Inflammatory Comments About Josh Freeman

October 20th, 2012

Boomer Esiason took serious shots at Josh Freeman’s work ethic and reputation and implied that too much partying is affecting Freeman.

Yesterday, former NFL quarterback and current CBS talking head Boomer Esiason dropped in, via phone, for a visit with Justin Pawlowski and Gary Shelton, co-hosts of the “Gary and the Commish” show on WHFS-FM 98.7, to discuss all things Bucs.

Esiason had plenty to say about Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman and virtually all of Esiason’s comments were no less than explosive.

In short, Esiason claimed Freeman was “clubbing” and doesn’t take his job as the Bucs quarterback seriously, thus why he has struggled in the early weeks of the 2012 season.

“I hate to do this and I hate rumors and things of that nature. One of the reasons we say this is we have information on every single player in the league and what is going on and what is the thought process and what is the reputation and all that other stuff,” Esiason said. “Here is Josh’s reputation in the eyes of a lot of us that cover this league: tremendous talent, tremendous arm, tremendous football player. The sky is the limit for him and usually what makes people get to that next level is his commitment that he makes to his craft: the study in the playbook, understanding where you are in the offense and taking everything you do as a quarterback and taking it seriously and not hanging out on Friday nights and not hanging out on Tuesday nights and being above all the stuff that unfortunately a lot of young men find themselves in the midst of, and that is young men enjoying themselves when they are on their off time.

“I get all of that. We all went through that as players and that other stuff. But he if wants to be the next group of players, if he wants to be mentioned in same breath as Drew Brees, who you will see Sunday, or Tom Brady or Ben Roethlisberger, and even Ben Roethlisberger had some growing up to do, and I remember us challenging him to grow up as well, then he is going to have to take his craft a helluva lot more seriously.

“While I think he is a tremendous football player — he had a great game last week. Now I think we are starting to see the fruits of the Vincent Jackson signing and throwing the ball down the football field. This could be a really exciting football field if he gets plugged in and gets plugged in in a way that we all believe he should be in order to reach what we believe is a very, very high potential ceiling.”

Esiason was challenged on his comments by Shelton, who told the story of former Bucs offensive (keyword) coordinator Greg Olson telling Shelton that no quarterback he had worked with had a better work ethic.

Esiason responded by reinforcing his comments, throwing out the word “clubbing” in speaking of Freeman.

Later, after the interview, Shelton was taken aback. He openly wanted to know just what source Esiason was basing his Freeman comments on.

This is the very first Joe has heard of this as well, and given how dozens of people both inside and outside the walls of One Buc Palace rave about Freeman’s work ethic, Joe has to believe Esiason’s information is wrong, or a plant.

As regular readers of this here corner of the interwebs know, Joe is addicted to SiriusXM NFL Radio.  One of Freeman’s biggest supporters is former Super Bowl quarterback Rich Gannon, who has worked several of Freeman’s games, watched Freeman practice several times and has sat down with Freeman many times as well. Gannon gushes about Freeman’s work ethic, going so far as to say about Freeman, “He gets it.” And this is coming from a man who still harbors a touch of bitterness at the Bucs for jettisoning Chucky.

Pat Kirwan, one of Gannon’s colleagues at SiriusXM NFL Radio, is likeminded in his support of Freeman. Like Gannon, Kirwan has attended Bucs practices before and has had sit-downs with Freeman.

To be honest, Joe has no idea if Esiason has ever attended or watched a Bucs practice much less sat down and spoke with Freeman. As Joe stated before, he has to believe that Esiason’s source is either misguided or this data given to Esiason is simply a plant.

The entire interview with Esiason can be heard by clicking the link in the second paragraph of this post.

40 Responses to “Inflammatory Comments About Josh Freeman”

  1. vic Says:

    Esiason lost credibility when he said Freeman had a “great game” against the Chiefs.

  2. ATLBuc Says:

    Can’t say how true this is or not but I can say I ran into him once at World of Beer in SoHo a couple years ago pretty late on a Friday night when they had a game that Sunday. He ended up throwing 5 TD’s (against the Seahawks) so I didn’t think a whole lot of it.

  3. Kennedy Says:

    Joe Namath made the Hall enjoying whiskey, threesomes and every ounce of nightlife. I don’t think Freeman drinkin’ and banging ho’s on a Friday night means a damn thing. It’s good for the mind.

  4. BucfanBF Says:

    What 24 year old kid doesn’t go out and party? As long as it is not the night before a game and as long as he takes his craft seriously who gives a damn

  5. Architek Says:

    I may not be the biggest believer in Freeman as a franchise QB but to make false or fallacious statements about another man craft is very trashy. Freeman is well liked as a person around the league so it won’t hold water but the fact this would surface is silly. The Bucs aren’t a national liked team so it’s not going to create much buzz. That’s why I question the reasoning and timing.

  6. milos81 Says:

    Actually, I was flipping through the channels right around the time preseason started and caught TMZ doing a report on “sexy QBs who aren’t good,” and Freeman was their case-in-point. They caught him outside of some club and interviewed him briefly. It was weird.

    Anyway, I don’t really care too much about this. Going to clubs and working hard are not mutually exclusive, though obviously we’d like a football machine who lived and breathed the sport while being an exceptional human being (like Drew Brees). Josh is really young, he doesn’t get into trouble, and he probably likes to let loose. This is less than shocking.

    Basically my problem with Esiason’s remarks is that they may even be true up to a point – Freeman goes clubbing – but they need not reflect poorly on his work ethic. Maybe Esiason is right after all, but like Joe said, I’ve never heard anyone complain about Josh’s dedication and work habits.

    Finally, I don’t think Esiason was trying to be explosive. In his mind he was probably trying to be helpful, throwing a little red flag on Freeman and shooting some advice to him. Perhaps he shouldn’t have done this, but, as we say, I ain’t mad at him. YMMV.

  7. raphael Says:

    last year freeman was doing what boomer was saying, I complained about it….but he was commited to the team.. IE: practices without coaches ect..

    this year it seems like he is all in !

  8. holymoly Says:

    So Drew Brees has never gone “clubbing ” in New Orleans ? Think Josh has it figured out just needs to keep working and learn the offense and Bummer needs to find something else to electrify the airwaves .

  9. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    Josh is 24, rich, and a nice looking young man, who happens to be single.
    I guess Boomer is an angel, who sat home and masturbated so much, he got the nickname Boomer ?
    As another poster pointed out, Joe Namath was quite the party animal.

  10. Jbrooks8604 Says:

    Haha Vic. I think Boomer was just trying to lessen the blow. Compared to every other game this season it was great.

    I can’t comment on this issue of course because I don’t know him nor do I know Boomers history when calling people out. Something is definitely wrong with Free and I would love to hear some other people give their opinions on his commitment. Either way, Schiano knows and if Free continues to struggle and his work ethic is questionable I believe Schiano will take care of that issue one way or another.

  11. Pete 422 Says:

    Freeman should call him out on this.

  12. Jbrooks8604 Says:

    I doubt he will. If it isn’t true than one of the coaches will most likely say something but I doubt Free will.

  13. Cannuckbuc Says:

    This guy seems to be angry at the young studs in the game today.I think often he speaks like the rest of the world agrees with him, but really watch the guy on the tube it appears to me that the others just smile and nod to keep him happy. Not one of my favorite x-pros, now let’s here from Kurt Warren.Thats a real pro x-QB

  14. Macabee Says:

    The last thing I’m worried about is Freeman’s work ethic. The impression I get of Freeman from watching his pressers is if he is now out slappin’ hos and slammin’ Cadillac doors, then that’s progress!

  15. BrianDorry55 Says:

    I wouldn’t doubt it…I’ve heard some respected sources say that there are some behind the scenes personal issues with Freeman that the public doesn’t know anything about. Time to grow up Free.

  16. milos81 Says:

    holymoly –

    Of course, I don’t know for a fact that Brees never went/goes clubbing in the Big Easy. But based on what I know, he is a fairly religious family man who has been highly involved in the community (and in supporting the troops, to boot). One can’t know everything about someone one doesn’t know personally, but to cast aspersions on Brees simply on a hunch, given what we know about him, is kind of cheap.

    Would I rather have Brees than Freeman? Yes. Am I complaining that we don’t? No. My point was simply that it’s unrealistic to expect even a franchise QB to be of Brees’s caliber both as a player and as a man (so far as we know). I wasn’t trying to put Freeman down.

  17. Jbrooks8604 Says:

    I don’t think the problem is clubbing directly. I guess everyone has their beliefs but I wouldn’t care if Drew Brees went clubbing in his off time or not. He’s a HoF, pro bowl caliber stud. No one questions Brees work ethic because he is always on his game come Sunday.

    The problem is Freeman is and has been struggling for a long time. A lot of people wonder if he can make it in this league. So I think what Boomer is saying that if you are performing as inconsistently as Freeman and struggling in many phases of the game like Freeman, then it may be wise career wise to cut down on the party and use some off time to improve.

  18. Hunter Says:

    I love Freeman, but this IS true. I’ve seen him in so many places, some where he shouldn’t be.

  19. FloridaGirl Says:

    True or not, who knows. Recall earlier i the season that Ronde even said that Josh needed to step up and that he ‘couldn’t be a kid anymore’. Either way, as long as the people that write his paycheck are happy with his progression and they win some games it’s really none of Boomer’s or our business. He’s a 24 year old guy. Cut him some slack.

  20. Jbrooks8604 Says:

    With you FG. I have faith that the decision makers (Schiano and Dom) know if Free is putting enough effort forward or not and they will deal with him accordingly at the end of the season depending on whether he improves or not.

  21. Bucky23 Says:

    Freeman attended Kansas state, a very big party school. I am sure he has had a beer or two before. Coach schiano wouldn’t let it fly if his party habits were out of control and hurting the team

  22. Jbrooks8604 Says:


    I agree Schiano wouldn’t let it fly in the long run but what other choice is there right now? He has no other options right now but come the end of the season we will find out exactly what Schiano thinks of Free.

  23. Buc Fan #237 Says:

    Joe… why would you release a story like thi the night before the game?

    I can see if it were put out on a Tuesday morning… but as a Bucs fan, I sure wouldn’t have put a potential distraction out the night before my team plays.

  24. BKNYfootballhead Says:

    The gunslinger has lost his boobs and gained his confidence, off the field. He’s got the cool haircut and will never struggle with the bald man in the boat of greater Tampa Bay. Money. Fame. Upsetting Boomer. The Good Life.
    Freeman could grow up by not pouting after an incompletion.

  25. Josh Says:

    I’m about ready to stop reading this kibble. A win is a win. Freeman is a young man with what seems like a good head on his shoulders. It’s the same with this Damn election. Nothing to talk about so let’s play at penning stories that are borderline racist. The Bucs are going to when, and Boomer is a pecker that covers AFC broadcasts.

  26. Pete Dutcher Says:

    For a QB who had 64 fumbles and 86 interceptions in his last seven years of play, Esiason has a lot of nerve.

    Freeman may well attend a club once in a long while, but there have never been reports of him getting drunk or getting in trouble.

    There have also NEVER been any problems in regard to Freeman’s discipline or commitment to improving himself. In fact, EVERYONE talks about how much he studies tape and practices (including Drew Brees).

  27. Joe Says:


    It would have been hard for Joe to post this on Tuesday since, as Joe is sure you read, the interview took place yesterday.

    To give you the mechanics of how this came about, Joe heard the very end of the interview. Joe likes to post audioclips of interviews so that lets readers listen to the interview for themselves. So Joe e-mailed his contact at WHFS if he could have the audioclip of the Freeman comments.

    Joe’s contact at the station didn’t get back to Joe until very late last night/very early this morning, with the link of the interview uploaded to the station’s website.

    Joe wasn’t going to wait on posting it once he had the link. To wait until tomorrow, Sunday, it would have been too old of news. Sundays are devoted to game coverage.

    And if you think Freeman would be distracted by this, then you must also believe in Esiason’s premise, which frankly Joe does not.

  28. tha truth is... Says:

    Let there be less stare downs, better accuracy, coverage reads and footwork. That is all

  29. tommy Says:

    boomer is full of it!! if it was true dont you think someone would have seen him somewhere???

  30. Eastsidebuc Says:

    Typical lazy talking head that won’t research anything. This type of “journalism” is shameful and reckless in all media spectrum. It makes me sick and nobody wins, not the public nor the analyst.

  31. milos81 Says:

    jbrooks –

    Oh, I agree. I just kind of got dragged into quibbling about Brees and then veered off accordingly. My first comment, though, pretty much agrees with what you said. The only reason clubbing might matter in itself is because it affects how some people – perhaps many – would look at the figurehead of the team on the field. Bad optics, I suppose.

    Other than that, meh (unless it affects his game – but we have no evidence of that).

  32. ElioT Says:

    I don’t give a crap if Freeman likes to party a bit or not. He is a tall, handsome wealthy young man who’s got his whole life in front of him.

    What I do give a crap about is our franchise QB and team captain looking confused and beffuddled on the football field when things aren’t going his way.
    I think he may need to grow up and act like a leader of this team on the field regardless of what he does off the field.

    I am being patient as he is still learning this offense, but he damn well better start putting complete games together at some point if he wants to be an elite QB and get that huge contract.

    Go Bucs! Kick some Saint butthole!!!!

  33. Jbrooks8604 Says:

    He’s already got a decent contract. And with this being his fourth year and seeing as though he hasn’t improved much since in the last 3 years in any category (accuracy, footwork, pre snap reads, etc.) I don’t think elite is going to be happening. Let’s just hope for pretty good.

  34. chicken Says:

    Hey… he’s doin it right. He’s not Barrett Robbins, that’s for sure. Go Bucs!!!

  35. Murse Says:

    I could give a sh!t…

    During the !OFFSEASON! I often saw Freeman out in soho (with a throng of beautiful women)
    who cares?! Rich+ young+ good looking kid with charisma…you do the math

    Eiason has always talked above his pay grade it allows for him to be perceived as “edgy”… stay on westwood one boomer

  36. Matt B Says:

    I would give some credence to what Boomer is saying…if this was two or three years ago. I used to see Josh out at bars and clubs in SoHo back then – probably more than any other player. Heck, he left college early and came into the league at a very young age so I get it. But, it’s noteworthy that I haven’t seen him out since just prior to last season.

    This doesn’t mean he wasn’t a hard worker and dedicated to his craft in the past. I think we all know from the various stories that he opens up One Buc in the morning and is the last to leave. Then he goes home and studies film. Since his decision to lose the weight and take better care of his body at the end of last season, Josh hasn’t been seen out on the town partying – by this guy or I anybody I know at least. So, I think Boomer’s inside dirt is outdated and was probably irrelevant in the first place.

  37. kh Says:

    Agree with MattB, dont live in Tampa anymore but I have some friends that frequent the late night scene and they used to tell me about Josh being out fairly regularly but that was a few years ago. I haven’t heard anything like that recently.

  38. ladyz Says:

    if I remember the interview correctly Friday morning, He said that Bill Cower mentioned this first last Sunday on their TV show. Don’t believe this is Free’s problem. Something has him gun shy. Anyone believe he’s afraid of getting hurt?

  39. twizzylax Says:

    This attack by Esiason is ridiculous. I have personally met Josh in Orlando, where he occasionally visits the bars owned by Jeff Faine and his investors. Friends of mine who work there say he has a couple of beers and hangs out, is extremely nice and respectful, and that he never takes shots or drinks liquor. There was even a pool that was started to see who could get him to take a shot first. It took a year and a half, and an owner finally took one with him. The guy hangs out with friends occasionally, but is always the sober one who’s first to leave. His issue this season has been learning yet another offense, not his alleged off-field antics.

  40. Big Tootsie Says:

    You guys still think you were right on this Freeman thing?