The Glaring Difference Between Brees, Freeman

December 18th, 2012

NFL freelance reporter Dory LeBlanc attended Sunday’s Bucs-Saints game in New Orleans for Joe as a credentialed member of the fourth estate. Below she offers her vision on just how far Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman must go to be mentioned in the same breath as Saints signal-caller Drew Brees.

There was certainly an elite quarterback on the field at the Superdome Sunday, but his name was not Josh Freeman.

Saying I could predict every one of Freeman’s four interceptions as the Bucs’ struggling quarterback released the ball Sunday is a bold statement. But sitting in a press box, high above the field with an overview of all 100 yards affords a powerful point of view.

In particular, on the interception intended for Vincent Jackson, it was obvious when the ball was snapped and Jackson tore off in a straight the line, Freeman assumed the wide receiver would break off and turn into the hashmarks and the pass would land in the hands of Saints safety Rafael Bush, the only player in the vicinity. Clearly there was a miscommunication, and that in itself reveals a serious problem.

It was Week 15, and the Bucs’ offense had communication issues. Of course, communication issues are common across the NFL – but at times it seems Freeman is using a different playbook than his teammates.

For the second time this season, I’ve watched Drew Brees live, which is a much different experience than on TV. Whereas Freeman seemed as if he was on a different page from the rest of the offense through much of the game, Brees was – well, Brees: decisive, confident, and accurate. Brees worked the Bucs secondary like they were candy striping interns, as he surgically maneuvered drive after drive to almost perfection.

When Brees steps onto the field, the whole mojo of the stadium changes. Not just the way the 73,000-plus fans at the Superdome react, but the way the Saints offense reacts. There is no question he is a commander, and if there is a communication discrepancy, Brees has the wherewithal to make something happen and we’re all none the wiser.

On the flip side, no one is sure what happened to Freeman after he led the Bucs to a come-from-behind, overtime victory over the Panthers; I’m not sure Freeman knows. His ability to extend plays has ceased and his downfield bombs have become duds. More important, at this point of the season, there shouldn’t be communication issues between the quarterback and his No. 1 receiver, and if there are, they need to be recognized sooner and the progressions gone through.

As much as Brees has earned the moniker “elite,” Freeman’s performance Sunday showed he is far from it. For the Bucs’ and Freeman’s sake, let’s hope he can channel his pre-Falcons self in the remaining two games or it’s going to be a long offseason for the kid.

21 Responses to “The Glaring Difference Between Brees, Freeman”

  1. Ian's Gay Lisp & Ron's Drinking Problem Says:

    In my opinion…Nothing this lady has EVER written re: The Bucs <— is remotely interesting Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz………. .

  2. bucfanjeff Says:

    She’s trying Ian, she’s trying.

  3. Pete 422 Says:

    People seem to forget how Drew Brees struggled in SanDiego before blossoming in NO. I remember a former Charger teammate admit he never thought he would see Brees become the accomplished QB he is today (based on his days with the Chargers).

    People of Tampa also have to remember the running out of town of QBs such as Steve Young & Doug Williams. Starting QBs don’t grow on trees, so once you have one, you stay patient & let him develop & gain experience. Painful at times yes.

  4. Adam Says:

    Brees good. Freeman bad. There’s your difference. Next article.

  5. Tampa2 Says:

    Whats your definition of struggle Pete? Not trying to be smartA with that question, but he played really well in San Diego, and was a fairly hot commodity in Free Agency in around 2005. And if Nick Saban is to be believed the Dolphins preferred him over Culpepper which back then was saying something because Culpepper was a hell of a QB with the Vikings. Brees’s stats with San Diego were good to for whatever thats worth, but obviously when he went to N.O and linked up with Sean Payton he took it to another level and the rest is history

  6. Tampa2 Says:

    The idea that it takes 5 yrs for a quarterback to develop is dated logic. Tired of hearing that shi. You can’t fix accuracy. He is what he is. Sometimes Freeman is pretty good when the stars are aligned and when he is bad, he is complete dogshi.

  7. Ian's Gay Lisp & Ron's Drinking Problem Says:

    Freeman makes $9,000,000.00 Dollars next season too

  8. Sneedy16 Says:

    This last game was full of communication issues and bad timing. It looks like he is regressing, but it might be that he is trying to do too much like last year. I have patients, so I’ll let this season slide due to new offensive. If he is still sticking up the joint next year. I would have hoped that they would have look into investing some money into a decent backup, so that they can bench him when he is having he bad days.

  9. Ramdog Says:

    Good thing none of you had any say on what the Giants did with Eli Manning. Do you realize he has worse statistics in all categories, YES ALL than Freeman has his first 4 years. Yet he has 2 Superbowl Championships and 2 Superbowl MVP’s. Eli actually is and was much more turnover prone than Freeman the first 4 years of his career and many perhaps most fans were labeling him a bust. In fact the year they won their first Superbowl fans were calling for his and Coughlin’s head before they went on their winning streak and won a Superbowl.

    The point ?? Be patient with Freeman, has anyone forgotten his clutch throws against Carolina to win that one ?? Tom Brady is a better QB than Eli, so is Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees but who has more Superbowls and why ?? Also it is his first year in the system, first year of Sullivan calling plays, first year for the receivers in the system, first year head coach. I am not sure what everyone’s expectations were for the BUCS did we think they were Superbowl Bound ?? Playoff bound ?? I think they are headed in the right direction and have the nucleus of a good young team.

    However, that said I think the BUCS need to look at drafting a QB in case Freeman does not get better with some of his short/intermediate throws. Also it would not hurt to get a big slot receiver and Tight End.

  10. SilenceTheCritics Says:

    You can make all the excuses in the world you want for Free. New coaches, new offense, new players, yada, yada. But there are certain things you cant make excuses for such as why his accuracy is piss poor for a 4th year QB. Thats unacceptable. I’m holding out hope that he still is our future but man he is making this really hard on any non blind homer. He has serious flaws in his game and if he is as hard of a worker as most say he is then maybe… he just isnt cut out to be a starting QB in this league. You cant win only playing 1 or 2 quarters of good football a game, I dont care who you are.

  11. Kansasbuc Says:

    @ Ramdog

    The answer to your question, “who has more superbowls?” is Tom Brady

  12. Sam Says:

    Didnt Drew Brees have a 5 INT game earlier this year?
    From Rotoworld
    Drew Brees completed 28-of-50 passes for 341 yards, no touchdowns, and a career-worst five interceptions in Thursday night’s Week 13, 23-13 loss to the Falcons.
    Brees was out of sorts right from the start, throwing an end zone interception on the opening drive, and it never got better, as he ended the night with his fifth pick. His NFL record 54 consecutive-games-with-a-touchdown-pass streak was snapped in the loss as well. Good throws from Brees were few and far between. He consistently threw behind receivers,

  13. buccanay Says:

    i think the days of Freeman being “coddled” are OVER, at least, I hope they are. There was no doubt how Raheem ‘babied’ Free, and he was above criticism and even Shiano, up to now has offered excuses. But, from this point forward, I think the “honeymoon” is over from the organizations standpoint. As we know, Shiano is not “married” to Freeman, and I think he’s gonna demand more accountability from Free, especially reading how he used QB’s at Rutgers. Freeman NEEDS competition, it will bring the best out of him. IMO, I think Freeman’s been “coddled” his entire life. Even his mannerisms and body language reak of “brattiness” and immaturity. Time for Josh to grow up and be a man, be accountable, and lead by example. He’s got the physical tools, hopefully, he’s got the mental tools.

  14. OAR Says:

    Freeman needs real competition at his position. I don’ mean a real good back-up, I mean a QB that could actually start and/or push Freeman. He’s never had any real competition for his position/job!
    BTW his knocks coming out of college accuracy and reading defenses are exactly what we are seeing.

  15. MAC Says:

    What will winning these last two games do except lower our draft status? The Bucs needed to win the last two games to stay in it and they failed BIG TIME!Freeman sucks as a franchise QB. We need to start looking to replace him now in THIS draft not the next one. Nick Foles, Colin Kaepernick, Kirk Cousins and Russell Wilson were all found after the first round. We need to spend one of our draft picks on a QB that has a pair of BALLS. OUT!

  16. ThePhenom4 Says:

    Im curious to know [that’s a bit out of line — Joe] had to say about Brees confidence and poise when he dropped 5 INTs against the Falcons. Freeman will be just fine, Im sick and tired of everyone coming out of the woodwork bashing him when he struggles but when hes plays mint the Free Bashers are nowhere to be found!! Im as diehard Bucs fan as they come and also frustrated but the problem is with the secondary, they can never hold a lead. Our QB situation could be ALOT worse and we finally have some stability there and not the QB carousel we had the under Gruden and Raheem. We are still rebuilding this team with new players and coaches together for the 1st year. It will get better as will Freeman

  17. MAC Says:

    And please stop comparing Freeman to Eli. Yes Eli had some major struggles but is far supperior to Freeman in many ways even when he was struggling. Eli has a brain that can disect and interpret a defense, he has excellent mechanics, he throws a very accurate intermediate pass (5-15 yards), Eli has a pedigree (the Manning family). Freeman has none of those attributes and never will. He still throws nearly every pass off his back or front foot (AFTER 4 YEARS IN THE NFL!).

    Also stop comparing Freeman to Drew Brees. OMG are you freaking kidding me!?!? Freeman was 5-7 his senior year at K-state and just like now he gets most of his yards by heaving up hail marrys against very weaker opponents. For instance his game against North Texas… Wow great job against North Teaxas, Louisianna Lafeyyette and Montana State what happened against – Nebraska, Missou, Texas AM and Oklahoma? The same thing that happens when he plays the Giants, Cowboys, Carolina or any team with a decent defense. LOSER.

  18. PRBucFan Says:

    Freeman is not struggling, he is spiraling downward and fast. He’s having a mental lapse that should not be a common “struggle” for a starting QB in the NFL.

  19. Ramdog Says:

    @Kansasbucs fan good point lets trade for Tom Brady. Oh wait that will never happen.

    Brady is a better QB than Eli stats bear that out. The point is the Giants played better and were able to beat who ?? Tom Brady – twice and once they had Randy Moss and were dominant the entire season winning 18 in a row until then. However, our defense in no stretch of the imagination has any semblance of resemblance to the Giants defense except we may have better linebackers.

    LOL good point about his lineage if lineage that were the case how come Chris Simms didn’t develop into Phil Simms or Brian Griese into Tom Griese ?? That is the most moronic thing I have ever heard. He is a QB not a show dog or race horse. I guess all the BUCS needs to do is breed Joe Montana with Johnny Unitas’es daughter imagine how great a QB we could have in 20 or so years.

    Now Freeman may never develop into Eli but until we draft or sign someone the clowns on this site should realize the real problem is not him but the defense in particular the defensive backs. Now that may be scheme or whatever. Also if we draft a new QB how much time do we give him to develop before we oust him ? Also for the some of the teams you are sighting lets see how these rookies stand the test of time before we annoint them superstars – OK.

  20. Oahubuc Says:

    In the huddle, you are looking into the eyes of an Alpha if you are the saints. You are looking at a scared little boy if you are the Bucs.

  21. Christopher Says:

    This is asinine—Drew Brees has played in the same offense for 7 years…Josh Freeman has played in the same offense for 14 games. This commentary comparing the two is almost criminal in its incompetence.