2012 A Bounce Back Year For Josh Freeman?

July 12th, 2012

There were so many pointed fingers, and areas for the Bucs to improve on, after the grotesque 10-game losing streak last season that Joe doesn’t know where to start.

Of course, Josh Freeman’s 25 interceptions sure didn’t help matters. And because Freeman is trying to rebound from such a hole, Len Pasquarelli of the Sports Xchange believes Freeman could very well be the 2012 Comeback Player of the Year provided the Bucs play well.

No doubt, it’s still very much a quarterback league, and the Bucs play in one of the most quarterback-driven divisions in the NFL, with Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Cam Newton around. But the Bucs, who slumped from 10 wins in 2010 to a dozen losses last season, ran the ball fewer times than any team (346 attempts) in ’11. That might help explain their No. 30 statistical rating in rushing offense, and the paucity of runs could be explained in part by early deficits in most games, but a trickle-down effect as the, well, trickle down of Freeman’s performance.

Regarded as one of the NFL’s rising stars, and with some Tampa Bay officials privately insisting only a year ago that they would not trade Freeman for any player in the league, his touchdown passes fell from 25 to 16 and his interceptions rose from six to 22. Freeman posted a better completion percentage than the previous season, and had more passing yards, but his quarterback rating fell by more than 20 points. One of the league’s biggest quarterbacks from a physical dimension standpoint, Freeman was also one of the biggest flops in the NFL in 2011.

But if the Bucs are to compete for an unlikely playoff spot, they desperately need Freeman to rebound. And Freeman, who won’t turn 25 until a week after the regular seasons ends, needs some help, which the new Bucs’ staff apparently plans to give their talented quarterback.

Joe finds it interesting that Pasquarelli hinted former Bucs offensive coordinator Greg Olson Pearl Harbored Freeman’s season because Olson — for reasons Joe simply cannot comprehend — refused to feed the ball to a guy who averaged over four-plus yards a carry, LeGarrette Blount.

As revolting as the Bucs defense played in December last year, so too was it equally nauseating to see Blount get five carries in the season-opening chain-whipping at the hands of the Lions — FIVE!

11 Responses to “2012 A Bounce Back Year For Josh Freeman?”

  1. OB Says:

    Joe, there are only a couple of reasons that this happened, complete stupidity on the part of the head coach and OC, with the owners and GM in a coma, or something very bad happened that the media hasn’t found out yet or hasn’t report yet. There are no other rational reasons that this happened.

  2. big007hed Says:

    That was last year and with a different coaching staff I am not concerned about only 5 rushing attempts anymore… Freeman does need to get his self righted but I think a lot of his “issues” last year was the team quitting and coaching staff being grossly out coached

  3. Chris FWC Says:

    Magic 8-Ball says… “If He Stops Throwing So Many INT’s”

  4. OAR Says:

    Shake that Magic 8-Ball more than twice and you’re playing with it!

  5. Bobby Says:

    OK…we’ve gone over this topic 6 zillion times. I can’t wait for training camp so we’ll have fresh news to go over.

  6. Bucnjim Says:

    The previous regime was outcoached so badly that the team started out behind every game. (For 2 seasons) Did we even score a point in the first quarter? Freeman was able to keep us in games and actually win some in 2010, but it was too much to ask coming from behind last season. There is too much luck involved trying to win a game losing by 14 before half time. This is why Freeman had so many INT’s. The only way to even try to get back into these games was to take chances and the D’s were sitting back knowing what was coming.

  7. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    2012 will be a success only if Freeman is a success, period. I think Freeman has all the ability and work ethic to be a great QB. However, I’m not really all in with the theory that his INT’s were a result of us being down every game. There were many times last year where he was badly missing guys that were open. He simply was very inaccurate most of the year, which is very concerning. Obviously (and hopefully) coaching had a lot to do with it as well, but some of the blame falls directly onto his shoulders. Regardless, that’s in the past and this is a new year. Nobody can say he doesn’t have any weapons, as we are stacked (on paper at least) at virtually every offensive position. This is the year we will find out what we have in Freeman.

  8. BigMacAttack Says:

    Good One OAR. LOL

  9. Scubog Says:

    There is little doubt that our young QB could have played better. But one can not set aside the fact that in virtually every game Raheem’s ill-conceived defense was at a loss as to how to stop the opponent. There was never a more unprepared team in Bucs history. The game plan on both offense and defense became a useless notion and was tossed by half-time. As injuries mounted with each crushing defeat; # 5 simply tried to do too much with # 82 in his ear. Does it really matter if you’re 21 points behind on the path to yet another lopsided loss and throw a pick?

  10. Mike J Says:

    Here’s what fantasy site Rotoworld has to say:

    8. Josh Freeman
    Best Case: The real Freeman stands up and takes full advantage of new No. 1 receiver Vincent Jackson, throwing for 25 touchdowns and just shy of 4,000 yards despite the Bucs’ renewed commitment to the ground game.
    Worst Case: Freeman posts better numbers under bright new OC Mike Sullivan, but only because his 2011 was so bad. His 85.0 quarterback rating and 20:15 TD:INT ratio leave the Bucs pondering his long-term future in Tampa. http://www.rotoworld.com/articles/nfl/40906/77/best-caseworst-case-qbs?pg=2

    Even the ”worst-case” is pretty good.

  11. Mike J Says:

    Sorry, 8 = 18.