Freeman’s Thumb = Failed Leadership

November 30th, 2011
Bucs icon Derrick Brooks sounds off on Josh Freeman

Bucs icon Derrick Brooks is very disappointed in one aspect of Josh Freeman’s gun injury at a local shooting range a few weeks ago.

Most peeving Brooks, so he told Justin Pawlowski on WDAE-AM 620 today, was that what happened to Freeman leaked from the locker room. For Brooks, that was an unsettling red flag.

Brooks also said Freeman shouldn’t necessarily have been playing at the gun range as a guy trying to be the big man on campus.

“You don’t necessarily put yourself in that position as a leader,” Brooks said. “Because in that position you affect more than yourself.”

“You know you hurt your thumb, your thumb is not well, don’t put yourself in that position.”

Brooks went on to say the “leader of an entire football team is different than being the leader of part of a football team.” Counseling Freeman earlier this year, Brooks said he wanted Freeman to go slowly when approaching the daunting responsibility of leading the ballclub.

“My two-cent advice was don’t take too much on,” Brooks said.

Joe has to agree with Brooks. If Freeman wants to be the franchise, then he has to exercise extraordinary discretion and judgement, the kind of maturity he probably hasn’t acquired yet at 23 years old.

Today at his news conference, Freeman said he learned his lesson and wouldn’t use guns in season. Joe can only hope he learned a little greater lesson on leadership.

39 Responses to “Freeman’s Thumb = Failed Leadership”

  1. Mcnabb to Barber for 6 Says:

    What is wrong with Free participating in a legel, safe activity on his own time? It’s not like like going to the gun range is a high risk activity (like skiing, motorcycle racing, etc.). Freak injury, let it go.

  2. stimpy Says:


    But then we never complained when Sapp slapped a few girls around as long as he was QB Killa.

  3. dan Says:

    Should he also avoid the use of scissors or kitchen/cooking knives? They are more frequent to cause an injury like freemans than guns at a range, (you can make the argument that the shoulder/arm soreness is uneccesarry addition to a rough schedule but that’s a different issue)

  4. flmike Says:

    Geez, you’d think he raped someone.

  5. flmike Says:

    Yes it was a swipe at “Big” Ben.

  6. Dave Says:

    I get the leadership stuff, but I still do not see anything wrong with him going to spend an hour or two at a gun range, in season or not.

    If he cut himself trimming bushes at his house would it matter then?

    Makes no sense to me. He did nothing wrong. besides, he has been inaccurate and making bad decisions ever since preseason, the thumb has nothing to do with anything.

  7. K2theSoldier Says:

    It was a freak accident! Jesus man, give Josh a break. Since when did everybody get so sensitive and unbelievably unreasonable? Look, Derrick Brooks is an awesome human being and an awesome football player. But he’s flat out wrong here. Are we going to criticize Josh for falling down the stairs and say he should have taken the safer route on the elevator? This is so stupid. So, so, stupid. Give me a break Derrick.

  8. OAR Says:

    At first, I didnt think much of it, but it wasn’t a very smart idea shooting a .50cal desert eagle with a hurt thumb to begin with! Probablly was the reason for the mishap of the slide cutting him!

  9. OAR Says:

    I would critize Josh going down stairs, if his leg was hurt! Same thing as shooting a handgun with a hurt hand, only bad things will happen!

  10. K2theSoldier Says:

    Freak. Accident. Absolutely nothing wrong. People hear “gun” and flip out.

  11. BKNYfootballhead Says:

    I hope he shoots a gun and suffers injury from the recoil every week. After all, he played his only good game of the season after said injury. Maybe it helped him with his accuracy? Maybe if he fires a rifle sometime, he can have a shell hit him in the eye to help him not stare down his receivers? Perhaps a rocket launder will give him a concussion to help him with his decision making?
    Kidding aside, Brooks is off base about this being a leadership issue. The real issue is what the kid is doing on the field.

  12. pewterpirate99 Says:

    Being that his accuracy hasn’t been so hot, it’s good to see that he’s putting in extra work on his “target” practice. I’m just surprised he didn’t put full body pics of Kellen Winslow to practice on, being that he’s the only receiver he ever looks for.

  13. RastaMon Says:

    This is silly….firing a gun at a gun range on off time/unwind time is a perfectly normal stress releaving/hobby activity…by far the least of bucfans concerns…

  14. Lead Says:

    This is Joe Yesterday:
    The mishap happened at a fully licensed, fully controlled, safe, legal environment.
    In Joe’s eyes, this is no different than if Freeman cut himself fishing or broke a thumb blocking someone’s shot playing a pickup game of hoops.
    This is Joe Today:
    Joe has to agree with Brooks. If Freeman wants to be the franchise, then he has to exercise extraordinary discretion and judgement, the kind of maturity he probably hasn’t aquired yet at 23 years old.
    Today at his news conference, Freeman said he learned his lesson and wouldn’t use guns in season. Joe can only hope he learned a little greater lesson on leadership

    Common Joe whats your take on this situation. Is it coz Mr brooks said so

  15. ChefPaul Says:

    @OAR You are spot on. It’s not the shooting of the gun that bothers me. It’s the shooting of THAT gun with a SPRAINED THUMB.

  16. Joe Says:


    “This Joe” thought the entire matter was overblown and over with yesterday.

  17. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    @Lead — Work on your reading skills pal.

    Joe hasn’t blasted the activity of firing at a range at all. However, Brooks is talking about leadership and the responsibility to be hypersensitive in that role when you’re trying hard to be the face of the franchise. …Nobody can disagree that there are better activities than firing that specific weapon in season while nursing a bruised thumb already.

    Wake up.

  18. Lead Says:

    All this people here are just typing without thinking. He himself admitted that he was wrong, no shooting during the season. No one is saying he shouldn’t shoot, do it at the right time. He even said he goes there on off thats crazy..

  19. Lead Says:


    I will work on reading skill, Pls work on your writing skills too…
    Either way, I still Like your blog.
    Well I just think the young man has to work harder… I just want my team to do well. I just think Freeman hasn’t made people around him better.

  20. TheProsUseAdvoCare Says:

    Can’t be mad at a man doing something that is generally safe. He is in far greater danger when the team bus drives them around or when they fly to away games. In the US alone, over the past decade, some 4,000+ people have died from plane crashes and over 30 million people have been injured in driving accidents. From quick research on google, outside of suicide and murder, less than 100(very generous) injuries have been reported in gun ranges over the same period of time.

    A gun range seems to be far safer activity than driving or flying yet no one cares to talk about all the dangerous driving and flying Free does.

  21. eric Says:

    love brooks but this is silly.

    leadership at qb starts with hitting the open receiver.

    firing a gun at a range is hardly a reckless activoty. can cut your thumb opening a can of tuna as easily.

    if they gave josh help like they should have and if rah could coach defense we wouldnt have this kinda mindnumbingly dumb conversation.

  22. BensoninDunedin Says:

    Precisely why he shouldn’t be opening/handling tuna cans. This is what hotties in bikinies working for $10 an hour as handmaidens are supposed to do. Get with the program.

  23. sandbagrudy Says:

    Freeman is starting to sound like Rodney Spicoli from fast times at ridgemount high. He’s playing like Tommy Chong.T jack must have passed him the bong he looks blazed comming to the line of scrimage. He uses the word dude to frequently. I’m wondering if Winslow caught him doing something he shouldn’t have been doing and is using it against him. How did this leak out I’m breaking out the tinfoil on this one this team is becoming the running joke of the N.F.L. all the scribes are dumping on the after affects of this losing season. The only productive player on offence has been Preston Parker another under the radar player undrafted outcast from Florida State University. The teams in the league that win grab the right players when they can not wait till it’s all over and rifle throught the garbage of practice squad players hoping they fit the system when the plan is already in affect.

  24. sandbagrudy Says:

    16 int’s and 12 touchdowns makes you a loser. oh yeah then again stats are for losers or are they?

  25. Oahubuc Says:

    There are enough legit things to criticize Freeman for without bothering with this distraction. Dude has completely melted down this season. It’s never a good sign when someone with lots of hair shaves their head. Let’s talk about that.

  26. gotbbucs Says:

    this is ridiculous. questioning a players leadership ability because a gun recoiled hard and cut his hand. is josh supposed to go straight home from practice and sit in the sofa until the next day? not everything in the nfl needs to be a soap opera.

  27. eric Says:

    i herniated a disc sneezing one time.

    as relevant as this story.

  28. Mr. Lucky Says:

    OahuBucs wrote: “It’s never a good sign when someone with lots of hair shaves their head. Let’s talk about that.”

    I think that things have worked out pretty well for Brittany Spears don’t U?

  29. Mr. Lucky Says:

    I think that this whole gun range ‘thing’ does indicate a lack of leadership on Josh Freeman’s behalf. I mean after what happened in the off=season/ aka lock out – shouldn’t Freeman have invited Talib so that Talib could learn to shoot a gun straight?

  30. scott Says:

    I guess if you are going to consider going to a gun range with a legal firearm too risky then Freeman should just spend his spare time sitting at home in a padded room wearing a fireproof suit and a crash helmet.

    Can’t be too careful I guess.

  31. OAR Says:

    Man, some of you would a miss a point, even if it walked up and slapped you.
    Freeman can shoot all the guns he wants, I don’t care! But, to go shooting a HANDGUN with an injured hand is STUPID!

  32. OAR Says:

    Would you try opening a can of tuna with a hurt hand? No, because the chances of cutting yourself have risen!

  33. Jery Says:

    @Joe- How do we know it was leaked from the locker room? Joe’s guess is that people at the gun range tipped someone off.

    All we know is that DB thinks it came from the locker room.

  34. OAR Says:

    I also agree! I missed that point.

  35. Joe Says:


    See your point, but Josh has said he’s shot guns mostly all his life. It wasn’t like he didn’t know about a recoil. Given how the Bucs are stressing how minor the original injury was and this happened a week later, guessing his thumb wasn’t that bad off when he went to the gun range.

  36. OAR Says:

    “It wasn’t like he didn’t know about a recoil.”
    Which, makes my point even more valid. Being a gun enthusiast also, I know I wouldn’t be firing a handgun with a hurt or even sore hand, unless I absolutely had to.
    My guess is, especially since he had shot and was familar with the Desert Eagle, it was his thumb that caused that cut. Most cuts from guns are because the shooter isn’t familar with a certain type or calibur handgun. Just my opinion.

  37. Joe Says:

    Thanks for the clarification Justin.

  38. McBuc Says:

    “leadership at qb starts with hitting the open receiver.”

    I would have believed this too before football jesus started leading Denver. Of course, that college style of play will only last for so long. It is a good thing Denver has a good defense. But the players are sold on Tim by all accounts, and no one is going to mistake him for Dan Marino.

  39. Bobby Says:

    The scary thing is how much Brooks looks like Talib in that photo….