Josh Freeman

Posts Tagged ‘mike sullivan’

REAR ENTRIES: New Coaches And Old Players

February 13, 2012 at 10:29am by Scott   •  3 Comments »

Rear Entry 114

SULLIVAN EXAMINED: I guess all the stories about Mike Sullivan came from one interview because everyone is reposting this quote from David Carr on how he drills quarterbacks.

“I won’t say his drills are unconventional, but not being a quarterbacks coach before, he has some different drills where it’s uncomfortable movements,” Giants quarterback David Carr told the Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger.

“You’re not just dropping back, moving to the left and right, stepping up and throwing the ball, which never happens in the game. You move up, you sprint out, run away from someone and then try to throw off-balance.”

That’s not a standard drill? Don’t all quarterback coaches make their guys throw on the run? If not, then every single QB coach except for Sullivan is a moron. You know what else Sullivan does? He makes his quarterbacks use full-size balls and not the tiny toy ones they sometimes throw into stands at games. What an innovator!

Anyway, there are a couple biographical-type articles out there on Sullivan you can read. This one in the Tribune talks about his background as an Army ranger and a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. So look for Josh Freeman to inspire his team by choking out the receiver that keeps dropping balls in the middle of the field.

GETTING BUTCH ON THE FIELD: Most people change the batteries in their smoke detectors on their birthdays so they remember to do it once a year. I don’t think they need to be changed that often, so I time mine around articles where I agree with Gary Shelton. And I guess it’s time for me to switch them out because just about everything he says here about Butch Davis being an actual coordinator is right on.

On this Bucs staff, Davis could be an anchor. For instance, Schiano has gotten decent reviews, but he has never been an NFL head coach. It’s hard not to like the job new offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan did with Eli Manning while with the Giants, but he has never been an offensive coordinator. A lot of the new assistants will work in the NFL for the first time. That means an experienced defensive coordinator would be terrific, especially when you look at the quarterbacks in the NFC South.

Having Davis in the building working with the coaches is fine, but it’s no substitute for him working directly with players, which he isn’t allowed to do as an advisor. And if Davis is just going to be telling the coaches what to do, why not cut out the middle man?

The rub, of course, is that Davis is in the middle of a $2.7 million buyout from the University of North Carolina that prohibits him from coaching. That’s pretty good money not to coach.

Here’s an idea for the Bucs: Why not pick up the phone? Why not negotiate a settlement with North Carolina? That way the school spends less money, Davis gets his severance, and the Bucs get Davis in the job he should have. Assuming Davis wants to coach, wouldn’t that be better for everyone involved? Money wasn’t going to get in the way of hiring the right guy. Remember?

It’s a good idea. Or just buy out the damn contract and be done with it. I know I’m being free and loose with someone else’s money here, but shit, $2.7 million is what they’d spend on a mediocre free agent. For someone to run the defense, it seems like a pretty good deal.

In other news, the Bucs haven’t hired an actual defensive coordinator yet.

SURE, WHY NOT: This piece is such a work of fantasy that the author should read it at the next DragonCon. But since it was carried on an ESPN site, I figured I’d share it. ESPN author Charlie Bernstein thinks it would be a swell idea for the Bucs to make a play for Drew Brees in free agency.

Although it may be a little early to give up on Freeman, it’s unlikely that he will be better than one of the three quarterbacks in the division much less all three.

That’s a pretty bold statement to just throw out there. This will be Freeman’s third full season as a starter. This is when he’s supposed to make his big leaps forward. And this guy wants to turn him loose now?! After the entire franchise has been built up around him?

Assuming that New Orleans doesn’t place the exclusive franchise tender on Brees, there is simply no harm in Tampa Bay making a major play to get the record-setting quarterback.

I like the point the author makes about severely weakening an opponent. I’d love for Brees to be out of New Orleans. But Brees has only a handful of years left in the league. If the goal is to build a winner for the long-term, you have to get a young quarterback to for with. And Freeman is the guy the Bucs picked. It’s sink or swim with him now. As good as Brees is, the team isn’t in the market for short-term answers anymore.

In a potential “worst-case scenario,” if New Orleans couldn’t match the deal then the Bucs would give up a pair of first-round picks for an elite signal caller who just broke the NFL single-season record for passing yardage.

Two first-round picks for a 33-year old quarterback, one of them probably this year’s #5 overall. As much as I like Brees, no fucking way.

If New Orleans is short-sighted enough to not be able to work out a deal with Drew Brees and place a simple franchise tender on them, the Bucs have possession of the dagger that can rip apart the vital organs of the Saints franchise. They need to use it or get used to last-place finishes for the foreseeable future.

New Orleans isn’t that dumb. There’s no way they’re going to allow Brees to walk, so this is all moot. But just having the conversation is silly. Have we really given up on Freeman after one bad season? Everything he was in 2010 that we all liked about him, he still is. One year didn’t make all those grab qualities go away. And now with a new OC and a new QB coach, he has the opportunity to be everything he was promised. If this was the Bucs of 2008 where all they had was Jeff Garcia, of course you make a run at Brees. But the addition of Brees would mean the end of Freeman in Tampa because you couldn’t have them both. And I’m sticking with Freeman.

Your New OC Just Won A Super Bowl

February 11, 2012 at 10:45am by Scott   •  2 Comments »

The gold chain lets you know he's from New York. The fact that it's thin lets you know he doesn't go to Jersey much.
And so it finally happened. After being turned down by literally everyone else, the Bucs have hired Mike Sullivan as their offensive coordinator.

Sullivan, 45, was the Giants receivers coach for six seasons before coaching quarterbacks the past two. Under Sullivan, Manning threw for 8,935 yards, culminating with a Super Bowl MVP performance in a 21-17 victory Sunday over the Patriots.

The good news is that Sullivan is coming from a winning organization and should be able to take some of the credit for what Eli Manning did this season. The bad news is that Sullivan has never led an entire offense before. He hasn’t called plays, either. This is all new for him, so there’s going to be more learning on the job and more first-time mistakes to suffer through. Offensive coordinators are like hookers. Every now and then it’s fun to see what kind of crazy shit a new one will come up with, but when it comes down to it, you really want one who knows what she’s doing and isn’t fumbling around trying to figure out where everything is.

After Sullivan became quarterbacks coach, Manning set a career high with 25 interceptions. But he passed for 4,002 yards and a career-high 31 touchdowns. That prompted him to insist he wasn’t a 25-interception-a-year quarterback and he belonged in the same elite class as the Pat­riots’ Tom Brady.

That 25 interception number made me worry, but Eli improved on it this season by throwing 16 interceptions against 29 touchdowns, so that’s cool. And keep in mind that Josh Freeman will have a quarterback coach, too, so not all the responsibility for his success will rest on Sullivan’s shoulders.

I guess I’m cautiously optimistic about the hire. It seems like the Bucs are trading inexperience for inexperience, just a different kind. But he was, like, their tenth choice for the job and at this stage they don’t have a lot of successful, experienced options, so this is the best they can do. But all the successful coordinators started being successful somewhere and there’s no reason why Sullivan’s somewhere can’t be Tampa.