THE OPTIMIST: Freeman Is The Man

January 8th, 2012

You’ve all read THE PESSIMIST, who spews his Bucs-related anger like no other. But Joe also brings you THE OPTIMIST

THE OPTIMIST is Nick Houllis, a Bucs fan and an accomplished writer whose steadfast allegiance to the Buccaneers goes back to the 1970s. Houllis is the founder, creator and guru of, a place Joe goes to get lost in time via Houllis’ stunning video collection.

THE OPTIMIST will shine that positive light in your eyes. Some will love it. Some won’t. … Of course, THE OPTIMIST’s opinions are his alone and are not influenced by Joe.

Lay off Josh Freeman.

Watching the season-ending debacle last Sunday, I paid some attention to Twitter feeds during the game and was amazed by Tweets about Josh Freeman once the game got out of hand.

Freeman should have been benched like Blount was for turning the ball over, some Tweets said. Never mind James Lee did an OLEY block letting John Abraham come in untouched while Freeman was looking left, or that Kellen Winslow screwed up and ran the wrong route; right into Bucs’ RB impersonator Kregg Lumpkin, the result of which was a Pick-6.

People actually wasted their time complaining about Freeman. Did anyone watch Sean Jones or Geno Hayes? Quincy Black took on horrible angle one specific play, amazing since he was only two feet away when he did it!

“Defense is on the field all the time because of Freeman,” another fan wrote. Really? Sunday, once again, the Bucs QB took the field for his second possession already down 14-0.

That wasn’t Josh Freeman’s fault, and it happened all year long. Only twice did the Bucs scored first last season: Week 1 vs Detroit (3-0) and week 13 at Jacksonville (14-0). That’s it, besides that, Freeman gets the ball for the first time usually down 7-0.

How many times? Eight times, half a season, the Bucs offense began their second possession already down a touchdown, four times down by two scores. Also four times, Josh Freeman touched the ball for the first time with a 7-0 deficit.

That doesn’t provide an excuse to turn the ball over, but it certainly doesn’t help.

But we have to be honest, even as a Josh Freeman fan, you have to admit he had a bad season. There were some bright moments, thought they were overshadowed by 22 interceptions. So what happened?

Quite a bit of those 22 picks were tipped balls by a wide receiving core full of No.2 WRs and no legit No. 1 guy. Josh Freeman himself admitted the Kool-Aid he drank from 2010 gave him too much confidence and he tried to squeeze the ball into places he had no business attempting.

We know every quarterback missed offseason OTAs, but one of the biggest reason’s Josh Freeman improved from 2009 to 2010 was because the massive amount of studying and preparation during the OTAs paid off during the year. Freeman greatly missed last summer.

There is a reason the entire coaching staff was let go, some of these assistant coaches were straight ‘basuda’ for our Spanish speaking Joes!  Where was QB Coach Van Pelt during this season? Olsen? Coaching him to not throw of this foot, Squeeze passes in, whatever?

Anyway you look at it, Freeman was not a good QB this year, not at all. But that doesn’t mean he won’t be. My goodness, think about all of the holes on this team, and some people want to use the top pick in the draft for Robert Griffin III? You want to do 2009 all over again? Over one bad year?

You don’t throw away a franchise QB over one bad season, especially when its been shown to happen before. Both Peyton Manning AND Big Ben from Pittsburgh had bad third seasons, tossing up plenty of interceptions. Freeman is only 18 months older than Andrew Luck, and five more months than that over Robert Griffin III. Look how long the 49ers stuck with Alex Smith and they are the No.2 seed.

And for those that criticized Morris for not pulling Freeman like Blount, you don’t pull your QB over interceptions. QB is NOT running back. You can find a running back on a street corner (Blount), a franchise QB? Not so much.

Bottom line: with so many needs on this team, you don’t even think about pulling the plug on Freeman, and if you can find me ANYONE who writes or works for a reputable network who agrees with you, you’ll be the first one to find that person — because the concept is plain silly and ignorant.

Get some linebackers, running backs, corners, etc., and coach up the guy who has nine fourth-quarter comebacks on his resume.

31 Responses to “THE OPTIMIST: Freeman Is The Man”

  1. RastaMon Says:

    Of course he is the man !

  2. eric Says:

    totally agree except for ota excuse.

    and the rockstar failed to get any legit supporting cast.

    man those guys at obp could give a politburo advice on secrecy.

  3. Garv Says:

    OBVIOUSLY Josh Freeman is our QB and the Buccaneer’s chances for success rests on his shoulders. However, it is up the the organization to support him with all they’ve got; coaching, consistency, players to compliment him and protect him.
    QB play is essential for success. We have the guy and need to build around him.


  4. TurnThePage Says:

    Josh still needs to prove himself.

    So far, he is heading down the path of Vinny Testeverde.

  5. TurnThePage Says:

    Oh and a speculation expert Nick is not.

    See his Raheem Morris excuses. He is as bad as Shaun King… almost.

  6. MTM Says:

    I think the line ” with so many needs on this team” is becoming hard to hear year after year with our dumpster GM still in place. I agree Freeman needs talent around him. But it is evident that the Glazers and dumpster make picks based on money. Hell I start to wonder if they deliberately pick players that have no upside . So down the road they can cut or kept on at a minimum. And don’t think Freeman hasn’t realized this.
    Hire Billick and stop bottom feeding Glazers.

  7. mbaby Says:

  8. Thomas Says:

    Had we not got a lucky bounce or two in five or six of our games last year our record would’ve mirrored this years. This being said I am not 100% confident we can say he is a franchise qb. Cam comes in doesn’t know the playbook doesn’t know his players and lights it up. Here’s my thing, if we had the number one pick in the draft I bet most fans out there would want Luck! And not all teams can say that.

  9. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    WHY we replaced the O Line Coach of a 10 and 6 team is beyond me, but facts are facts. Freeman had much more time to throw when Mangurian was the O Line Coach, and Caddy did a much better job then Lumpkin. The loss of Graham really hurt us, Free was running for his life, all too often.
    Drew Brees is awesome, but he has all day to throw.
    I think Freeman is a franchise QB we can build around, but we must give him more weapons, and better protection.

  10. mbaby Says:

  11. TheProsUseAdvoCare Says:

    @AppleRoofCleaning “Drew Brees is awesome, but he has all day to throw.I think Freeman is a franchise QB we can build around, but we must give him more weapons, and better protection.”

    EXACTLY! Fix the biggest problem i.e. RT.

  12. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    Niko: werent you arguing how good of a job rah was doing anx how we were heading in the right direction under that inept staff just weeks ago?

    With that clarified, It is impossible to know at this point if Josh is 2010 or 2011. I argued previously that Rah’s horrible coaching was responsible for Josh’s regression, you and others were wasting time defending Rah so I guess you cant now reverse and blame horrible coaching.

    The facts are: this O Line is near the top of the league in pass pro and rush yards per attempt (until we started being forced to abandon the run bc we were down 41-0 before halftime under your great Rah’s defense that allowed 518 points).

    The receivers are horrible, maybe the NFL’s worst group. Our undrafted players are better than our drafted receivers and a highest draftee (benn a 2nd) is our worst (which speaks volumes about Dom’s skills in assessing draft value). Mike Will is a serviceable #2 or 3 chain mover.

    Our running backs are also bad, Blount is good for one highlight run per game otherwise he stinks, Dom’s Barry Sanders (Lumpy) may be the least productive change of pace back/3rd down back in nfl history.

    We need to add explosive players (I am not sure if Dom knows what these are). We need Free to play under a legit NFL coaching system and then we can tell. Physically, he is Big Ben but his passing skills are more like a Vinny
    (big arm questionable decision making).

  13. eric Says:

    Does Free have that quick release that Brees and Stafford used so effectively yesterday? I wonder a little about that.

    Gonna be real good, but maybe not “elite”?.

    Lots better than Sanchez who rockstar wanted.

  14. Garv Says:

    @Thomas….NOT the 2.whatever complainer…..

    You bring up an interesting point. Though I’m a huge Josh Freeman backer I have to admit taking Luck would be a no-brainer considering we are obviously rebuilding…..AGAIN and a new HC would be getting such a great player.
    Luck is the real deal, smart. great arm, incredibly accurate and a leader as well as a winner. You HAVE to take him, all there is to it.

    And a year ago I was claiming I would not trade Josh for ANY QB in the league today given his 2010 season, upside AND age. I remain confidant he can be a great player but the Glazers have GOT to surround him with better players and damn good coaches……..NOW!

  15. McBuc Says:

    “Luck is the real deal, smart. great arm, incredibly accurate and a leader as well as a winner. You HAVE to take him, all there is to it.”

    Just like Ryan Leaf…You never know how they will go in the pros, I still would not trade Frreman, and the last thing we need is a QB contraversy

  16. k1ngAdroc Says:

    @Turn – Don’t ever bring up Colorblind Vinny and Josh Freeman in the same sentence again. To Vinny, late game heroic’s is a foreign concept (unless he’s playing the Buc’s in another uniform)

    mbaby, thanks for the link back to “bust-in-waiting” post’s

    You read stuff like that and it confirms what we all already know… that these pundits don’t have a clue regarding evaluating talent. No drills will tell you how these players will develop when the live NFL bullets are flying

    Josh will benefit from new coaching but i hope we get a offensive HC that installs an O that won’t change as OC’s, etc come and go. Josh will need consistency and more weapons (true #1 – blackmon, Vjackson?) to grow.

    I’m a defensive guy but the more I think about our team situation, the more I agree with the above statement

  17. CC Says:

    If Freeman was playing for New Orleans behind that line. Wkth those Running backs. Wide receivers.He would be a top 5 qb. Period.

  18. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    If Cleveland would trade the #4 pick and whatever there other one will be…around pick 20 or so. We should jump on it!!! We would have the #4, #5, #20ish picks in the 1st round this season. Get Morris Claiborne and RG3 with the 4 and 5 pick. Then with the other one get Courtney Upshaw. We get a starting CB and LB that we desperatly need!!! and RG3 is a more accurate passer, better runner, quicker thinker, and overall a better QB than Josh. I love Freeman but RG3 dogs him!!! To get 3 starters in the 1st round and LaMichael James in the 2nd, and a Safety in the 3rd. Our major needs are resolved that quick. DO IT DOM.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. k1ngAdroc Says:

    @ CC – agreed

  20. Garv Says:

    Because I think Luck would be a no brainer to pick if we had the 1 pick and could not trade down does NOT mean I think less of Josh, just that I believe Luck IS as good as advertised, Peyton Manning good. That’s just my opinion.

    I agree we don’t need a QB controversy now. LOL HELL no.

  21. Garv Says:


    Yeah, we could trade Jovan Haye and Michael Sprulock for the Browns 4 pick.
    Maybe they could throw it a 2 to sweeten the pot!

  22. FreemanBomb5 Says:

    How in the blue hell are we going to acquire Cleveland’s two first round picks w/o giving up anything of value?

  23. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    @Mbaby – Do you have a point with your links? Joe is happy to admit he thought the pick of Josh Freeman was a bad move. However, this post is not written by Joe, nor is the post of THE PESSIMIST, which was one of your links, as well. If you have something to say, say it.

  24. Tye Says:

    Derrick Anderson had 1 good year with the Browns a few years ago and even went to the Pro bowl, I believe, but that didn’t make him a “Franchise QB”….. He could never return to that level of play…… Freeman is in position to possibly do the same thing and if so I hope the new HC is prepared for it!

  25. TheProsUseAdvoCare Says:

    Anderson never had a season near what Freeman had last year.

  26. BigMacAttack Says:

    Didn’t Aaron Rogers wait about 4 years to get on the field? Look how good he is now. I like Josh Freeman a lot, but 2 words come to mind: Peyton Manning

  27. Thomas Says:

    Garv thanks for your input. and IMO you are absolutely correct in your assesment on Luck.
    From what I hear (620wdae) it appears as though 2012 will and/or should be the make or break deal if Freeman stays or goes. It’s simple, if Freeman has the same results in 2012 most likely we will have a high draft pick (again) and hopefully we will be in position to get Matt Barkley.
    In regards to Joe’s last comment to M’baby; Joe I am a loyal and avid customer to your website and have been for a long time – although I understand what you are trying to convey ~ what I don’t understand is the tone of your statement. “if you have something to say, say it?” Joe I worked construction for years and trust me you have learn to have a thick skin in that business, but i have to admit that comment appears a little condescending. I apologize if i am taking this the wrong way but i dont believe m’baby had any bad intentions. I have NO idea who M’baby is, but I
    have to admit that link was VERY interesting to read.

  28. Niko (The Optimist) Says:

    Turn the page….please show me Vinny’s breakout season. He didn’t have one (not counting anything with the Jets. I was around for Vinny, Josh is NO Vinny.

  29. Niko (The Optimist) Says:

    Thomas 2.2, Yup, that was me! But Im the optimist man!! I roll with the changes!!

    Besides, tell me 7 weeks ago you knew that end of a season was going to happen!

  30. BigMacAttack Says:

    Thomas worked construction, LOL. Wouldn’t last 5 minutes on a real job site.

  31. McBuc Says:

    Bigmac, that is a different Thomas, he is not 2.2.