Tampa BayWatch – My Thoughts on the Bucs

Freeman Pick Divides Opinion

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So the #1 pick for the Bucs has certainly divided opinion amongst the Buc faithful. Words like ‘reach’, ‘other more pressing needs’ and a lot of ‘WTF’s have been thrown around like confetti in football forums. So without Johnson throwing a pass in anger for the Bucs the pressure is already on him and the Bucs management to make sure this kid isn’t the next Akili Smith or Ryan Leaf. Clearly Dominik and Morris feel that Freeman is the man for the future and it will be interesting to see how quickly he’s brought through. If the Bucs have an early season stinker, which given the schedule is possible does Freeman get his chance ?

Rumours had circulated pre draft that the Bucs were keen on Freeman, but none of the draftniks really thought that QB was a pressing need, especially when Byron Leftwich was signed during free agency. Most mocks had us taking Peria Jerry, or any number of defensive ends. Morris clearly wanted his man and decided that the cost to trade up 2 places in the first round (a 7th round pick) was worth it to ensure they got their man. The reason given for the trade up was that they felt that if we didn’t trade up to #17 another team would trade either with the Browns or the Broncos and take Freeman from under our noses. Of the teams likely to trade up, one could have been the Vikings as they are about the only team below us that wasn’t truely settled at QB. The Broncos could have taken him but having acquiring Orton in the Cutler trade that looked unlikely. My gut feel is that the Bucs could have sat tight and still got Freeman at #19. Anyway the deal was struck and the Bucs were happy to get their man.

So what does Freeman bring to the Bucs. He’s a big mobile QB in the mould of Donovan McNabb and JaMarcus Russell. Blessed with oft quoted ‘prototypical QB size’ at 6’6 and 248 he’s a big man lining up under centre. He’s a 3 year starter at KSU and has a big arm to make plays down the field. This is one of the attractions for the Bucs in their new offensive scheme. They plan to get teams to stack the box to counter the threat from Graham and Ward and then look for Bryant and the WR core to stretch the field looking for the big plays in 1 on 1 coverage. Although not electric out of the backfield like a Vince Young or fellow draftee Pat White, due to his size he’s tough to bring down.

I’m not going to get drawn on the miles of internet chatter that this pick has warranted. Id rather sit tight, trust in Dominik and Morris and go from there. Once we start to get some news out of camps then we’ll really see what we have on our hands in Freeman. I’d like to see him get a lot of reps in camp and also get some game time preseason. My gut feel is he’s got some time to learn the ropes with McCown and Leftwich fighting for the starting job for this season, and Johnson and Greise likely to be cut.  If it all pans out he’ll hopefully be the starter for next season but in the NFL if is a very big word.

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Written by UK Bucs Fan

April 30, 2009 at 2:15 pm

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