Good Luck With That
January 03, 2013 at 10:26am by Scott • 6 Comments »
At the press conference after the Falcons game, Greg Schiano said he believes Josh Freeman will win Super Bowls. Then he talked about adding competition at quarterback.
“Do I think Josh Freeman is going to win Super Bowls? I do. But … the one thing I do believe in is competition at every spot, including the quarterback.”
Dan Orlovsky is not competition for Freeman, but honestly, this is a terrible year for Schiano to make this statement because it’s pretty empty, even if he doesn’t know it yet. The best quarterback whose contract is ending is Joe Flacco, and there’s no possible way Baltimore lets him leave. Like, none. The #2 pending free agent? Jason Campbell. He has been a starter in the league and has some skills, but Freeman is superior. After that, it just gets sad. Tavaris Jackson, anyone?
The draft is kind of crappy for quarterbacks this year, too. If there was some elite college quarterback that fell to the Bucs at #13, they’d have a decision to make. But that’s not going to happen because there are no Andrew Lucks or Robert Griffins this year. So they’d have to bank on some mid-round prospect being better than advertised. Aaron Murray (Georgia) is probably the best of those prospects and he hasn’t even declared yet. And I’m here to tell you that Tyler Bray (Tennessee) isn’t beating Freeman at anything except possibly a bottle-throwing contest. Bray has raw physical skills that could be developed over time, but he is not competition for Freeman right now. And I know people are going to mention their quarterbacks from their favorite schools (Mike Glennon, Ryan Nassib, EJ Manuel, etc.) any of which may be a great developmental prospect. But if Schiano is looking to add real competition for this offseason, you can’t bank on any of those guys. Russell Wilson, a third-rounder who won the starting job out of training camp and has already led his team to the playoffs, is a very rare situation.
The last option is to trade for a quarterback to compete with Freeman, and that may be the way to get the best player. But the target would be a Matt Cassel or Matt Flynn type of player who has demonstrated some competency on a very limited level. Usually teams in desperate need of a quarterback roll the dice on a guy like this to make him their starter. Has it ever worked out that way? I mean, ever? I can’t think of one that has. The Bucs may not think they need a starter, but if they really want competition for Freeman, they need to get one that at least has that potential or you’re just shuffling backups. So, yeah, I’m sure Colt McCoy will be available for a reasonable price. Is that the solution, though?
Freeman had some brilliant games during the winning streak and some abominable games during the losing streak. Every time he overthrew a receiver by a good five feet you wanted to run onto the field and just kick him in the nuts really hard. He wasn’t consistent, but the talent is there. By all accounts, Freeman is a hard worker and eager to learn. So unless he’s just dumb and unteachable, you have to blame his inconsistency on his position coach. Ron Turner‘s greatest success story as a quarterback coach is Kyle Orton. Anyone see an issue here?
Competition be nice, but serious competition isn’t going to happen this season. The other way to make Freeman better is to give him a better teacher. That’s where I’d start.