Sullivan “Excited” About Freeman in 2013

June 10th, 2013
Bucs offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan believes quarterback Josh Freeman is significantly more advanced than a year ago.

Bucs offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan believes Josh Freeman is significantly more advanced than a year ago.

As Joe rhetorically asked last week, virtually every football follower nods in agreement when a player says he is more comfortable beginning a second season under a coach’s reign, so why then is this same latitude not granted Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman?

In a roundabout way, Joe posed this question to Bucs offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan during the Bucs assistant coaches media day this afternoon.

Freeman having a year under his belt with Sullivan “has helped tremendously,” Sullivan said. “When you look at the conversations he and I were having last April and last May, we were on things very simple, very basic, in terms of formation. Now, he is way beyond that. He is able to conceptualize; he knows what we are trying to do. Sees the bigger picture. We are not bogged down.

“I don’t care who the player is or who the coach is. There are going to be some growing pains, there is going to be a process. We had to fight our way through that process last spring and through the preseason and even into last fall. As you recall, [Freeman] started off slow then hit a groove and then he had some things occur. I can’t emphasize enough how exciting it has been and how gratifying it has been to hit the ground running this spring with a year under the belt and everybody is so much more advanced.

“It’s the quarterback’s ability, it is Josh’s ability to be able to be comfortable and be able to not be thinking and process but, ‘Here’s the call. Here’s the actions – boom!’ He is getting that automatic ability [snaps fingers], which is where we need him to be at. So we are excited.”

As Joe has stated before, the Bucs will go as far as Freeman can lead the offense.

Not only having a year of experience in Sullivan’s offense, but a year becoming familiar with Vincent Jackson and a year becoming familiar with Doug Martin, it can only help Freeman, and the Bucs.

44 Responses to “Sullivan “Excited” About Freeman in 2013”

  1. Couch Fan Says:

    I hope so! I’ll leave it at that.

  2. Raphael Says:

    Glad he is on our team …and will be for long time .

  3. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    There has been almost zero negatives for Freeman this offseason. (Aside from false acusations of being a drunk and an asshole.) Think about it. Same receivers. Same runningback. Same line but with the return of two pro bowlers. SAME SYSTEM. Nothing but consistency around Josh this offseason. Throw in the fact that the defense shouldn’t be trying to break 93 year records of futility and Josh should be downright amazing this season.

    There is not a single reason to believe Josh wont improve tremendously this season. Anything less than a pro bowl season would be disappointing at best.

  4. BIlly Bob Says:

    Josh Freeman is not given the same latitude as other Players because it is well documented that Josh has an extreme accuracy and touch problem when it comes to his throws. Josh does well with his long ball throws because the receiver has the time while the ball is in the air to make adjustments to the throw. It is much harder for a receiver to make an adjustment on a 6 yard bullet to his back knee. Josh problems are almost as much about skill as it is mental

  5. J 2.0 Says:

    Freeman will break the records he set last year.

  6. Cody Says:

    As SteveK stated the other day,

    “Freeman is the gate keeper” as far as the playoffs are concerned…We need him to play well in order to get in…I believe that in year 2 having a better understanding of the offense as a whole will help Freeman BiG TiMe…It was obvious last season that Freeman was thinking to much; being able to react without thinking on the field when the bullets are flying is everything in this game…Lets Go Freeman; tighten up…

  7. tampabaybucfan Says:

    You can’t dismiss the improvements we’ve made on defense and how that make it easier on an offense. If we can get some more production out of the slot and at TE…I think our offense will improve greatly.
    Think how much pressure will be off if our defense doesn’t hemmorage points early and can hold a lead late.
    Even Trent Dilfer could play when he had a great defense.
    Just think of Shaun King “one of two Buc Quarterbacks to lose a NFC Championship game when his defense gave up 11 or fewer points”…..Shaun couldn’t get it done….but Josh will!!!

  8. Kodaslc Says:

    Remember Josh’s second full Season in Greg Olsen System 25 tds and only 6 Ints… Now I think he will have great season but in Mike Sullivan System there is always going to be a high total of Ints, due to the fact that there are a lot of option routes.. Check Eli Manning Stats year in an year out… All we need Freeman to be is somewhere between Eli Manning and Alex Smith (Last Two years of his tenure ) run run run run, play action

  9. SteveK Says:

    “Franchise Best Season by a Buc QB” vs. Andy Dalton in 2012 (two time defending playoff QB)

    Freeman’s 2012 season was right about on par with Andy Dalton’s. Please see below for Andy Dalton’s 2012 regular season vs. the “Best season by a Buc QB ever!” (Josh Freeman’s 2012 Season)

    Dalton 2012:
    3669 62.3 27 16 87.4

    Freeman 2012:
    4065 54.8 27 17 81.6

    Pretty impressive numbers by both QBs. However, Freeman connected on 7.5% less of his passes than Dalton. Completing 54.8% could lead to a lot of 3 and outs, potentially.

    Our pass defense sucked something terrible last year, but it does not excuse that our QB completes passes on the same level as a coin flip.

    All of the Freeman Apologists will bark back, “But the pass defense was the worst in almost a hundred years”, “Freeman had the BEST SEASON EVER by a Buc QB”, “It was his first year in the system”, or my personal favorite- “but Eli struggled just like this.”

    All of what was just mentioned are excuses, not “answers” as to why Freeman has been inconsistent.

    In 2011, after a 4-2 start, we dropped 10 straight. This year, sitting at 6-4, we dropped five straight decisions. There is no excuse for that.

    I ask you all, WCBF, this, what is the one position on the field that creates the most impact? The answer: QB. Freeman is, or isn’t the answer.

    2013 should be interesting. I really hope Freeman can establish consistency, better completion percentage, and much better drive sustainability.

    Our defense goes from “records of futility” to DARRELLE REVIS.

    Josh needs to take the leap, playoffs or bust in 2013.

  10. andres Says:

    if the bucs d was at least adequate last year they would have been 10 and 6 and this convo wouldnt be happening.

  11. SteveK Says:

    Raphael Says:
    June 10th, 2013 at 4:23 pm
    Glad he is on our team …and will be for long time .


    All year, buddy, all year…

  12. Joe Says:


    Dalton’s most impressive stat is that in Dalton’s two NFL seasons he has led the Bengals to the playoffs twice.

  13. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    One thing to add SteveK. Why not include the overall ranked defense of the Bucs and Bengals in your assessment? Because sometimes facts ruin the point you are trying to make?

    As far as the percentage is concerned. This is a vertical offense now. Run, run, deep pass. All you have to do is look at Vincent Jackson’s YPC to see why Freeman’s percentage was so low. (Despite throwing almost four hundred more yards than your boy Dalton.) Freeman threw the long ball more than he has ever been asked to do before. This ,naturally, leads to a drop in completion percentage.

    Your latest schtick to compare Dalton to Freeman is laughable. Dalton had the number eight overall defense last year. Give that to Freeman last year and we are contenders for a Super Bowl. While all your boy Dalton managed to do with a top ten defense was go one and done in the playoffs. (Twice)

    The QB has the largest impact but that doesn’t mean the rest of the team doesn’t matter. If the QB makes the difference you think it does then why was Drew Brees sitting on a couch watching the playoffs? (Probably nothing to do with that 32nd ranked defense, huh?)

  14. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    ^^^To add on to that, why were Kaepernick and Flacco playing in the Super Bowl this year? They certainly aren’t the two best QBs in the league? Hmm, now lets take a look at the defense of these two teams . . .

  15. Macabee Says:

    OK, Carimi is in and UDFA OT Nick Speller is out!

  16. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    Better yet lets get some Flacco vs Freeman statistics going here:

    317 531 3,817 59.7 7.19 22 61 10 9 46.8 87.7

    306 558 4,065 54.8 7.29 27 95 17 10 53.1 81.6

    Bucs Defense Rank: (Based on total yards given up)
    29th (Despite having the number one rush defense the Bucs still gave up 4th most total yards in the league. That is how bad the pass defense was.)

    Ravens Defense Rank:(Based on total yards given up)

    My my, its amazing how such similar QB statistics can yield such entirely different results, isn’t it? Its almost as if some other part of the team was actually having an effect on the outcome of games . . .

    (On a side note: before the bashing begins, I am NOT saying Freeman is as good or better than Flacco, simply comparing their season totals.)

  17. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    ^^^Those didn’t line up right, it should look like this:

    317 531 3,817 59.7 7.19 22 61 10 9 46.8 87.7

    306 558 4,065 54.8 7.29 27 95 17 10 53.1 81.6

  18. PRBucFan Says:

    I have faith in Sullivan, not so much Free but definitely in Sully, so I am actually expecting good things this season. I am super stoked lol.

    Please please please Free, for your fans… Be the answer so many of us are praying for.


  19. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    Crap, I see what it is doing now. It is formatting out any extra spacing and messed it up, I will make another attempt at this:

    CMP – ATT – YDS – CMP% – AVG – TD – LNG – INT – FUM – QBR – RAT
    317 — 531 – 3,817 59.7 – — 7.19 – 22 – 61 — 10 —- 9 — 46.8 – 87.7

    CMP – ATT – YDS – CMP% – AVG – TD – LNG – INT – FUM – QBR – RAT
    306 — 558 – 4,065 – 54.8 — 7.29 – 27 — 95 — 17 — 10 — 53.1 – 81.6

    (Sorry for the triple post.)

  20. J 2.0 Says:

    Tebow Time in Boston.

  21. J 2.0 Says:

    ^^^ as in on the bench if in a uniform.

  22. bucbucbuc Says:


    As fellow West Coast Bucs fan (live in Cali), I tend to always agree with your perspective on Freeman.

    People really need to start laying off the Dalton comparisons when it comes to the fact that he’s made the playoffs and Freeman hasn’t. Those Bengals teams were top ten units, which is a world apart from what Freeman has been dealt. The Drew Brees example is spot on; you can have an ELITE qb but if you have a HISTORICALLY bad defense you’re not going anywhere.

    That being said, let’s see what Josh can do this year

  23. Mark Says:

    The bigger comparison should be to the questions Free was asking last Nov-Dec when he looked like he forgot how to play quarterback. . .

  24. WestCoastBucsFan Says:


    ” . . . let’s see what Josh can do this year.”

    This is really the heart of my argument. My point is NOT that Freeman is a God like QB that will beat out the likes of Tom Brady as a Hall of Fame QB. My point has always been that the pass defense was so wretched (as in, only one team has done worse in the pass 90+ years of NFL football) that we simply couldn’t properly evaluate Freeman. Even a middle-of-the-pack defense gives us a great opportunity to see what Freeman really is made of. That’s all I am asking. Stop bashing Freeman and saying his Bucs records are Dalton’s season averages. Freeman doesn’t warrant too much praise OR criticism at this point. Lets just see what he can do.

  25. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    *past not pass

  26. TrueBlue Says:

    Was it the QB and the offense that took the Bucs to the Superbowl? Or was it the defense? The Bucs had 5 interceptions, 3 returned for touchdowns. Brad Johnson threw for 2 TD’s and an interception, and had a completion percentage of 53 % (18 for 34). These are not QB numbers to brad… er brag about.

    QB is the ‘single’ most important player on the field, but they are not everything. Defense won the Bucs a Superbowl and everyone knows it. When the defense gets its act together and steps up to dominance the Bucs will be on their way. Until then it doesn’t matter if it’s Freeman or Marino (who never won a Superbowl) at QB, they’re going to come up short.

    That said, the D is looking up. Go Bucs.

  27. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    ^^^ I like the Marino mention. Excellent example.

  28. Buqsfan Says:

    If the Bucs use the same philosophy of, just give the defense 17 points (per Warren Sapp). They will get to the playoffs with Freeman. If the Bucs had a defense that only allowed 16 points a game. They would’ve had a record of 12-4 last season.

  29. PRBucFan Says:

    Our offense played well during the playoffs and during the Superbowl.

    Let’s not take that away from them 🙂

  30. SteveK Says:

    What are we more likely to see:

    An all time great Defense that Dungy spoiled us with, or better play from the QB position?

    The league is changing, lots of young guys with little to no experience are getting the job done.

    The defense should be worlds better, and Josh needs to emerge as a consistent play maker.

  31. BamBamBuc Says:

    True, PRBF…. but without the D, we never would have made the playoffs for the offense to shine. Very similar to last year and 2010. If the D would have shown up, we might have 2 playoff appearances in the past 3 years and who knows beyond that. Gotta get there first and the D didn’t play well enough to do that.

  32. PRBucFan Says:

    I agree for the most part absolutely 🙂

  33. BamBamBuc Says:

    Yeah, SteveK, we get it. Something needs to improve. If the defense is “worlds better” then Freeman should be good enough if he just plays as well as last year. If the defense is not better, Freeman will have to outperform guys like Manning, Brady, Brees and Rodgers just for a hope and a prayer of a chance to get there. It’s pretty obvious that when you don’t make the playoffs, something has to be different for you to make the playoffs the next year. Maybe the opponents will take a drastic turn for the worse, maybe the defense will be top 10, maybe Freeman will be “elite”…. or we won’t make the playoffs. We get it. Most of us believe Freeman was and is pretty good and just needs a little support from the rest of the team to get there. You, obviously, don’t believe that. That’s cool, your prerogative.

  34. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    “An all time great Defense . . .”

    No one here is clamoring for an “all time great defense”. (Aside from Buqsfan.) We are just asking for an “average” defense. Josh does NOT need to emerge as anything other than what he has already displayed. Give him an average defense, lets say 22.3 points per game (16th in the league) and this is a playoff team. If the Bucs had averaged 22.3 points per game last season (again, an average defense) they would have had 4 more wins. In case you have trouble with simple math, that is 11-5 if Freeman posted the EXACT SAME NUMBERS but with an “average” not “all time great” defense.

    We had a top ten offense for Christ’s sake. How much more can you possibly ask for?

  35. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    ^^Add an “@SteveK” to the top of that.^^

  36. SteveK Says:

    We had a top ten offense for Christ’s sake. How much more can you possibly ask for?

    WestCoastBucsFan Says: ^^^
    June 10th, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    ^^^ How about consistency from the QB position, and a playoff berth in 2013?

    Freeman did well enough to have a top 10 Offense, and he took 3-4 games off (mentally). The offense should’ve been top 5.

  37. jimmy Says:

    West Coast:

    Joe should ban you for trying to compare Freeman to Flacco. That may be the most asinine thing I’ve ever read on this site.

    Flacco is the ultimate clutch player. Was in college, is in the NFL. When his teams needs him to step up and make a clutch play, he sacks up and puts the team on his back.

    Every time the Bucs need a clutch play from Freeman, he wets himself like a little girl.

    The NFL is about wins and rings, not yards thrown. That’s for fantasy football douches.

    Flacco is about wins and rings. Freeman simply soils his pants ever time he plays a decent defense.

  38. Tiny Tim Says:

    Below I put together a list for all you Freeman haters. Below are the total points scored and total points against for all the playoff teams from a year ago. I also included the same numbers for your Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Can anyone see the glaring difference? The first number is points for and the second number is pts against.

    Washington 436 388
    Seattle 412 245
    Green Bay 433 336
    Minnesota 379 348
    San Fran 397 273
    Atlanta 419 299
    Tampa 389 394
    Houston 416 331
    Cinci 391 320
    NE 557 331
    Denver 481 289
    Baltimore 398 344

    One glaring observation is the bucs are the only team on this list where the defense actually gave up more points than the offense scored. But what is really funny is if the bucs offense was matched with another team’s defense from the list above, the bucs would have been in the playoffs. What is even more telling is the World Champions only scored 9 more points than your Tampa Bay Buccaneers (San Fran 8 more and Cinci only 2 pts more). Excuse me, but what is the problem with this team again?

  39. Tiny Tim Says:

    Dont know why the numbers came out like that. I will not re-post. You guys are smart (hopefully), you can figure it out.

  40. WestCoastBucsFan Says:


    Obviously you failed to read my entire post. I specifically put a disclaimer at the end so some jackass wouldn’t think that I was saying Josh is as good as Flacco. (or better). Apparently reading comprehension isn’t a reasonable expectation anymore.

  41. PRBucFan Says:

    Tiny Tim what article did you get this from?

    I will say that your above post is the single most compelling argument I have seen in Free’s favor. Just the way that the stats are presented is nice.

    That being said, again we watch the games and when it comes to Freeman it really “isn’t” that simple. I wish lol

  42. Tiny tim Says:

    @ PRbucfan

    It was not from an article. I just researched every team from last year and on any sports page you can see the total points scored/pts against for each team.

    Yes, Josh made mistakes just like every QB does, but the difference is the other playoff QBs have better defensive teams around them which helps to mask some of the mistakes. Josh’s mistakes are blown out of proportion because the offense needed to be perfect in order for the bucs to have playoff success in the past 4 years. That’s not fair to any QB. Again, this team can be successful with Josh at the helm.

  43. Tiny tim Says:

    @ PRbucfan

    I utilized

  44. PRBucFan Says:

    Thanks, I believe he “can” as well, I just have a hard time having faith that he “will’.

    Let’s hope he does