By: Jason “Big J” Allen
     In 2009 I made a dire prediction that I have to ride with FOR EVER. FOR EVER! (Sandlot anyone?) That prediction was that Josh Freeman would be the best quarterback in the 2009 draft. I figured that Freeman would be number one followed by Sanchez, and ending with Stafford. Yes, I do make wrong predictions. I’m not the Vegas gambler who tells you all about his winnings, and never about his losses. In 2009 regarding Freeman…I lost. We can debate for days about how wrong I was, but my main problem is this: why does no one hold Josh Freeman accountable?
     Is it the small market? Is it the lack stardom in his presence? Or is it that no one thought as highly of him as I did? Whatever the answer, Josh Freeman glides through the NFL under the radar based on his 2010 season. That season he was amazing. I’m not disputing that. 25 touchdowns to 5 interceptions. I get it. However, one good year does not excuse all of the failures. If Sanchez was this inept, he would be following fellow USC alumni Matt Lienart as a back up. Either that, or he wouldn’t even have a job.
     Freeman has been unspectacular. At least Sanchez has two AFC Championship appearances and Stafford can boast of a 5G passing yard season and 41 touchdowns. What does Freeman have? A few questionable hair cuts?
     One of Freeman’s problems is his lack of accuracy. Even this year with V-Jax, Mike Will, Dallas Clark, and Doug Martin he is still having accuracy issues. Freeman is not effective on the deep ball. His career completion rate on right and left sideline passes is 52% and 55%, respectively. I know that the defense has let them down (Giants, Wash, and New Orleans) but Freeman has gone through stretches of utter ineffectiveness. I look at the Dallas game this year where he completed 35% of his passes. If he was a Jet, Tebow would be playing.
     A balanced run game works great with Freeman, because he can create a bit with his feet. The best way to utilize Freeman is to have tight bunch formations, or to use two or more tight ends. Freeman actually completes 64% of his passes out of those formations. Not only that, but you can run the ball out of those formations to keep the defense guessing, which is ultimately more effective. Honestly, Freeman would be a perfect fit in Jim Harbaugh system.
     I know the Bucs as a team have not been great. However, in this league of quarterbacks, efficient play from Freeman would make the Bucs hard to beat. If you were to give Sanchez or Stafford those weapons I can only imagine how amazing they would become. In the majority of games this year, Freeman has been more effective in the second half than in the first. So the coaching staff is making the proper adjustments to ensure Freeman is successful. Freeman just needs to execute.
     So I admit I was wrong and it’s just a two man race between Sanchez winning and Stafford throwing. They’ve left Josh in the dust. However, Josh Freeman has the chance this year to start making a case to be in the conversation. Again, I still don’t see how he has gotten a pass for this long. I decided to intercept and shine the light on him for all of you to see.
What do you think? Is Freeman underrated, overrated, perfectly rated…or (like the rest of the NFL) do you just not care?
Jason "Big J" Allen  @UnsportsmenBigJ

Jason “Big J” Allen
@UnsportsmenBigJ

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