Originally posted on The Sports Post  |  Last updated 9/6/13
Since that 2010 season, Josh Freeman has a 43:39 TD/INT ratio, and had a completion percentage of under 55 percent in 2012. Now, some quarterbacks do have just one good year, but that is an anomaly. There is a difference between having a good year like Derek Anderson did for the Browns in 2007 and the sheer weight of talent that is proven by that 25:6 ratio Freeman put up in 2010. So why is Freeman in a hole that is encapsulated by a preseason fumble against the Miami Dolphins -- second only to the butt-fumble in terms of laughably bad stupidity -- that leaves nobody thinking the Buccaneers have a shot at the playoffs? In 2010, when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers went 10-6, Freeman was allowed to do what comes naturally -- moving around the pocket, creating angles and making plays when the design breaks down, exactly like Ben Roethlisberger. This is accentuated by the statistic that he had the most rushing attempts in his career that year, a full 29 more than he attempted in 2012. It was this playmaking ability that meant he posted five 4th-quarter comebacks and five game-winning drives. Both of these are joint franchise records. What is incredible is that he did this while throwing just six interceptions. What has changed? Well, in 2011, with the Bucs over in London to host the Chicago Bears, sitting at 4-2, they lost two running backs to injury, lost the game and as a result, lost their way completely. The end result was a 4-12 season and the end of coach Raheem Morris. Without the former Kansas State defensive coordinator, the former Kansas State quarterback was without the man who not only was a key part in the decision to draft him, but also a man who intrinsically knew the skillset of Freeman and the best way to utilize these skills. [Do you want to put your NFL knowledge to the test with weekly fantasy football? Sign-up for FanDuel.com using promo code TSP for a 50% deposit bonus!] While the appointment of Greg Schiano as Head Coach has brought a lot more disciplined feel to One Buc Place, curing a lot of the ills that led to the 10-game losing streak, his more old-fashioned style of football has lead to a very different style of offense. It is one based on running the football and pocket passing. As a result, Freeman is not as comfortable as he was under Morris, accentuated by the huge amount of balls Freeman had batted down at the line in 2012. That should not be happening to a guy that is 6'6", and it contributed to the low completion rate in 2012. The drafting of Mike Glennon, while tempting some to wonder if there is a quarterback competition, should have actually been a crumb of comfort to Freeman. Glennon is the same big bodied quarterback with a strong arm that can heave the ball downfield. While Glennon is much more leaden foot than Freeman, it shows a commitment to the current incumbent to bring in a quarterback that has the same assets and can therefore run a similar system, something that with Freeman in a contract year, they have no obligation to do. However, it appears that Freeman has seen it as a vote of no confidence and seems lost as to how to react. If his reaction to that fumble against Miami shows anything, it shows that he has given up caring, making no real attempt to recover it. There is still a chance for Freeman to do something very special with the Buccaneers. With the additions of Revis, Goldson and Banks in the secondary and with two big downfield threats in Mike Williams and Vincent Jackson, they have the potential to be a playoff team.  What Freeman has to do is commit to adjusting his skillset to the playbook and understanding that this offense is one that is one that is now led by Doug Martin. Freeman's job is to no longer win games, but take the opportunities presented to him and, to put it simply, not lose games. By: Steve Moore Twitter: @Steve_Moore1988
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