“Breakdown Rules” Limit Freeman

December 22nd, 2012

Why doesn’t Josh Freeman run more?

Why isn’t he extending plays with his feet and freelancing and scrambling like he did during his stud 2010 season?

Mike Williams says the new Mike Sullivan playbook doesn’t leave much room for that. 

“I think in this offense it’s hard to like get a breakdown and scramble because you’ve got your breakdown rules with this offense, too,” Williams said on the Buccaneers Radio Network. “He gotta hit the checkdown right away and things like that. So in this offense I think it’s harder for to scramble as in other offenses where it was easy for him, if it broke down, he could get out of there and run like he’d been doing.”

“Breakdown rules,” like the ones Williams referenced, also keep quarterbacks from getting clobbered repeatedly like Jay Cutler and others that play in a more liberal system.

Joe only likes to see Freeman run a little more because it seems, based on Freeman’s body language, to give him confidence, in addition to the fact that Freeman is a good runner.

34 Responses to ““Breakdown Rules” Limit Freeman”

  1. MadMax Says:

    Well, sometimes you just have that opportunity to run, and if he has the ability to scramble for yardage and slide, then go for it. I thought that was one of the reasons he slimmed down, to be faster.

    Im convinced the things limiting Freeman is his tunnel vision, his inability to pump fake, stop staring down your targets, his inability to scan the field and see the open man….and then his inaccuracy and inconsistency. But Im a clueless bandwagoner according to the Freeman a$$ kissers around here, so what do I know….

  2. Miguel El Magnifico Says:

    Fire the guy that made those stupid rules.

  3. Bucnjim Says:

    No Mad Max you’re just a clueless fan who knows little or nothing about the NFL QB position. There are probably 15 professional NFL coaches who would take Freeman off our hands. Since there are only 5 or 6 elite QB’s in the league; that means the other 26 are either average or below. Luckily we have a QB who may be average, but has the tools to be great. Only a complete moron would dump a QB who hasn’t even turned 25 yet.

  4. Kevin Says:

    Madmax you are not clueless. Nuff said.

  5. RastaMon Says:

    Best thing for the long term….tough for the present….
    BTW do you know what the III is behind RG the Redskins QB…..
    it is the Vegas under on how long he lasts….

  6. MadMax Says:

    @Bucnjim, Im curious as to why you, and a few others like you here, resort to ad hoc responses including name calling just because you dont agree with an opposite view or opinion…..ah hell, nevermind, I know the answer. Its because all else has failed in your ability to digest, reason, and respectfully respond. Its easier to name call and blindfully go after said poster’s mental awareness and abilities. Keep at it buddy, thumbs up…says a lot more about you.

  7. MadMax Says:

    oh, and thx Kevin.

  8. RastaMon Says:

    Back in the day….Ray Perkins had the same constraints on Vinny Testaverde…the 1st game after Perkins was fired and Williamson was HC….Bucs were playing the Vikings….Vinny scrambled from mid field running toward the south end zone in the Ole Sombrero,where I sat, for a TD….all hell broke loose…stay in the pocket 24 year old JF…and learned the game

  9. raphael Says:

    more proof that all these babbling, moronic fans have no clue what they are talkin about……

    Madmax …not name calling here ..but your a clueless band wagoner…

  10. Greig Says:

    @ Bucnjim

    Why do Freeman defenders alway point to his age as a reason to keep him when in reality it shows nothing. There are QBs that are roughly his age (slightly younger/older) that don’t have near the issues he does or the physical tools Josh does, the difference is they have the mental tools and Josh simply doesn’t. The scouting report on him going into the draft has been proven to be true & there has been little to no improvement in his mental game.
    As far as “Only a complete moron would dump a QB who hasn’t even turned 25 yet.” That statement is moronic, should the Raiders have kept JaMarcus Ruseell who was out of the league at 25? How about the Chargers, should they have kept Ryan Leaf, like Josh he was very young, had all the physical tools but simply didn’t get it mentally. Granted that’s an extreme example but the point is there, if it’s obvious that a massive & important part of a players game is missing and there’s no signs of it ever improving why keep throwing away seasons waiting on a miracle? Maybe the Bucs should hang on and hope like the Lions did all those years with Harrington, keep making excuses and adding weapons only to end up with wasted years, they moved on and got a guy who is younger than Josh but plays at a far higher level even though he has just 1 weapon (altough it is a great weapon).
    Yes Josh is young but his age as a person means nothing, it’s his age as an NFL QB that is the issue, he’s 4 yet he still plays like a 1 year old, flashes of what you hope he could be but overall far too much very poor play & dumb mistakes, difference is you expect it from the 1 year old, by year 4 they should have some consistancy.

  11. MadMax Says:

    @raphael….see thats what Im talking about. You preface with “not name calling, but”. You and your kind contribute to the problems instead contributing to the solutions…so, hmmmm, Im not calling you a mindless moron, but Im sure you’ll understand that I disagree with your logic 🙂

  12. MadMax Says:

    @Greig….I think some of these defenders are too invested in their #5 jerseys. Thats one of the reasons I can think of that may explain their steadfast loyalty.

    Look, either trade him now since everyone else in the league is so impressed with him, or keep him for one more year while priming a new replacement. Since we need so much help in the secondary, his trade value could net us some really good 1st and 2nd round additions.

  13. thegregwitul Says:


    Did you just compare Josh Freeman with JaMarcus Russell and Ryan Leaf? Is this what it’s become now? The ignorance and stupidity from some Buc fans really baffle me. I mean, you’re comparing Josh Freeman, who is having a bad stretch of games but a pretty good season overall to Russell and Leaf? The same Josh Freeman who had a terrible 2011 but a very strong 2010 and is only 24 years old (and damn right does the age matter)?

    Here is a grouping of the 35 QB’s who qualify for the Passer Rating Leader and where Freeman fits in.

    ELITE: Eli Manning, Brees, Roethlisberger, Brady, Peyton Manning, Rodgers


    ABOVE AVERAGE: Stafford, Cutler, Dalton, Romo, Schaub, Ryan, Alex Smith, Flacco, Freeman

    AVERAGE: Weeden, Henne, Foles, Vick, Hasselbeck, Bradford, Palmer, Rivers, Tannehill, Locker

    MEDIOCRE: Skelton, Cassel, Sanchez, Gabbert, Ponder, Fitzpatrick

    Looking at those categories, Matt Ryan has the best chance to climb into elite status with some playoff success as the six elite QB’s all have at least one Super Bowl victory. There are at least 16 QB’s that Freeman is superior to, and Josh is the better pick to at least a few of the QB’s in his own category. Before the stretch of bad games, Freeman’s rating was in the mid 90’s and even with the bad games factored in, it’s still a strong 85.7. Josh is likely to surpass 4,000 yards passing and should come close to 30 TDs (I don’t recall either Leaf or JaMarcus coming close to those numbers for their entire career). He’s having a bad stretch of games and half the fan base wants to throw him away for unproven talent (Geno Smith) or bring in a free agent QB or trade for a QB that has already reached his ceiling (Alex Smith). Eli Manning took a few years to settle into this system, and he had a better defense at the very least to help him out on the other side of the football.

    I’m going to remain logical with Josh Freeman. I want to see the improvement next season, and I’m confident that I will. If Josh continues to regress next year, the last year of his contract as we all know, then it’s fair game (and it’s also likely we will be drafting high as the QB is the most important position of each team) to look for another QB, likely through the draft. But this moronic talk of replacing Josh Freeman at the end of this season is laughable. Josh, right now, at 24 years old and still battling inconsistency and accuracy issues, is better than half of the starting QB’s in the NFL. I promise you this and the numbers don’t lie. You don’t throw that away. Not yet, at least.

  14. mcBuc Says:

    I point to this years stats. Mad ax, no pointless name calling just nfl stats.

  15. Miguel El Magnifico Says:

    “just compare Josh Freeman with JaMarcus Russell and Ryan Leaf?”

    I’m comparing Gosh to Karlos Pena. Flashes of brilliance but lots of strike outs.

  16. Miracle Says:

    The issue about defending Freeman isn’t that Freeman is equal to Tom Brady, Peyton Manning or Drew Brees. He may very well be equal to Alex Smith..


    You have 1 and only 1 chance to upgrade the qb position and that upgrade better PROVE to be better than Freeman is right now. As a GM, you are going to take your chances and job for some bland rookie choices out there this year or what in veteran free agency.. Alex Smith?

    People who are defending Freeman are realists. There is nobody out there available that you can comfortably say that “I think this guy is going to run circles around Freeman.”

    And on top of that, we draft a 1st round QB and NOT a CB?

    But what was I thinking.. Why build a team when you can gamble the whole world to get a very tiny chance of having the next Manning. With that thinking, we should draft QB 1st every year until we know we got the next Peyton Manning.

    And the trade idea for Ryan Mallet, all I have to say is, “C’mon man.. Get in the game.” ha

  17. SilenceTheCritics Says:

    Screw stats, watch the actual games where Free doesn’t show up til halfway through the 3rd quarter sometimes not til the 4th. Dam near EVERY game. Free’s state way over inflate his value. I agree Josh does need to be given til next year to prove his worth but so far through his first four years its been disappointing to say the least. Even the one good season he had (record) wise he was badly inconsistant and didn’t show up for most of the games.

  18. mcBuc Says:

    To check his ranking and relax b defense is our problem not freeman.

  19. Bucnjim Says:

    MadMax; how old are you really? unless you don’t even read your own posts! You started off by calling everyone who supports Freeman; “Freeman A$$ Kissers” then you expect to have a mature conversation about the issue.

    Greig; age does matter because with age comes experience when it comes to NFL QB’s. Defenses are so complicated to read now it takes game day experience.

    TheGregWitul; nice break down and thanks for taking to time to make a well thought out arguement. That is how you have a mature debate and support your side.

    Miguel; you’re getting a nice little following huh!

  20. mcBuc Says:

    Silence. Should we trade the entire team for the exact same reason? Or do we say new coaches again and see if two years in the same system helps the bucs. How can he be consistent if the scheme and coaching has not. Should no throw out breed since he has been playing spur attic? How about Eli, should by fire home? Eli has two rings but this year he sucks. I do not get why this historic suck ass defense gets a pass, but freeman has a couple average games and an awefull game and all his his fought. Makes nonsense. And madman, where have you been. I have not seen so many lists from you in ages. What about all the good games free had? He is about to be the all time buc passer, but hey. He sucks. Give me a break.

  21. mcBuc Says:

    Damn auto correct iPhone. You guys get the gust.

  22. MadMax Says:

    @Bucnjim, Oh but thats a compliment buddy!! I didnt denigrate and degrade like you…what is your age since you fail to understand the difference?

  23. buccanay Says:

    I wonder what the excuse is for why he is running like a scared li’l girl. OK..thats a bit rough, but he doesn’t have NEAR the “athleticism” and determination he used to have. There was a time when d-backs whould think twice about gettin in his way. There was a time when he exploded out of the pocket almost as if he were lookin for someone to hit…what happened to the toughness?

  24. RastaMon Says:

    I’m the only one that knows what I’m talking about……

  25. Kevin Says:

    Hats off to all of you gentlemen. Some great posts, pro and con for our Buc quarterback. See you tomorrow 1pm sharp! Go Buccaneers!

  26. Kevin Says:

    RastaMon…. That’s FUNNY! lol!

  27. Greig Says:

    @ thegregwitul
    You say Freeman is having a bad stretch of games during a good season, I see a good stretch of games (maybe even great) earlier in the season during a bad career, that stretch was good enough to lift him .
    As I stated the Russell & Leaf examples were extreme, maybe you missed that part along with the point that just because he’s not even 25 doesan’t mean he’s going to get better, otice those examples were after the comment from another poster about NEVER give up on a QB under 25, are you also saying that just because the examples were under 25 their franchises should have stuck with them? You call others on ignorance and stupidity but struggle with something as simple as context.
    Also it’s good to see how on your nice little list of QBs based on rating you put Rivers in the group below Freeman even though his rating is higher and he has far less talent around him, a guy who’s rating in 5 of the last 6 seasons has been better than Joshs “good year” this season and has beaten (by quite a bit) Joshs “career year” in 2010 3 times within the past 5 season. That sure makes you seem like you know what you are talking about and aren’t bias in any way.
    You put Eli in the Elite group but truth is you strip away the name and the hype and he’s just an above avaerage player that’s made some plays at the right time, he’s not even close to being elite. “2 Super Bowls, blah, bah, blah…” Dilfer-1 Favre-1 Marino-0 Manning-1, I guess Dilfer is up their with the great too (if you want to try that “reason”). How would a guy who’s “elite” have a worse rating in 2 of the past 3 seasons than our “above average” Josh?
    Truth is stats don’t really mean anything (Eli) and wins can come from how great other parts of the team are (Dilfer/Flacco), a great QB should be measured on the eye test and if they have “IT.” Josh fails on both of those, he lacks composure, locks onto targets and stares them down, makes poor choices far too often, all his problems are mental and they are NOT getting better, the system has nothing to do with those things.
    And in terms of his great games why is it that in just about all of them it’s actually the reciever making the great play on a poor throw that turns an average at best game into a great game? He looks good-great when Williams/Jackson go up and gets those bad balls with great/highlight type catches and average-bad when they don’t manage to.

    @ Bucnjim
    So experience doesn’t bring experience, age does?
    I guess that’s why out of all the rookies Weeden as the oldest by a fair distance is outshining Luck, RG3, Wilson. Oh wait…
    Lets go out and get us a 57 year old that’s never played in the league he must have more experience than every other QB in the league.

  28. Pinnacl3 Says:

    How many of You have gone to games and watched Freeman play LIVE? How many have watched the All 22 option on NFL.com and seen the way the game actually unfolds?? When you see the number of errant throws and misses he’s responsible for, it’s ammunition for the “better option” argument.

    He was handed the reigns of a football team by a head coach that so many “fans” claim didn’t do anything right. Yet that very same coach labeled Freeman a “franchise QB” after a few impressive come from behind victories. I LOVED those come from behind victories. But by no means do I believe Freeman has shown he’s the “Franchise QB” that others hope him to be. He seems to be a “teacher’s pet” of sorts. He does all studying and says the right things. But his attitude on the field is not that of a QB that takes ALL situations in his hands and does whatever it takes to put up points on the scoreboard. Do I hate him? Absolutely not. I wouldn’t put up $1600 a year to watch every Home game if I did. Fact is: I’ve rooted for the guy. All the way up to 4 games into this season when I saw the defense playing as hard as they could and coming up with stops against “unstoppable QB’s” and getting the ball into his hands and he’d make inexcusable errors. Rookie like errors. It was unfair to the Defense. They got burned on long plays waaay to much for my liking, but they were still stopping teams from scoring. No long runs for the endzone. Immediately tackling the pass catcher. The effort was there even if the talent wasn’t. Freeman, supposedly, has all the talent, but it’s the effort that kills me. When he misses receivers that are WIDE OPEN and then decides to throw it into someone that’s covered by no less than 3 defenders just because a pass play was called, it’s mind boggling. This team needs an Offensive Leader, not a boyscout. Seriously. What’s the worst that could happen if he chose to be a winner and just make the damn play by any means necessary? Get benched??

  29. st augustine Says:

    your last three lines is spot on joe! i couldn’t agree more. there are times you have no choice so i don’t buy this “it’s the system’ thing! i’m calling BS on that! there is nothing wrong with a little improvision here and there! something he just doesn’t do anymore!

  30. Miguel El Magnifico Says:

    “And the trade idea for Ryan Mallet, all I have to say is, “C’mon man.. Get in the game.” ha”

    I thought Mallett was the cream of the crop a couple years ago and I think Gruden did as well. He fell in the draft for the same reason Warren Sapp did. I believe Sapp was worth the gamble.

    Alex Smith sucks, always did, he was just a head bump away from losing the starting gig to an unprovened rookie.

  31. SteveK Says:

    @ Bucnjim aka “Homer J. Simpson” aka “clueless fan who knows little or nothing about NFL QB position” (to put it in your own words).

    Cmon man! Please check the “Dave Wirth” post again bc I dominated your lame tired ass rebuddle over their too.

    So, you say “about 15 other clubs would take Freeman in a heartbeat.” I say, good, trade Josh now while you can get anything.

    So, last time I checked there are 32 NFL teams, and only 12 go to the playoffs each year. Say you’re right, Freeman is good enough to start for 15 other clubs, that makes Josh the 17th best team. Do they hand out ribbons for 17th place?

    Tebow has won more playoff games than Josh.

  32. ladyz Says:

    At game time we will see what # 5 is made of. The first series of offense will tell us what kind of day he will have. I’m just afraid it will be 3 & OUT! Oh ya, he said on his show a week or two ago,” he did not like to run with the ball.”. Guess that mohalk is just for show. Prove me wrong big boy. Get some lead in that pencile. Get your head straight and play your best game. Play like your career depended on it, it will some game. Go Bucs-kick some ass.

  33. RustyRhino Says:

    Lots of good debate on this post. I say let him play out his rookie contract, if after next season he is still doing the same things, time to move on. Vjax & Williams and the rest of the team get older everyday too…

  34. SteveK Says:

    C’mon Freeman! Put down FIFA Soccer, get the hell out of the gun range, and go throw some extra balls. Time to sh!t or get off the pot.

    I hope Freeman can put it together.