The Morning After Hill: Bucs Lose a Heartbreaker to RGIII

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Mandatory Credit: Matt Stamey-US PRESSWIRE

The Bad & Ugly: Josh Freeman

I hate, loathe and despise the fact that some Bucs fans are ready to leap off the Josh Freeman express just to hedge their bets. Yes, Josh Freeman has had one passable season as a starting quarterback, but he’s still developing. When he came into the league he spent two years under a clueless head coach and a defensive head coach at that. He’s now learning a new system under a new regime with a brand new (and terribly mediocre) quarterbacks coach who makes Raheem Morris look like a genius.

It was Freeman’s fault the defense was so gassed as it was last week as well. His inability to be consistent is killing the Buccaneers on defense as the unit barely gets anytime to rest, and are then thrust into a situation where they need to stop an aggressively speedy offense on the last drive of the game when they’re running on fumes.

But Freeman did have his moments. His massive bombs to Mike Williams and Vincent Jackson were great, but we’re in year three of the Josh Freeman experiment and merely having moments is not acceptable.

It’s hard to read Freeman. At times he looks cool under pressure and other times he looks terrible skittish and shaken. Take for instance all the broken drives that have resulted in broken protection and Freeman panicking with the ball. Now contrast that against the play where Freeman bobbled and dropped a bad snap, recovered with no protection and completed a bullet to Tiquan Underwood.

History should have dictated that Freeman threw that ball away or to the Redskins but he completed the pass. He also managed to connect with Vincent Jackson on a play that saw intense pressure on Freeman and put him in a situation that he should have made a bad play in.

Overall Freeman is just “eh” and that’s the problem. It’s bad and ugly to see him limp through games, and his expression when Connor Barth hit what was at the time the go-ahead field goal captures the deer-in-the-headlights way Freeman has played the last 15 games of his career.

His face literally said oooooooooh thank Jesus and to see your franchise quarterback look that wide-eyed is not good. Freeman’s got time to get things together, but if this continues into next year, we need to really sit down and consider the future. Freeman has shown growth, but that needs to go somewhere before the season is over.

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