Greg Olson Doesn’t Fully Trust Josh Freeman

October 26th, 2011

As can be read in the comments of the many posts Joe has written since the final gun sounded Sunday in London, Bucs fans are aghast as to what has happened to the Bucs’ passing game.

One of the main complaints is that the Josh Freeman rarely takes shots downfield, or in the words of former Bucs quarterback turned radio personality Shaun King, the Bucs passing attack has turned into an option-offense throwing the ball to the fullback.

Bucs beat writer Stephen Holder of the St. Petersburg Times suggests something a bit deeper if not darker. He believes Bucs offensive coordinator Greg Olson won’t let Freeman wing the ball downfield because he doesn’t trust Freeman to be able to make the plays.

For those fans who often ask why offensive coordinator Greg Olson doesn’t dial up more deep shots and take the reigns off Freeman, I think the answer is right in front of you. Olson doesn’t have complete trust in Freeman because he continues to make ill-advised throws. The good news? He’s just 23 and has been a starter for less than two years, so none of this has to define Freeman.

Wow. It’s just stunning to Joe how far Freeman has fallen in just a few months. He now leads the NFL in interceptions — more than Rex Grossman!

This simply is a chilling statistic.

33 Responses to “Greg Olson Doesn’t Fully Trust Josh Freeman”

  1. Paul Says:

    Bucs should get TO to get us through the year. I used to be on the youth movement, but our receivers are bad and Freeman is looking worse.

  2. Max Says:


    TO would the be worst thing you could get on a young team. Especially with a young and now struggling quarterback.

    Josh is really forcing alot of passes this year, a ton of them going to Kellen Winslow. I know he was his safety blanket last year but teams are anticipating Josh throwing to Kellen this year.

  3. flmike Says:

    All roads lead back to Warden Goodell’s asinine lockout. Josh has just not had the proper amount of time with his coaches. He is still basically a second year QB who is making second year QB mistakes. TIme, Patience & Winning cure all ills.

  4. stimpy Says:


    Its the only diference from last year to this year. He was litghting it up last year and on his way to another good year. Then the lockout happend.

    I dont pretend to know whats going on in the training or locker room but thats what i see is the factor.

    Any word on out RB problem? I dont like Tiki but there does not seem to be much else out there.

  5. gotbbucs Says:

    so olson trusted him to make the plays last year but not this year? i dont buy it. josh has regressed, poorly designed plays and offensive game plans, and an undisciplined o-line.

  6. flmike Says:

    @stimpy haven’t heard anything about RBs, hopefully LGB will be ready, he’ll have had almost a full month to recover. The bye came a the best possible time for the Bucs, again hopefully LGB will be ready, I also hope that they are force feeding the playbook to both Madu and Spann, Lumpkin should be looking for work, he is abismal.

  7. Gavster Says:

    At least T.O would tackle defenders after they got a pick from a forced freeman pass, unlike K2…

  8. Bucworld Says:

    We do not run the ball enough. The first offensive play from scrimmage against the Bears was a 9 yard run by Graham. Then we pass the next play. C’mon. This is the reason for the slow starts. We never establish the run in the first half. But when we played the Falcons and the Saints we had a game plan to get the run game going and magically we won.

  9. flmike Says:

    @Bucworld EG was injured in the first set of downs, there went our running game.

  10. macabee Says:

    And Josh Freeman probably doesn’t trust Greg Olsen’s play calling. I’m not worried about Josh as much as I’m concerned about the direction of this team – long term. I’m not comparing Josh to the celebrated QB’s today, but most of them struggled early on and if I’m not mistaken Peyton threw 17 INTs last year and Drew Brees threw 22. I would be concerned if Freeman had never played at a high level, but all of us saw it last year and it was no fluke – this can be fixed. The slow starts cannot attributed to Freeman alone, he has no control over the defense and other facets of the game. There is no switch in the human head that says let’s get behind 21 pts in the 1st half, then we’ll play lights out in the 2nd half and try to win. There are 31 other teams in the NFL that are either good or bad, but none that consistently start and end like the Bucs. This is a structural top-down problem and will not be fixed with practice or player changes. To be clear, I am not calling for a coach or GM change, but I would most certainly advocate looking at bringing in a senior DC and reviewing the current philosophy regarding FAs – changes that may not affect the outcome of this season, but may prevent having this discussion same time next year.

  11. Niko (The Optimist) Says:

    First of all the problem is not the O line. They are not GREAT, but they are a GOOD O-line, Josh Freeman usually has a lot of time. Not 100%, but even the Pats have a breakdown here and there.
    Run blocking isn’t that bad either, again, not every play, but Graham and Blount have had their 100 yard days.

    No doubt the Bucs must be able to run the ball for Freeman to have success at this early stage of his career. He is not Brady or Manning yet, to take over a game all by himself. Right now the Bucs WR corps are made up of a bunch of #2 guys, until they get better. Freeman NEEDS the play action fake to work, and that works when the run game is going. Freeman is NOT regressing, he had poor games last year too when the run game wasn’t that good. The Run game is breaking down more this year than lost, that s all.

  12. Bucnjim Says:

    Freeman will be fine! No one wants to take into consideration that the Bears never even tried to defend the run once Graham was hurt. When the Bears went up by more than 2 scores it was really over for the Bucs even though they made a great attempt to win the game in the end. The GM should be kicking himself in the A$$ for not getting a security blanket @ RB. Not saying to keep Caddie because he has been hurt as well, but there were quite a few younger free agents that would have made the Bucs a better team.

  13. bobby Says:

    This has absolutely nothing to do with Olson’s play calling. It has everything to do with whether or not we can establish the run on a given day. As our running game goes…so goes Freeman. Just look at the stats. If we have a good day running the ball like against New Orleans, we have a Freeman who has a good QB rating and works the play action to his advantage. If the play action passing game is not an option because we don’t scare any defense with our ability to run the ball…..we lose and Freeman has a terrible day. Even in the second half of games like Minnesota, it was Blount and his ability to run the ball that created Freeman’s ability to throw the ball. Fake the ball to Blount into the line and the LB’s just can’t stay in coverage and take away the short pass. They have to respect Blount’s ability to break to the next level. When Blount comes back we will see an improved Freeman but Blount has to stay healthy. I like the idea of getting Madu and Spann as change of pace backs but whoever it is has to be able to block a blitzing linebacker or Freeman is toast. That is what made Caddy so valuable and Graham also. Listen, I know a lot of people want to see Freeman throwing the ball all over the field but I personally don’t. I would much rather see us methodically moving the ball down the field with 4 and 5 yard runs and short passes. We eat up the clock and wear down the opposing defense. It’s like they say…3 things can happen when you pass the ball and only one of them is good. It was Forte who beat us in Chicago…not Cutler’s arm. Look what happened to the Bear’s offense when we took the run away in the second half. Freeman will continue to mature and improve. He’s only 23 and we tend to forget that. Meanwhile, let’s focus on getting better where we need it and that is in the running game…not necessarily the passing game. The passing game will be there when the running game shows up.

  14. Sgt Mike Says:

    I don’t trust Olsen with our QB. The running game is inconsistent at best. We need to have some options there in case an injury or two happen. Lumpkin is not it. Our WR have shown poorly of late. We do not have a #1 WR. I’m not suggesting getting T.O.. We simply do not need another assinine player in Freemans ear saying “THROW ME THE BALL” (see Winslow). Freeman got attitude from Winslow after throwing a touchdown. Hey Winslow, STFU! and play the friggen game you overpayed asswipe. Ultimately I think the game planning and play calling are the worst part of this team. It’s like we have Dumb and Dumber (Rah and Olsen) putting the game together. The defensive secondary is certainly not playing up to Bucs standards. Ronde can’t do it all. I think our woes fall directly on coaching and Olsen better start trusting Freeman as unleashing him is the only hope when coaching and planning are losing the game. Go Bucs!

  15. mikeck Says:

    I think alot of us agree. Freeman, like most QBs, is fine when there is at least the threat of a run. Take away any threat of a run game, and he thows picks trying to force the ball downfield. He has been late on a few throws into the endzone early in the season but I attribute that to missed OTA time in the off season…timing and all.

  16. MichiganBucsFan Says:

    I’ve always been a Winslow fan but if he is gonna be in Free’s ear all the time, affecting his psyche and causing him to force throws, I think we’d be better off without him.

  17. Capt.Tim Says:

    Nice post today, lots of intelligent thoughts to consider .
    My opinion is, that it’s a little bit of both. I think Josh builds his confidence thru familiarity of the opposing teams. By all accounts, he has always been an office ray, constantly studying film and hanging around the coaches. I think the Lockout has taken him far out of his comfort zone. Last year, be was like a lazer, dissecting defenses. This year, he is indecisive. Only differences- one is no off season of film studies.

    The other one is the Running game. As our friend the optimist points out. It was a mistake to let caddy leave. Graham is a great guy, and talented. And fragile. If Lumpkin has great skills, je has hidden them better than a poker player’s smile. We need talented depth at RB

    To return Josh to normal, all he needs is a good off season, and another good RB.

    It’ll be allright

  18. Bucnjim Says:

    The Bears style of cover 2 makes very very difficult to pass against. Without a running game; the Bucs were lucky just to be able to keep it close in the end. The interceptions came out of frustration because there was no where to go with the ball & the Bears knew it. Not only was Graham our only viable RB, but he was our dump off pass option when nothing was open down field as well. The Bears had everyone back in coverage and the extra LB they were using to blitz the QB on just about every play.

  19. gotbbucs Says:

    i think all of our problems can be corrected with our current personel. obviously the running game must improve. josh is a big boy now, he can choose to ignore winslows belly aching and continue through his protections or just take the damn sack.

  20. Bucworld Says:

    @flmike Even with a healthy backfield we didn’t run enough. Teams have wised up and stopped blitzing Freeman so much. They are playing more pass defenses to take away the big plays. What’s frustrating is that we continue to use the same strategy on offense. Very few teams can pass 50 plus times and win a game. RUN THE FOOTBALL.

  21. raphael Says:

    1. Freeman has regressed this year.
    2. Raheem has been outcoached, out game planned most games.

    I have defended these guys all year but it looks like inexperience has caught up to them.there has been ALOT of ” deer in the headlights”look

  22. gotbbucs Says:

    bucworld, you hit the nail right on the head. i would hate for freeman to have to start over with a new oc, but olson, for whatever reason, has completely abandoned what worked for this same team last year.

  23. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    It’s all about the running game, folks. Simple as that. When it’s rolling, Freeman makes completions off play action. When it’s not, Freeman forces throws (out of necessity) to a bunch of targets who don’t have elite speed and usually into zone coverage which Freeman seems unable as of yet to diagnose. It’s not a complicated formula to figure out here.

    I don’t understand why Dominik & Morris refuse to step outside “The Plan” just once for a RB to help this team out. This offense will rise or fall based on the running game, so why not put every effort forth into helping the running game as much as humanly possible right NOW? It doesn’t add up. What gives?

  24. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Another thing…
    …our receivers are fine. We have two in their second year…a year that is notrorious for slumps. What? You don’t think THEY should have growing pains as well?

    Have you noticed that even Winslow is having issues, people?

    The truth is, Olson has let Freeman have a little more freedom…and that’s why Josh has picks. He’s making bad decisions.

    But I don’t have a problem with that.

    Because, when all is said and done, he’s going to learn valuable lessons from this. Years ago, Dante Culpepper didn’t learn those lessons early on, and now, as a result, he has no career.

    And Freeman is a LOT like Culpepper wasi n his early years.

    I don’t think Holder knows what the heck he’s talking about. I think he’s guessing and hoping he’s right because there is no true accountability in media today.

  25. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Also, don’t forget…Freeman is going to William a lot less this year. He needs to go back to him because they make a great team. Williams is to Freeman like Moss was to Culpepper.

  26. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Joe…got one stuck in the filter again.

  27. Joe Says:


    It was placed “in the filter.”

  28. bucsalltheway Says:

    Mike Williams is struggling they need to move arrelious been to no.1 parker no.2 and spurlock/Williams/briscoe in the slot until stroughter gets healthy. U have to demote the big heads to let the know its real I bet if they do that they’ll get better play out of these guys.

  29. Joe Says:


    To be fair, when you are down to Kregg Lumpkin as your sole rushing attack just minutes into a game, you have no rushing attack.

  30. Adam Says:

    Yeah… well i don’t fully trust GREG OLSON… so put that in your cannon and fire it.

  31. derek Says:

    greg olson doesnt fully trust josh freeman huh? well I flat out dont trust greg olsons playcalling

  32. Brad Says:

    Olson didn’t trust Blount to run the ball more either. This guy is an ass clown and is the only reason this team sucks in getting off to fast starts. Knowing how Freeman has regressed I might be updating my resume for next year if I’m Olson. He’s ruining Freeman and the offense. Another point is why doesn’t he dial up more plays for Benn? He’s killing us. This offense should have been lighting it up at the start of the season but his conservative approach and unwillingness to open things up until we are behind is ridiculous.

  33. Pete Dutcher Says:

    So you people would like Olson out of here?

    I’m surethat would do wonders for Freeman and the offense. Worked great for the skins and 49ers, huh?

    Olson is fine. The problem is our defense. That’s where the Bucs live. And that defense is still developing.

    I’m not concerned with the offense. I think all but a good hard hitting FB is in place…and maybe an improved Oline. Everything else is also in development and looking good enough to show promise next year…in its THIRD year.