For the first time since Josh Freeman became the opening day starting quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, his offense will look the same as the previous season. After years of coordinator changes, skill position additions and subtractions, and a rotating door of healthy offensive linemen, Freeman will finally have a chance to take his game, and the games of his teammates to the next level.
Josh is coming off a rocky year that involved a lot of good followed by a whole mess of bad. But this time there isn’t a new head coach, or a new offensive coordinator, or a new top wide receiver, or a new guy to hand the ball to, or even a new lineman. The core of the Buccaneers attack is almost fully in tact from 2012 and this season Freeman has a real chance to succeed.
Freeman has been the starting quarterback for three and a half years. In that time he has thrown 78 TD’s and 63 INT’s while amassing a sub par 79.8 QB rating. His best season was in 2010 when his TD/INT ratio was a solid 25/6. He’s seen certain stats increase and certain stats decrease since then.
But the important factor is consistency. In 2010, Raheem Morris was coming into his second season with the Buccaneers. It was also his second straight year working with Greg Olson at OC. During that season Freeman was able to limit his mistakes and what amounted to in many games mistake free football. The Bucs went on to a 10-6 season and narrowly missed the playoffs.
The parallels to this season are certainly there. But this time Freeman is older, has more experience, and has a lot more help around him. Pro-Bowlers at WR, RB, LT, LG, and RG. But the one thing that he’s never really had since arriving in Tampa, a defense.
We’ve discussed how the defense affects the pressure on Josh previously. But the question is, what should we expect out of Freeman this season?
Freeman’s career averages are 23 TD’s, 15 INT’s, 59% completion percentage, and a QB rating of 79.8. Based on all the above info, you would have to figure (or maybe hope is the word I should be using) that Freeman could, and should, pass each one of the numbers.
So it’s not crazy to think that he could throw about 28 TD’s, 10 INT’s and complete about 64% or so of his passes. If these numbers come true, the Bucs are going to be really good, probably to the tune of 10 or 11 wins.
How do you think Josh will do in 2013? Leave your comments below and sound off on the Bucs’ polarizing signal caller.