The New England Patriots are moving along on Tampa Bay Buccaneers and they’re working on converting another “W” in this week’s match up, but there is a lot of work to get done before coach Bill Belichick calls it a wrap. While the Buccaneers are going through a “football drama” at the quarterback position – whether coach Greg Schiano still trust Josh Freeman, his absence from the team’s photo, the latest rumor on wanting a trade, and the fact that Bucs fans are feeling the water getting in the ship; coach Belichick sees traits in Freeman that make him a capable starting quarterback.
Sep 15, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman (5) sets to throw during the second half of the game against the New Orleans Saints at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports
During his address to the media conference call, coach Belichick had this to say about Freeman’s quality as the starting quarterback for the Bucs and why he thinks Freeman is doing a good job for the Bucs.
“Athletic, does a good job in the pocket; he’s a hard guy to get down. He runs well, you have to be very disciplined with your rush lanes. They roll him out a decent amount with bootlegs and sprint-out plays, things like that. He’s got a great arm, big, tall guy that can see over the line; makes all the throws. We saw that in practice and we’ve seen it in the games. He can really get the ball down the field on the in-cuts, middle reads, seam routes, go routes, post patterns, all that. He has a nice touch around the line of scrimmage, too. He has all the skill. It looks like he’s definitely improved in terms of his overall presence on the field, handling the team and all those things, from when we saw him in ’09 in London to working against him last year in practice to seeing him this year in games and practices. He’s been in a couple real competitive situations in the fourth quarter and has done what the team needed him to do. They’ve had good drives, put them ahead in the Jet game and also ran off some clock. I don’t know five minutes or however much time it was in the Saints game where he had to make some big throws there at the end – third-and-longs – and he made them. I think he’s doing a good job for them.”
Although coach Belichick sees Freeman’s improvement of his overall presence in the field, it leaves many Buccaneers fans wanting more than what Freeman has produced in the past two weeks. So far, Freeman’s stat is a combined 24 completions out of the 53 attempts for 335 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions and a 63.0% QB passing rate. For a Bucs fan, Freeman is not getting the job done when the team needs to seal the deal; leaving up to the defense to take care of business. He requires time in the pocket, takes too long to release the ball, and his throws are not the most accurate as the fans want to see. And yet, if it wasn’t for the 13 penalties for 102 total yards in Week 1 against the New York Jets, and for the 10 penalties for 118 total yards in Week 2 against the New Orleans in Week 2, it’s possible that their quarterback would not be in such controversial conversation as the Bucs would’ve been 2-0.
For the opponents, don’t get too comfy on Freeman’s inconsistency in putting up points on the board. Every now and then he does find his receivers, just like he found Vincent Jackson for a 73-yard touchdown which just happened to be taken away due to his tackler illegal formation on the line of scrimmage.