Reporting Justin Pawlowski
We’re a little more than two weeks away from the Buccaneers opening up training camp for the 2013-14 season. That means the talk and questions surrounding Josh Freeman are just starting to heat up.
ESPN’s Ron Jaworski is in the middle of unveiling his annual rankings of the 32 starting quarterbacks in the NFL.
Last year, some Bucs fans thought Josh Freeman was ranked a little low by Jaworski when Freeman landed 17th out of 32 quarterbacks. Freeman went on to throw for 4,065 yards 27 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. Those totals were not even good enough for Freeman to keep his spot at 17.
For the 2013-14 season, Jaworski has ranked Josh Freeman as the 21st rated quarterback in the NFL. This ranking puts Freeman behind quarterbacks like Tony Romo, Phillip Rivers, Andy Daulton, and Alex Smith.
In an NFL.com piece, Jaworski said their were more questions than answers when Jaws and NFL Films’ Greg Cosell broke down hours of film, studying Freeman’s every throw. In the end, Jaws could only describe Freeman as “an enigma.”
During a midseason stretch that saw the Buccaneers go 5-1 last season, “Freeman played with a swagger,” Jaws said. “He was always willing to pull the trigger, attacking all levels of the defense. What I really love was the anticipation.”
Then Freeman tumbled off a cliff. “He was erratic with his accuracy. He had many communication issues with his receivers,” Jaws said.
Jaworski pointed out a disturbing figure: Only Mark Sanchez of the New York Jets had a lower passer rating when facing pressure. That’s when we saw Freeman mightily struggle at reading coverages and making split-second decisions.
The question that still remains for me is that we don’t know what type of quarterback Josh Freeman will be when the pressure is really on in a game that means something. The reason that question still remains is because the Bucs have yet to play a truly meaningful game in December or January with Freeman as quarterback.
There have also been multiple reports that point out Freeman’s awful record against teams with a winning record. That would be 6-15, with two of those six wins coming against divisional teams with clinched playoff records in the last game of their respective seasons of 2010 and 2012.
If Josh Freeman is as bad as Ron Jaworski points out when it comes to handling pressure, don’t think the Buccaneers front office and coaching staff do not know this already. Numerous national analysts have already predicted a change at quarterback for the Bucs if Freeman is not playing at a high level by midseason.
Could you picture what might happen if that Freeman played the 49ers defense or Seahawks defense in games that meant something at the end of the season? Well, we might just see when the Bucs host the 49ers on December 15th of this year.
Well, that is IF Freeman is still the Bucs starting quarterback.
Fan Interference with The Commish Justin Pawlowski and Jim Lighthall will be on from 6am-10am this week.
How long are you willing to wait for Freeman before you make a switch?
Tweet us your answer! #Freeman
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