Josh Freeman, a smart young player; hope he takes notes well. Freeman is the starter and future of the Buccaneers. The team will go as far as his arm can throw, but he must be careful of the failures of young quarterbacks when they are under intense pressure. Recently, there have been quarterbacks that have failed to live up to their first round picks, most noticeably Jamarcus Russell. Russell, probably one of the biggest busts in the history of the NFL, was selected because of his size and arm strength, the same is for Josh Freeman. Yes, Freeman is way more mobile than Russell, but his long strides and height make him a big target for the talented defenders in the league. Many have drawn comparisons between the two and Freeman should take notice so that he does not repeat the same history again.
Freeman is the leader of a young and inexperienced team; this was also the same for Russell. Both have inexperienced coaches and both had the weight of a franchise on their shoulders. Russell only one nine games (earned 39 million dollars while doing it), Freeman has only started 9 games. Both had low passing percentages and were known for throwing interceptions in critical moments. Russell had a tremendous defense and a solid running game, Freeman does not have that. Many could say Freeman has less talent on his team than Russell did, but Freeman seems to have the better chance to succeed.
While there is comparison brewing out there and everyone is warning Freeman not to be Russell, he has already proven, he is not that bad (no one is as bad as Russell). Freeman is more athletic than Russell, coming to practice and the weight room early. He has shown he wants to win, battling on the field (beating the eventual Super Bowl champs in the process and the Green Bay Packers as well). Freeman is a smart person as well, he doesn’t have the press chasing him like Michael Vick or creating drama like Brett Farve.
Freeman is the future of the Bucs. The Bucs used the 1st round pick last year to take him and handed the team over to him, a very bad team over to him. The Bucs are the youngest team in the league and Freeman has tons of question marks around him, but he continues to work hard, trying to do everything he can do be a great quarterback in the NFL. But with the shadow of 1st round bust looming (Russell, Leaf, etc.), Freeman should learn from their blunders, look around at his situation (similar to the other failures) and decide what he can do to prevent a collapse.
Freeman should take notice, work hard, and make sure that the curse of 1st round picks and rookies taking over as starters in the NFL does not follow him. Let us all pray he progresses and turns the Bucs misfortunes around soon!