Josh Freeman

Posts Tagged ‘josh freeman’

You’re Not Scaring Josh

March 04, 2013 at 10:24pm by Scott   •  3 Comments »

Between this and the Michael Jackson thing, just stop.
Stephen Holder took a look at the free agent crop of quarterbacks and politely called it “thin”. Not that it matters to the Bucs too much. They want competition for Josh Freeman, but he’s not losing his starting job anytime soon. So the only way they’re going to put a scare in Josh is if they draft a quarterback in the middle rounds. I mean, would you be scared if Matt Moore was highlighted as the best in this free agent class?

He’s not an answer as a long-term solution for a club unstable at quarterback, but he might be a temporary fix. Moore never has had much talent around him, but he has managed to show some ability.

He’s the top of the heap and he’s “a temporary fix”. At best. And it starts to take a steep dive from there.

Jason Campbell, $$
David Garrard, $$
Drew Stanton, Colts — $
David Carr, Giants — $
Matt Leinart, Raiders — $
Charlie Batch, Steelers — $
Brady Quinn, Chiefs — $
Derek Anderson, Panthers — $
Josh Johnson, free agent — $

If the Bucs want a solid backup behind Freeman and want to upgrade over Dan Orlovsky, David Carr might make the most sense. He has a lot of starting experience and wouldn’t cost much. I don’t see anyone else on that list that I would trust more than Orlovsky to not lose a game if Freeman got hurt. But Freeman is a better quarterback than most of those guys combined, so they should forget the competition talk unless they’re taking a flyer on a big arm in, say, the fifth round (Tyler Bray, anyone?).

Freeman Are You Okay? Are You Okay? Are You Okay Freeman?

February 06, 2013 at 09:35am by Scott   •  7 Comments »

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Guess who has a lot of free time on his hands.

In the upcoming ESPN The Magazine music issue, the 25-year-old Josh Freeman is transformed into Michael Jackson, posing for duplicates of the Thriller and Off the Wall album covers.

So we’re all okay with the kid touching, then? Enough time has passed that we can dress up like a dude who got children drunk on jesus juice and then slept with them? I’m just checking here because I’ve been wanting to dress as Roman Polanski for Halloween for years.

“I’ve always been a huge fan of Michael Jackson,” Freeman said. “He’s an icon. The way that he took so many different styles of music and dance. He almost created his own genre.”

Just so we’re clear, I’m willing to listen to Jackson’s albums and watch Polanski’s movies, but dressing up as the guy who
gave kids cocaine and had this painting of himself commissioned as a fuck you to devastated parents everywhere is over the line. But hey, don’t let me ruin your fun.

“It all started with the hair,” Freeman said in the video. “You know, you’ve got to get the hair right. I’m getting there.”

You’re right, Josh, it all starts with the hair. Then why are you still playing your games in a mohawk?!?

Freeman also dons an Afro wig and poses in a black tuxedo to duplicate the Off the Wall album, which was released in 1979.

He shouldn’t have had to wear the wig. He should have had fro to spare.

“My favorite Michael Jackson song is Black or White,” Freeman said of the Jackson hit off of the Dangerous album in 1991. “Because I am black and white. My father is black, African American, and my mom is Caucasian. So it’s a nice split right down the middle.”

“Black or White” is the last decent song Jackson did, and most of that is because Slash did the riff. And please don’t say “split right down the middle” in a sentence referencing Michael Jackson.

You can see a slideshow of the shoot here and see the promo video below. They really got Freeman to look a lot like Jackson, so hats off to the studio. Next year, I want to see Ronde Barber‘s homage to Grace Jones‘s “Slave to the Rhythm” album.

Mid-Round Draftable Quarterbacks

January 09, 2013 at 12:58am by Scott   •  7 Comments »

He can sling the ball a long way, but the throwing motion makes Byron Leftwich cringe.
I’ll do a proper post on all draftable quarterbacks in the coming weeks, but for now Roy Cummings lists a few that he thinks have potential to be Josh Freeman‘s competition in 2013 that could be had on the second or third days. I’ve already explained the reasons why this is bogus competition, but since he went to all the trouble of writing it, let’s just pretend there’s a real possibility that some mid-round rookie could oust Freeman.

As the draft is being projected now, there is a chance experienced prospects from big-time programs such as Landry Jones of Oklahoma and E.J. Manuel of Florida State could be available.

Enticing prospects such as Zac Dysert (Miami of Ohio) or Colin Klein (Kansas State) should be there for the taking in the middle rounds, as well. And if juniors Tyler Bray (Tennessee), Aaron Murray (Plant High and Georgia) and Keith Price (Washington) opt in, the Bucs could have a shot at one of them as well.

Jones is experienced but has flawed mechanics and has only played out of the shotgun. He’s still kind of raw for being a four-year starter. Manuel is a better physical specimen and is fundamentally better than Jones, but makes questionable decisions. Klein is actually pretty good. He’s a good athlete with a decent arm and no flaws that can’t be coached away. I’ve already covered Bray, who has the best arm of the bunch but makes some boneheaded decisions and is kind of a douche. Murray may be the best overall quarterback here and with the success of 5-11 Russell Wilson, everyone is going to get hot on Murray who is 6-0. But there’s a reason why most good quarterbacks are tall. Still, he has good SEC experience and has had success. [Update: turns out Murray is staying at Georgia for his senior year.] Price is a tough kid who sometimes overthrows his receivers by a good mile and should just stay the fuck in school. And if you’ve ever heard of Dysert, congratulations, you have bedsores.

We’ll see if the combine makes any of these quarterbacks stand out any more, but if a team takes any of these kids besides Murray in the second round, they’re reaching. The Bucs need too much elite talent at other positions to consider taking a quarterback before the third, and even that’s stretching it if you ask me. People are going to point to Wilson as an example of how, with the right scouting, you can get a good quarterback in the mid rounds and play him early and go to the playoffs. But for every Wilson, there are a couple Colt McCoys and Jimmy Clausens who will bend your team over and fuck it with a conch shell if you turn your team over to them. And hey, if the Bucs go ahead and take the flyer on one of these guys, fine. Mark Dominik has my vote of confidence, so if he thinks one of them is worth it, I’m behind him. But let’s not set this up as a competition for Freeman. Just get the best quarterback coach possible and mold Freeman into what we know he can be.

On a totally different note, did you know Ron Cooper is still employed?

No Extension For Freeman

January 07, 2013 at 10:56am by Scott   •  10 Comments »

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As we all suspected and Rick Stroud has confirmed, the Bucs will not extend Josh Freeman‘s contract this offseason.

In many ways, it’s the Bucs’ only play. They don’t want a situation like the Jets have with QB Mark Sanchez; they’d like to cut ties but have guaranteed him $8.25 million next season.

Stroud is right in that it was the only thing they could do. They can’t give him a franchise quarterback-type extension since that would completely undermine any “competition” Greg Schiano would want to bring in. Schiano has a better chance of convincing potential quarterbacks that they will have a chance to start if they don’t have another guy locked up for five years at some ungodly number. And, quite frankly, Freeman hasn’t earned a big extension. You’ve got to be able to count on the guy you’re paying the big bucks to. Earlier in the season and last year, Freeman would start hot, play mediocre for a couple quarters and then finish huge. It isn’t ideal, but at least he did it on a regular basis. But after midseason this year, we couldn’t even count on that consistent inconsistency.

With Ron Turner leaving to coach DeVry or wherever the hell he’s going, the Bucs have a chance to get the best quarterback mind available and have two guys learn under him. Freeman will likely be more physically talented than anyone else the Bucs can bring in, so he’ll already have an advantage. All he has to do is be the player we all know he can be, but MORE often. Hey, maybe I should apply for the QB coach job. “Just be good ALL THE TIME, Josh!” How hard can it be?

Wow, I Guess That Was Good Luck

January 04, 2013 at 12:45am by Scott   •  5 Comments »

This is the only pic of Turner I found where he's not making his Norv Face. Seriously, do a GIS search. You'll see what I mean.
At the end of today’s earlier entry, I basically blamed Ron Turner for Josh Freeman‘s lack of consistency this season. So being the starmaker that I am, FIU offered Turner their head coaching job, leaving the Bucs to hire a quarterbacks coach that can get the most out of Freeman. And even though this will make Freeman’s third quarterbacks coach in four years, I think it’s a good step. Turner didn’t have the resumé to make me comfortable with him teaching Freeman anything, unless you think Curtis Painter is woefully underrated. And if you do think that, please leave this site right now.

By the way, Norv Turner isn’t doing a hell of a lot right now. He’s probably done as a head coach anywhere, and some new head coach might be ready to name Turner as an offensive coordinator. If that doesn’t happen, though, he is a good, proven quarterbacks coach. I know it sounds like the setup for an awful joke, but I’m serious. I’d hire Norv Turner in a second.

Good Luck With That

January 03, 2013 at 10:26am by Scott   •  6 Comments »

qbcompetition2013

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.

REAR ENTRIES: Holiday Haters

December 22, 2012 at 01:27am by Scott   •  3 Comments »

rearentry157

NO SELLOUT FOR ST. LOUIS: The last home game of the season, this Sunday against St. Louis, will be blacked out to no one’s surprise. Not because the Bucs deserve it, but because if a new coach and an exciting new running back and a four-game winning streak wasn’t bringing the fans out, then a four-game losing streak probably isn’t the cure.

The Bucs, who once boasted a season-ticket waiting list of more than 100,000 fans, failed to sell out their first three regular-season home games this year have had 19 of their previous 23 home games blacked out.

That’s just unnecessarily rubbing it in. The 100,000 fan waiting list was YEARS ago and has no real relevance to the story. Did you know that the NY Jets, who once won a Super Bowl, suck now?

The Bucs were also the first NFL team to adopt the league’s new 85 percent rule, which allows clubs to declare a sellout and lift the local TV blackout if 85 percent of all non-premium seats are sold 72 hours before kickoff.

That part hurts. Because it means they can’t even really come close to selling out. At some point, the fans have to step up and take some responsibility. There are tickets available for $30 right now. I just saw them. The Glazers can’t do a hell of a lot else outside of having the cheerleaders go into the stands and give away free handjobs and massages.

Wait, on second thought, fans should hold out for that.

GO BACK TO COLLEGE: According to PFT, sometime after the game, an anonymous Buccaneer asked if there was a way to send the coaches “back to college”. And of course it was passed off as a sign that Greg Schiano is losing control of the team because, as we know, no successful team has ever had an anonymous asshole spout off when things aren’t going great at the moment. Just ask Keyshawn.

Ronde Barber disputed that the comment was even said, which I understand him doing, but probably is pointless since I’m sure someone said it. That doesn’t mean it was anyone of any consequence, though. Have you seen some of the names on the active roster? A good chunk of them will be selling insurance next August, and I’ll bet one of them is the spineless douche. And I really don’t care what he thinks of the coaches.

Let’s all stop and remember how things were last season before the Bucs had all these “college” coaches. Despite this losing streak, the Bucs are still miles better than they were this time last year.

FREEMAN KNOWS WHAT TO SAY: Josh Freeman had a shit game last week and people are talking about him not being the future of the team or the face of the franchise or whatever. And whether you believe that or not, you have to appreciate the way Josh is handling the criticism. The whole quote is good, so I’m pretty much snagging the entire article.

“It’s funny because one of my friends asked me about an article he read or something, but to be honest with you, I’m completely disconnected from it,” Freeman said of the chatter.

Freeman said he tries not to be swayed by “opinions that don’t matter” because they tend to become a distraction, and he can’t afford to let them alter his focus or preparation.

“I’m not saying the fans don’t matter because you want to go out and put a great product on the field for them,” Freeman said. “But there is nothing they can say or do that will affect me in a positive way or help me in my preparation.

“You see a lot of guys who get caught up in that and maybe they lose confidence in what got them (here) in the first place. So I’m working, I’m battling. You guys can argue it up, but I have one focus.”

Everyone says they don’t let it get to them, but Josh’s words are more believable than most. He’s got work to do and needs to make progress and get more consistent, but I think he’s got the attitude part of the job nailed.

REAR ENTRIES: Better Late Than Never

October 09, 2012 at 08:54am by Scott   •  3 Comments »

rearentry148

TRUEBLOOD SICK: This article said the Bucs are “mulling over some possible changes”, which sounded really juicy and potentially big, but it’s just the right guard stuff we discussed last week. And now, they won’t even have Jeremy Trueblood to try out at right guard because he came down with a stomach virus. You know it’s been a slow week when this is my third mention of Jeremy Trueblood and one of them has to do with the flu.

FEWER PLAYS: Also, according to the same article, the Bucs are adjusting the number of plays Josh Freeman gets. The article says “streamlining”, but that’s just fancy talk for “reducing”. I’ve been streamlined out of every job I’ve ever had.

Has that been the problem? Too many plays? It doesn’t look like the offense is totally out of synch, it just looks like the receivers can’t get separation and Freeman can’t hit them in the right spot. But hey, if that’s the result of their brains being too full, then by all means, takes some plays away. Hell, just give the receivers wristbands with “GET OPEN” written where the plays used to be and give Freeman one that says “THROW”.

REPLACEMENT REF ON SCHIANO: It’s been a couple weeks and now the replacement refs are kind of an afterthought. But one of them had a parting shot for Greg Schiano on last week’s Inside the NFL.

NFL replacement refereee Jim Core said Bucs coach Greg Schiano was the toughest coach to work with during thress games he called in the regular season.

Appearing on Showtime’s Inside the NFL, Core was asked by James Brown which NFL coach was the toughest to work with?

“Coach Schiano,” Core said. “He’s college. I mean, the rest of them acted at a different level. You just tell working with them they were at a different level than I thought he was.”

That’s not a friendly little jab about him being loud or argumentative. He called him “college”, as in, “He should have stayed in college.” Every head coach yelled at the replacement refs because most of the time they deserved it, but you’d hate to think that our head coach is particularly abusive or disrespectful. Unless it’s really funny.

INTERESTING UPDATE: Greg Schiano’s son, Joe Schiano, a student and linebacker at Berkeley Prep, has been suspended for six games for swearing at an official during a game. Wonder where he learned that.

I know the officials have to maintain control, but SIX GAMES for swearing? How big is the paddle they hit the players with for bumping a ref during a game?

Blame And Adjustment

October 02, 2012 at 10:41am by Scott   •  4 Comments »

This isn't the play I'm referring to. No defender can be seen around Griffin in that picture.
Robert Griffin III‘s run up the middle for 15 yards with 38 seconds left was the play the Bucs couldn’t allow. With a tackle for minimal or no gain, they either have to burn that final time out or spike the ball and make it fourth down. But everybody went to the offense’s left, so he went to the right and saw nothing but grass. And as Americans, we have only one question on our minds: Who is to blame? Well, it depends on who you ask. If you ask Michael Bennett, he would tell you he probably wouldn’t have called a blitz in that scenario.

“You run a blitz and it was just wide open,” defensive end Michael Bennett said of RG3′s run. “I knew myself. I was like, ‘I don’t know if I should run this play or not, but I did my job.’ I knew he was going to get outside. That’s what he does. The edge was too short. The whole defensive line slanted.”

And if you were to ask Greg Schiano, he’d tell you it wasn’t the playcall at all, but the execution.

“They’re not calls I wish I had back,” he said. “We have to execute them. Suffice it to say we made mistakes on two of those plays that were critical.”

So this could get awkward. Without knowing exactly what was supposed to happen on the play, we can’t know who was really at fault here. But what we do know is we have a player and a coach throwing each other under the bus, and that seems unusual for such a briefly-tenured regime. Isn’t there some kind of honeymoon period that everyone gets before they start hating each other in public? I may be making too big a deal of this, but the usual response by players to questions about why something didn’t work is, “We just have to go out there and get it done,” and by coaches is, “I need to look at the tape, but we can all improve.” When a coach says they need to “execute”, that is always code for blaming the players. And again, maybe they are to blame. But it seems early for this kind of talk.

Schiano may not make any friends on the defense this week with that comment, but Josh Freeman is about to get the Gerald McCoy treatment of being allowed to do more of what he likes.

“He came out gang-busters the first three games, the first series,” Schiano said. “This game – not. … But if it were one thing he were comfortable with or not comfortable with, we’d just cut it out and we’d up more. … But I did think the deep shots that he hit were as good as you can throw. Some of the lasers he threw in there were as good as you can throw. We’ve just got to get, as you said, I do think there is some of that really pinpointing what we know he’s most comfortable with and what our offense is most comfortable with. So that’s our job to do and make sure we get it right quickly.”

If Freeman likes the deep shots, that’s fine. But he has to be able to make the decision to throw it quickly and confidently and to put it on the money when he does. As Schiano said, a couple of the ones he threw were pinpoint perfect. When Freeman’s ass is on fire and he has five minutes to save the game, he does amazing things. The trick is to be able to play that way even when they’re ahead.

Bucs Beat AFC Champs!*

August 27, 2012 at 03:47pm by Scott   •  2 Comments »

patspreseason

* may not mean as much now as it would have in February.

NFL Network finally broadcasted the Bucs/Pats game Sunday afternoon after airing a couple other games twice (#BuccaneerConspiracy) so I got around to watching it last night. I came away much more impressed with many aspects of the team, obviously concerned about some others, and disgusted at the amount of cheering Pats fans there were in the stands.

Losing Davin Joseph for the year is huge. Like, super huge. It may be the biggest loss the team could have, and I’m including Josh Freeman. There was so much hinging on the run game this season and Joseph and Carl Nicks were going to be those bookend guards to give Doug Martin the cracks he needed to break his big runs. I assumed Ted Larsen would be the starter in Joseph’s place, and that would have been a big step down. Larsen is good, but he’s not at Joseph’s level. But now Greg Schiano is saying that they’re going to try a few different things out. No one else on the roster is any better than Larsen, so that probably means he’s going to see who gets cut this week and bring in a couple guards to compete with Larsen to start.

You may object to me saying that Joseph is a bigger loss than Freeman would have been, but have you seen anything from Freeman this preseason so far that makes him stand out? Several passes off-target, a seemingly rebellious refusal to run when there are yards and yards of green in front of him, just doesn’t look sharp. He had a couple good passes Friday, but just not sucking isn’t enough. Not for a fourth year franchise quarterback. Dan Orlovsky has been more precise with his throws and more productive. I’m not advocating for Orlovsky to be the starter and I recognize that Freeman is generally playing against better competition than Orlovsky, but Freeman should be clearly better than him at this stage, and he’s not.

Doug Martin has Emmitt Smith-type balance. You see it in just about every run. No defender is going to bring him down with an arm tackle or by throwing themselves at his feet. He can spin and twist and stumble but his knee never touches until he gets hit squarely. He’s a living weeble.

It was good to see Vincent Jackson catch some balls and be a big part of that first drive. He is as advertised and that’s good because he’s going to need that big radius to catch some awkward balls if the offensive line isn’t going to give the quarterback the time he needs to step up.

Speaking of which, is it just me or did Donald Penn look sluggish? Seems like he got pushed around some on Friday. He definitely let Chandler Jones get inside him on the play where Joseph as injured. Not that it’s Penn’s fault or anything, but Penn allowing that kind of pressure is unusual.

Though I wasn’t keeping an exact count, I do remember a lot of bullshit penalties, too. False start, delay of game, illegal formation… all useless penalties. It may be a useless statistics, but it can’t be helping.

I don’t know what happened to Preston Parker during the offseason to make him not be able to hang onto a punt, but he should not be allowed to field punts ever again. If the Bucs keep six receivers and ditch Arrelious Benn, he will probably stick. But guys on the back half of the roster need to be able to do something on special teams and his value is declining quickly if he can’t field punts.

Someone said something during the broadcast about Dallas Clark not being able to block. I saw him block a couple times and he was fine at it. No pancakes or anything, but the guy he was blocking got moved away from the flow of the ball. That’s all they need him to do.

Both Gerald McCoy and Adrian Clayborn got tweaked during the game and left early. Still, the defensive line showed some life with Michael Bennett and Roy Miller. Beyond that, despite the numbers, the depth on the line gets pretty thin. The Bucs will be scouting for this position as well this week, and if they don’t find anyone they like, guys like Wallace Gilberry and E.J. Wilson will be getting roster spots, which seemed incomprehensible last year.

The Patriots ran for 168 yards with an average of 5.4 YPC. That’s a lot — in fact, it’s more than Freeman’s yards per attempt. It didn’t actually seem that way during the game since Adam Hayward and Lavonte David were always around the ball, Hayward especially making some big plays. And Mason Foster, the starting MLB, wasn’t playing. Jeff Demps did his share to boost their average with a 29-yard run and that was against backups, so maybe it isn’t as the stats. But I’ve got a real feeling that teams are going to test the Bucs’ run game early in the season. They’ve got a reputation of giving up a lot of running yards, and until they prove everyone else wrong in a regular season game, that’s going to be the assumption around the league.

One factor other teams will have to consider now is Mark Barron. He can flat-out hit. He’s been equally impressive in run support and pass coverage and has shown so far that he was worthy of the #7 overall pick. If the Bucs can have a true intimidator patrolling the secondary like they did when John Lynch was around, they’ll get part of that nasty edge back that they had all those years ago. Barron might be that guy.

The last preseason game is Wednesday night. My DirecTV schedule says it will be broadcast live on Comcast SportsNet, channel 642. We’ll see if that actually happens, but hopefully I’ll be able to review the game less than a week after it happens this time.