, ATL and all the fans who’s the best QB.

  22. Jerry Says:

    Freeman still needs to work on going through the progressions. He tends to stare down at his first and if it isnt there he sometimes looks for the 2nd. If it isnt there he either runs or checkdowns. He almost never makes it to the 3rd receiver.

    Now perhaps that has something to do with the O-line protection. But its something that needs to be worked on because it’s a weakness that a very good defense can take advantage of.

  23. Capt.Tim Says:

    I want Eye-Rah to get a job he’s good at. Sucks at sports reporting. Freeman is THE ONE! He has been nothing short of Magic since his first game. He are a SuperBowl contender if he is playing. I am not surprised that some fans don’t realize that yet, because we have NEVER, EVER had a Franchise QB before, much less an Elite QB. Aaron Rodgers last night was the perfect example of an elite QB playing a good QB. He made the falcons look and feel so helpless and hopeless that the entire team lost focus, like a punch drunk fighter. As I, and many others have said repeatedly. The NFL is a QB driven league. These are the best of times in Tampa, Because we have a great one. Sadly, the play of Ben Rapistburger showed why even decent people like the Rooney family will turn their backs on Ben’s scumbag traits as a human, to keep his talents on the field.

  24. Brad Says:

    Joe: no I don’t want Ira to lie.. I think saying coach Rayheem doesn’t deserve coty would not be a lie. I think there is enough examples and reasons to prove he deserves to be considered for it. Ira should be highlighting the reasons all of the Tampa Bay area know to be true.

    Jerry: I totally disagree with you about Freeman going through his progressions. He completed passes to 18 (not sure if thats the correct number) different receivers through out the year and he completed most of his passes to the open guy. So not sure why you think he stares down receivers. I didn’t see that at all.

  25. BigMacAttack Says:

    It’s funny how you say about Freeman staring down receivers because he does do it at times, but has improved in that area as well. I think he stared a few in the Ravens’ game. Last night in watching replays, Rogers stared down receiver after receiver and then completed pass after pass to them. I even questioned why the Birds weren’t watching his eyes and getting their hands up for a bat down. I guess it’s whatever works at the time and the level of confidence the QB has in the primary getting open. The nice thing about Josh is that he is so tall and when the ball leaves his hand it is about 7′ off the ground.

    Dang, it sure is nice to have intelligent football conversation for a change without the little brat throwing a hissy fit.

  26. Heather Lynn Says:

    I am a girl in Vegas who loves her Bucs. Yes, a girl with a Bucs tattoo because I was tired of finding Bucs clothes in this godforsaken town.

    Mark my words, J Free is amazing and he will only get better. I am sick of hearing how Matty Ice and Flacco are elite so young, but Free has done so much more with less in his second!!!! year. Watching the games last year, I saw a spark in Freeman, we don’t have much of an O line, exception of Penn, and with Trueblood’s dumbass causing a crap load of penalties, that doesn’t help, so Freeman was under pressure quite a bit, but if you looked beyond that, you would see a young kid who wants this. The first time he started, I said, hey, that kid has talent, and he’s ours. Hopefully, if the Glazer’s get their heads out of Man U’s ass, he could be ours forever. I saw a young kid out there, maybe a bit scared, but determined.

    After the 2009 season, I told people, watch out for Freeman, he is going to come on like nobody’s business next year. I got so much flack for defending Raheem, for saying Freeman is a huge star in the making, for saying my Bucs will do better this season. I just sat, ordered my Sunday Ticket to watch all the games national tv won’t show, and had a glimmer in my eye. I watched Morris and Dominick pick up some rookies that no one else wanted to give a chance to. I watched ’em pick up some rookie named Blount that punched a guy and got suspended that the Titans decided they didn’t need. I saw critics and “fans” bitching about how we will be worse than the year before, that these rookies will account for nothing and we will look horrible. I see people calling Raheem “Radio” and not one person on any sports network saying anything positive about the Bucs. I just smiled, told them no matter what, my heart lies with my Bucs and no matter what happens, that will never change.

    Every Sunday morning, I set my alarm 15 mins before the game, get up, put on my jersey and go to the couch, and turn on the game. So I started doing that, and watching preseason. I saw us looking ok, but heard nothing but negativity from “fans” and non-fans alike. Then the season starts, and wow. Who is that team playing? We looked pretty good, and the rookies we picked up, well, they might be making a bit of noise by now. Then we get beat by the Steelers and Saints pretty good, and again, the bashing and doubting starts.

    Then something happens, and Freeman starts playing like he means it. We have this 4th round rookie, Mike Williams, making big plays. We start clicking, and winning. We get better. We still don’t get noticed, we still don’t get fans at the games, but we still play like we mean it. A rookie by the name of Blount, whom people only know because he punched a guy in college, starts running, and jumping. Who is this kid, must be a fluke. No one who goes undrafted plays that well. We come to the Falcons game. We make some mistakes, and we lose a close game, literally by a yard. I cried, yes, like a girl. That game hurt.

    We play, and we play with heart. Freeman gets out there, makes big plays, makes a few mistakes, but it’s okay, we have already proved we have so much more than anyone knows. We have heart. It sounds cliche, but we have heart. We lost big players, we had more players step up and fill the void. We lose another close one to the Falcons, and man, that one hurt even more. We get a little attention, but it’s pretty much just how we are an illusion, and not that good. We played our hearts out the last few games of the season, including a tough loss to Detroit because one, we collapsed, and two, the ref’s take a TD away from Winslow that they then admitted should have stood. We did everything right the last month of the season but still missed the playoffs. That’s ok, next year it gives us motivation to play even harder, and hopefully with our hurt players back and ready to make even more of an impact.

    A team with a healthy Grimm, McCoy, Talib, Black, Benn, and others, yeah, watch out. A now third year QB with more experience under his belt, look out. We will be back, and with a vengeance. Place your bets now, or rather, don’t, because we play better when people don’t believe in us. The 2010 Bucs played better than anyone, and I mean anyone, expected. I am the most optimistic person when it comes to my Bucs, and I in no way predicted the season we had.

    The point of this novel was that we were always looked down upon, and we succeeded. Look down on Josh Freeman all you want, call it a fluke, call it an easy schedule. Say he won’t be elite status, that his star will fade eventually. Say all you want, because when he IS a star, when he IS an elite qb, when he IS getting attention and recognition, don’t come back and say you knew it all along, because you didn’t. But I did, and I do, and I always will. Josh Freeman doesn’t need you to freely give your respect, because he will just take it from you whether you like it or not. This kid is an elite qb in the making, and I am just proud of the fact that me and other fans are there to see it happen from the beginning.

    Sorry so long, but I love my Bucs!

  27. Bucfanjeff Says:

    The very fact that Joe mentions a comparison to Brady or Rodgers shows you how well he has done. Otherwise we would be questioning him in comparisons to Dilfer or Weldon.

  28. Capt.Tim Says:

    Heather Lynn-why, I do believe I’ve fallen in love! Exactly spot on!

  29. BuccoBill Says:

    I’m with Heather Lynn on this one.

  30. Brad Says:

    Couldn’t have said it better Heather… Maybe shorter but not better.. Lol.


    u go girl!!!

  32. RastaMon Says:

    might have been a fluke…
    certainly was not a flounder…

  33. Rican Says:

    Amen Heather!

  34. Heather Lynn Says:

    Ha, thanks guys, it’s nice to be able to talk to other fans that feel the same way. No one understands the highs and lows I feel with this team, and how much they mean to me. Love my Bucs, always!

  35. Dave Says:

    he’s 22………………………..

    nothing else needs to be said