Ronde Barber On Josh Freeman

March 26th, 2013

The favorite topic among Bucs fans is Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis. Will he or won’t he? To be more accurate, will Jets general manager John Idzik succumb to pressure from Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik or will he waffle and not get anything for Revis?

The second favorite subject is, of course, Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman. Joe’s good friend “The Commish,” Justin Pawlowski of WHFS-FM 98.7, told Joe how he read a text on-air from a listener about trading Freeman for a first-round pick and the station phone banks lit up full the rest of the show, and “The Commish” never once gave his opinion on the matter.

Freeman’s name came up with Bucs great Ronde Barber during Monday night’s broadcast of “Total Access” seen on NFL Network, as documented by Dan Hanzus of

“I think Coach (Greg Schiano) wants to find out if Josh is the guy because Josh shows moments of complete brilliance,” Barber said. “Yet he gives you the moments where you’re scratching your head as well. It’s kind of reflective of our season and as a whole last year.

“Coach Schiano did not draft him, even though (general manager) Mark (Dominik)’s married to him because he was with him when (former Bucs coach) Raheem (Morris) drafted him. But you have to believe that Josh Freeman is our franchise quarterback. He fits the build. He has the arm. He understands the mechanics of the game. Like I said, when he’s good, he’s really, really good. We just need him to be that player with more consistency.”

Will Freeman play for his job next season? “I would imagine so,” Barber replied. “That’s just the nature of football. (When) you have a new coach, which we had last year, you’re proving yourself to him, and Josh has to do that.”

Interesting that Barber talks about Freeman much like others do outside the organization. There are times when Freeman absolutely makes your jaw drop. The end of the Carolina game at Charlotte and the final game of the season at Atlanta spring to mind.

But then there are the bad games. The four picks against the NFL’s worst defense (New Orleans) and the epic meltdowns at Jacksonville and Atlanta in 2011. Then there are the mostly erratic short throws.

Looking ahead to September, Bucs fans would not be wrong to call 2013 “The Year Of Freeman.” If he has a fantastic season like in 2010, he’s here for another big contract. If he struggles again, who knows what happens?

12 Responses to “Ronde Barber On Josh Freeman”

  1. the_buc_realist Says:

    as some of the most respected analyst has put it ” he is just good enough to break your heart.”

  2. T in Orlando Says:

    I don’t think a repeat of 2010 gets him a HUGE contract, the 2 very good years (neither year GREAT) plus the 2 inconsistent years, does not equal 13-15 million a year. I think he’d be inline for the Alex Smith contract, 3yrs/$24 mil total, with another season like 2010.

    Now if Freeman throws for 35+ TDs, 15 or less INTs, 63%+ completion, 4000+ yards, 10+ wins (with a few late game heroics) and a playoff win (not just appearance), then Freeman MAY max out his earning potential and get close to $16 mil a year.

    Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing the Bucs pay him that much if he has a year such as I described.

  3. Jim Says:

    In all fairness, the coaching staff did not have Josh play to his strengths. He is NOT a pocket passer. I wonder what his passer rating is ‘out of the gun’ vs under center? He also is better throwing while rolling out of the pocket. I know Schiano wants to be a running team first but other teams have success running with the shot-gun – see the Belacheat Pats.

    Provided Joseph & Nicks return healthly, both the passing game and running attack should be improved.

    With a few adjustments in play calling, Josh can be a servicable QB. Brad Johnson was not a stud but they did win a championship with a servicable QB

  4. Meh Says:

    Ronde has it perfectly right regarding Freeman. When he is hot, he is right up there with the best QBs in the league. When he is cold, he’s Ryan Leaf cold (but Leaf could do that with consistency lol). I still think Freeman can be a great quarterback for us, but it is time for him to take the next step and develop the every-down consistency (or as close as NFL QBs can get).

  5. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I was listening when Justin read that text on 98.7 The Fan

  6. Buc Neckid Says:

    Who would you rather…
    Josh Freeman or Carson Palmer?

  7. jfgobucs Says:

    Free is fine..just needs consistant coaching.

    and little help on defense wouldn’t hurt

    It still is a TEAM sport ?

  8. Jonny 3.3 Says:

    In that interview Barber was also asked the primary reason for the meltdown of our team late last season and Barber did not hesitate one bit to attribute it to Freeman’s play. Yes a better pass defense may have kept us competitive, but in today’s game it is the QB that has to keep the game within reach for defense and it is on them to make a play or two to win it for their team.

  9. Tom Says:

    It was great how candid Ronde was throughout his time in studio.
    Also notice his use of the pronoun “we”. I’d like to think he’s leaning on coming back but would not be surprised if we’ve already seen no.20’s last game in the NFL

  10. astrobuc Says:

    .The real question is, what happens if Josh Freeman has an average year?

    Will Mark Dominik Want to keep him?.
    What about Greg Schiano?

  11. Tye Says:

    “But you have to believe that Josh Freeman is our franchise quarterback.”

    IF that is the facts, then you also have to believe that as long as JF is QB, the Bucs will be mediocre for years unless they put together 1 talented defense that can carry that offense and make up for JF many inadequacies!

  12. pick6 Says:

    lesser QBs than josh have won superbowls – in the cap era, part of that may be the cap freedom a non-elite QB provides you with. i think his ceiling can be in the romo\mcnabb zone. 2 tremendous athletes with all the franchise QB traits who have wavered between flat out elite play and inexplicably erratic stretches, but are productive enough to get their team into playoff contention every year. from there, honestly, anything can happen. both the QBs i mentioned are a few bounces and defensive stops from possibly having superbowl rings.