Bucs Need Josh Freeman To Bounce Back

June 4th, 2012

Two years ago Josh Freeman was the talk of the NFL. The Bucs quarterback put up astounding numbers, specifically his touchdown-to-interception ratio that was an otherworldly 25 touchdowns to six interceptions.

Freeman was so good, he nearly led the Bucs to the playoffs, as the Bucs lost out in a tiebreaker to the eventual Super Bowl champion Packers.

Last year expected almost as much from Freeman (which, in retrospect, was unrealistic), Freeman regressed terribly.

Joe believes there were many factors in Freeman’s step backwards. The Bucs coaching staff, for reasons incomprehensible, decided to ignore the rushing attack and put all the pressure on Freeman’s shoulders.

When Kellen Winslow became more distraction than asset and teams figured out how to double- and triple-team Mike Williams, the result was Freeman’s 22 interceptions.

Now there is a valid question Bucs fans may have: Is Freeman the quarterback we witnessed in 2010 or the quarterback we witnessed in 2011?

Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik believes it is the former, so reports Woody Cummings of the Tampa Tribune.

Freeman’s dedication to improving on last year’s disappointing 16-touchdown, 22-interception effort is very encouraging, Dominik said during the Sneaker Soiree roundtable.

“He’s an extremely competitive person and this offseason, all on his own, he’s already lost 15 pounds,” Dominik said. “He looks like a different person.

“And even though he’s still a baby in the NFL, he knows that life in the NFL can be short and so he’s done everything he can to devote himself not only to being a better football player but to learning the new system. I’m very encouraged that he takes his job that seriously.”

Well, just judging by what Joe has seen of the Bucs practicing — and Joe hasn’t been able to get much of a look at Freeman yet — the signs for a rebound are there.

There is no question under the New Schiano Order that Greg Schiano is determined to run the ball, just the opposite of last year’s offensive coordinator Greg Olson.

Further, the Bucs have acquired help for LeGarrette Blount by drafting Muscle Hamster Doug Martin and scatback Michael Smith.

Besides, it’s not that difficult to improve on 22 interceptions.

24 Responses to “Bucs Need Josh Freeman To Bounce Back”

  1. Miguel Grande Says:

    Hopefully the Little General will insist that that they clean up his sloppy mechanics. Josh has the capability to be a game breaker.

  2. OB Says:

    Joe, with the additional receivers, improved line and a running game that should be a delight, JF will light up the league.

    By the way, their first round draft pick looks better and better, the receiver people wanted to draft just went down for the second DUI, this one before his contract signing, how stupid is that?

  3. Buxter Says:

    First it was Jags offense.

    Then it was Gruden lite by Olsen.

    Now it’s Sullivan’s Giant’s part 2.

    3 offenses in his 4th year on the roster.

    Thank God we’ll be running the ball. It’s going to take Freeman most of this season just to get comfortable with the new scheme.

  4. TrueBlue Says:

    The latter? Really. 2011? Surely you meant the former.

  5. SCBucsFan Says:

    Most. Obvious. Header. Ever.

    If Freeman has a similar campaign then the team is sunk but I’m betting he rebounds.

  6. Piratic Says:

    “TrueBlue Says:
    June 4th, 2012 at 9:19 am
    The latter? Really. 2011? Surely you meant the former.”


    It feels like an “admin” article to me.

  7. T in Orlando Says:

    I think we’ll see more of the 2010 Freeman, than the 2012. Odds are he’ll never replicate the TD:INT ratio of 25:6, but with improved coaching, not just for him, but the rest of the team, I think numbers along the lines of 30:12 is very possible. I’ll personally be satisfied that the 2010 Freeman is the one to expect if he can have at least twice as many TDs as INTs.

    I think a lot of Freeman’s individual problems stemmed from him trying tpp hard to make something happen as he saw games and ultimately the season just go completely to the crapper. I don’t think Schiano will ever let that happen (Freeman’s thought process to get to that point) , even if the season is looking like another disaster (although heaven help us all if it does).

  8. Teddy Says:

    Yeah, I thought the same thing, TrueBlue.

  9. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Every team Tampa has had recently “plans to run the ball”.
    Just like every boxer had a plan against Mike Tyson, until they got hit.
    But, NFL Defenses are quite adept at shutting the Run Down.
    What Freeman does then will decide if we win or not, and his future with the Bucs.

  10. Joe Says:

    True Blue:

    You caught Joe posting at 1 a.m. again. 🙂

    Thanks for the heads-up.

  11. thomas 2.2 Says:

    Josh is better than 2011. Josh’s 2010 numbers were a little out of proportion with how he played in 2010 – he got away with a lot of bad balls in 2010 that he didn’t get away with in 2011. If you put his numbers together for the 2 seasons- which are basically 50/50 – that tells you how good Freeman was.

    All of you guys who are blasting Free’s coaching last year were the same one’s singing Rah’s and Van Pelt’s praises 6 months ago.

    Josh is a good player with the potential to be great – mostly because of his size and talent. His mechanics and decision-making, just like at K State are questionable.

    However, when Josh extends the play by shaking off a defender, he is excellent.

    This Olson hated to run the ball argument is stupid. If any of you took the time to ask him, Olson would day that he would have loved to run the ball 50% of the time like every coach, but down and distance, circumstances and his bosses opinions about how to win (put the ball in Free’s hands in the 2nd half) dictated the plays he calls.

    Everyone who knows anything knows that. I suspect many of you do as well but that doesn’t fit your “Dom is a rockstar Olson is an idiot” agenda.

  12. Garv Says:

    Of course running the ball consistently and successfully will help Josh and the Bucs.
    I have no doubt about Josh’s will to win, his desire and work ethic.
    Can’t wait to see how play action off a running game that works will help our game!

  13. Have A Nice Day Says:

    I’d be cool with 22 INTs if he through 38 to 42 TDs.

  14. Have A Nice Day Says:

    lol “through” X)

  15. BucFan20 Says:

    So now he is doing all this on his own? Why not last year? 1.Cause he knows this Coach will put his a$$ on the bench.
    2. Wants to stay with the Bucs next year.
    3. Contract Time comming up.
    They all do what ever it takes to get that Big New contract.
    Someone said in another article that 2 years they put the franchise in the hands of McCoy. Well, who was it not that long ago they put the franchise in the hands of? Freeman.
    People have used 101 excuses for all his problems. I hope he improves this year. But I am not going to hold my breath. All we can do is have faith in the Coaches.

  16. Ron Says:

    The Bucs did go away from the run last year but really the reason there was so much pressure on Freeman was that the Bucs were down 14-0 before you could blink. How many of the 22 int’s happened when Bucs were in a hole?

  17. Buc U Says:

    Good point by Thomas that he didn’t get away with some stuff in 2011 like he did in 2010. Freeman led the league (tied with Mike Vick) in 2010 with dropped interception opportunities thrown.
    Also, I would be interested to know how many of Josh’s picks last year were on tipped balls. I can think of at least 3 that Benn tipped up in the air and two more by Winslow.
    I think it is realistic to expect and accept around the average of 2010-2011 for this upcoming season – around 12-14 interceptions.

  18. BucFan20 Says:

    And how many did not get picked that should have?

  19. McBuc Says:

    Almost does not count, unless you want to give him all the passes that should have been caught that were not…geez, you guys are something else.

    Thomas does make a valid point, but than he acts like a complete jerk whiile he is doing it.

    This is the off season guys, the Bucs are 0-0.

  20. Adam L. Says:

    “Of course 2010 was the real Freeman,” said Dominik. “Seriously, what are the odds that I only drafted 1 legit starter in 3 drafts? The odds of that futility is just staggering!”

  21. Kujolw Says:

    What Freeman and the coaches need to do is look at the 2010 tape. See the strengths and the weakness of the team because that was the team that didn’t quit, That’s the team that had potential to become great. What we saw last year was a team that failed to progess and take the season before for granted. I blame it on all, not only coaches, but players also.

    Freeman was good with a run game and when he chose to run with the ball instead of forcing it in. I hope and by the way it sounds, he understands the game and knows were he messed up last year, but the kid knows it and tells everyone, he doesn’t hide it. He’ll take a real big leap forward this year. I hope with the coaching staff we have now there won’t be no more teams scoring an average of what 35 points per game.Hell all we can do is go forward.

  22. Derk Says:

    Not sure if you seen this review but this guy at NFL films has good insight and an interesting take on Freeman.

  23. Bobby Says:

    Hey Thomas…when you turn on the radio do you think every song is about you?? You really are a pompous ass. No one gives you any respect for knowing anything so quit acting like the guru of the Bucs. It’s going to be very difficult for you when the very players you have been bashing are the stars of the 2012 team. But I suppose you’ll just revise history and act like you were pulling for them all along. I have you pegged for a little guy about 5’3″ or so with a Napoleon complex because no one could be as inane as you without some serious issues.

    OK…that’s my Thomas bash for the day. See you tomorrow..

  24. Buc O Deer Says:

    I hope Sullivan and Turner get Free back on track this year. How many times have we seen Free audible to take advantage of a mismatch? His growth this offseason is the #1 priority. The defense can’t be on the field most of the time and winded. This maybe why the new veteran d line signings.