Why Has Freeman Stopped Running?

October 24th, 2011

Joe’s in the same boat as many other Bucs fans, stunned that Josh Freeman has 10 interceptions this season and only seven touchdown throws.

Freeman’s on pace for 23 picks. Trent Dilfer, in his worst season with the Bucs, coincidentally his third NFL season like Freeman, started all 16 games and threw 19 interceptions in 1996.

Joe has no answers for Freeman other than to stop forcing throws that aren’t there, especially to Kellen Winslow.

However, Joe is very suprised that Freeman has stopped running the football. For the first time in his career yesterday, Freeman started a game and didn’t have a rushing attempt. Two weeks ago against San Francisco was the first time Freeman started a game and ran only once — for two yards.

Something has changed for Freeman. The aggression, confidence and decision-making that led him to picking great spots to run — and picking up excellent yardage consistently — has disappeared.

Joe hopes Freeman’s not hesitating and struggling because of an injury fans don’t know about. It’s hard to imagine he’s just magically lost the instinct to pull the ball down and use his elusive big body.

23 Responses to “Why Has Freeman Stopped Running?”

  1. RemyBuc Says:

    I’ve been wondering lately if K2 may be part of the issue. Is he going all MeShawn, getting in Freeman’s ear? Could that be why 5 keeps trying to force the ball to him?

  2. flmike Says:

    It’s a lack of confidence. He doesn’t look comfortable or at ease in the pocket right now, he looks like a 2nd year QB having issues which is shaking his confidence. He needs to go back and look at some of last years tape and see the difference in his play.

  3. Nick Says:

    Not only is Freeman forcing the ball to Winslow, he misses him badly when Winslow is wide open. Happened at least 3 times yesterday. His intermediate route throwing is horrible. Looks like he aims the ball and pushes it towards the receiver.

  4. Michael Weber Says:

    I think this is a big change in #Starship5 from this year to last. The Bears linebackers seemed to have no fear of #Starship5 taking off and running the ball. That allowed them to get more depth in their zones and get subsequent interceptions. I guess my question is: Who’s telling him not to run, the Bucs or his agent?

  5. toolman Says:

    It seems that more practice reps with K2 would help. The QB and receiver need to be in synch. If he is not healthy enough to practice then Bucs need to look for a replacement and quit coddling these guys that can’t cut it during the season.

  6. frige bob Says:

    Put Freeman in at RB. Problems solved?

  7. Bucnjim Says:

    I’m not sure if there is an unknown injury, but wasn’t there a shot to the ribs he took and had to wear a vest? Anyway; The main problem he’s having is forcing the ball into coverage. He needs to pull the ball down and take off when he gets the opportunity. I don’t know if it’s coaches telling to stay in the pocket or not, but most of his success last year stems from his ability to run the ball and extend plays outside the pocket. With his arm strength; his best options happen after the initial play breaks down.

  8. bucfanjeff Says:

    Urlacher was the QB spy…watch closely. That said, all of you thus far have valid points which actually lead to more questions. He and Van Pelt need to sit down during the bye week and compare this year and last work on some fundementals. (K2 is in his ear, I have no doubt.)
    We are a running team, but in all of Freeman’s come backs (and even regular play), he seems most dialed in and effective when we’re spread wide in attack mode. Not that he doesn’t make mistakes, he’s young still, but he’s more of a passer than people give him credit for. I don’t buy the hype that ‘he works best off play action’. Most QB’s are effective off a good play action.

  9. buc40 Says:

    Since they had no running game why not throw josh johnson in there for some wildcat action. just to get something going, couldnt hurt the running game any more.

  10. Eric Says:

    Maybe 5 and Raheem need a second honeymoon?

  11. stanglassman Says:

    I think Bucnjim and Toolman are on to something. He forcing the ball to the coddled Meeslow and stopped running it after the rib shot that sent him to the locker room. I bet Free’s problems are a rib injury and k2 up his ass.

  12. stimpy Says:

    Too many questions and not enough answers….

    He has certainly stopped running the ball. I know there were a few times he could have ran or at least extend the play yesterday.

  13. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    Where is Van Pelt during all of this mess? I really beleive the Bucs need to call in a disinterested game/play consultant (ala Ron Jaworski) to sitdown with Olson, Freeman, Van Pelt and Raheem to pinpoint exactly where the issue(s) lie.

    On another note, what were the issue(s) about Freeman coming out of Kansas? Whatever they are, are the issues rearing their ugly heads on him now? Or is it the fact that some of the national pundits stated that the lockout would hurt teams such as us.

  14. 941-Bucs Says:

    I think this more so falls on the coaches heads. I can almost hear them tell him NOT to run. They don’t Freeman to have the same issues Vick and other running QB’s have had with officials NOT calling roughing the passer.

  15. Tristan Berry Says:

    Freeman has never really taken a break from studying. I’m wondering if he hasn’t over-studied and his mind is now swimming with more data than anyone can assimilate in that amount of time, and that’s leading to a lot of unnecessary second-guessing on his part.

  16. 941-Bucs Says:

    And they don’t want him hurt. Look at the Colts. Everyopne said the whole team was good. Shouldn’t matter if just 1 person is out of the mix. Yet the entire team has crumbled with out Manning out there.

    I have the up most confidence in Johnson but at the same time. If 5 goes down. The Bucs are out plain and simple. So i’m sure everyone would rahter him NOt taking those kind of chances.

  17. Bobby Says:

    I personally don’t want Freeman to ‘run more’. I want him to do more rollouts and make defenses ‘think’ he’s going to run but I sure as heck don’t want Freeman going down with an injury. I do want to see Luke Stocker a LOT more and sit whiney Kellen down for awhile. Just think, Josh could actually throw passes to Luke on Wednesday’s while Kellen soaked his knees. I just think Winslow is in Freeman’s ear way too much and Josh is listening.

  18. Mr. Lucky Says:

    Somebody give Josh Freeman a tape with the last 3 minutes of the Denver-Miami game so he can watch how Timmy does it.

  19. Brad Says:

    The only issue with Freeman not running, which should be a major weapon for this offense and would open up more passing lanes, is Olsen. He has no creativity, didn’t use Blount enough, doesn’t throw to Benn who is explosive, and is terrible in creating plays to get the offense off to a fast start. He doesn’t open up offense until we’re behind and doesn’t know how to put another team away. When is the last game we have dominated from start to finish? We never blow teams out either. I think it’s time to hire an OC with experience. Van Pelt seems to be a waste of time also.

  20. adam from ny Says:

    free is best when rolling out….no question….the other teams gets jumbled up as he was the 2nd best runner behind vick until cam newton arrived….nevertherless, when he rolls out everything opens up…now if those receivers can get their heads together and hit the seams free can flourish….adam from ny

  21. adam from ny Says:

    freebird thives in the shotty and rolling out……..yesterday it seemed like he was told to short drop and quick release the ball in fear of peppers and the lineman eating him up…and he didnt run for the same reason, fear of the line and backers crushing him up….i don’t know why they played like shook ones….i guess thats on the coaches…..rah fears the bears and thinks lovie has the bucs down to a science…who knows

  22. adam from ny Says:

    lumpkin has absolutely nothing….we could use that kid scott at usf more than lump……lump has literally no mores….no shake, no shimmy…no mustard between his buns for rah’s hot dog……why is he in the league….

    she’s lump….she’s lump….she’s out of her head!!

  23. adam from ny Says: