Josh Freeman No. 22

June 24th, 2012

To help fill the NFL’s unofficial dead period until training camp begins, Pat Yasinskas of ESPN is unveiling his top 25 players in the NFC South. Recently, he released his No. 22 player, which happens to be Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman.

What he did in 2011: After a tremendous first full season as a starter in 2010, Freeman appeared to take a major step back last season. He threw for 16 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. At times, he appeared to be nervous. At other times, he appeared to be forcing things. Freeman was bad, but so was his supporting cast and his coaching.

Why he’s No. 22 in 2012: The front office and the coaching staff firmly believe Freeman can be a franchise quarterback. They think the physical tools, work ethic and intangibles all are there. The front office already has done its part, signing free-agent Vincent Jackson to be the No. 1 wide receiver, drafting Doug Martin and planning to use him as an all-purpose running back and adding All-Pro guard Carl Nicks to an offensive line that looks like it has a chance to be very good. Freeman’s learning a new offense with coordinator Mike Sullivan, but it’s an offense that’s supposed to put him in a position to succeed. Freeman didn’t really have a chance last year because so much was going wrong around him. This year, there are no excuses. It’s time to find out what Freeman truly can do.

That’s just it. Which Freeman should Bucs fans expect to see? Is it the Freeman who had the sick touchdown-to-interception ratio of 25-to-6 in 2010, or the Freeman who threw a ghastly 22 picks last season?

Sure, he has new toys to play with and Bucs rock star general manger rid Freeman of a cancer that was the root of many of his interceptions. B But transforming from a bad quarterback to a good quarterback isn’t that simple.

The thing that concerns Joe is that Freeman is now on his third offensive coordinator in four years. Ask Jason Campbell and Alex Smith how a revolving door of offensive coordinators messes with the development of quarterbacks.

7 Responses to “Josh Freeman No. 22”

  1. BigMacAttack Says:

    I think Josh will end up somewhere in between. I’d guess about 30 and 15, hopefully better, but I think he will throw more TD’s with this blocking effort and Mr Jackson.

  2. Ladyz Says:

    I also think Free will have a better year. How much better will depend on the O line and their protection. With no K2 he can share the ball. Go Bucs!

  3. Dini's Biceps Says:

    He’ll be #10 or higher this time next year unless he completely chokes under pressure this year b/c the Spotlight is directly on him and the team is on his shoulders & his financial future all depends on how he performs this season.

  4. HolyBuc Says:

    It really is only his 2nd OC not sure Jags counts. After watching that offensive offesnse last year, a new OC is probably a godsend for #5.

  5. Ben Says:

    You can split hairs and say that this is only his 2nd offensive coordinator, but then you still have to admit that he has only had a real offseason. In his first year, they switched OCs at the beginning of the year. Last year, there was the lockout. His year with a real offseason? 25:6 TD:INT

  6. Bobby Says:

    It’s funny, you always look at top rated QB’s and assume they were always good but that’s rarely the case. I was watching the man channel yesterday and they had a special on the 70’s Steelers and I was reminded that it took Bradshaw years to develop and he was really bad until he got good. Getting good was due in part to Swann and Stalworth of course. The point is, I think Freeman has all the tools and is actually ahead of the curve as far as development. I expect Cam to have a down year now that there is tape on him and his old OC is gone. That was just freakish what he did. Free will be fine. I expect a big year for him.

  7. Paul W. Says:

    Forgive me because this is completely unrelated but Tony McQuay from the 400m qualifier has GOT to be related to BJ Upton!