Buccaneers reaction: Competition may not help Josh Freeman

Scott Cunningham

Tampa Bay has brought in quarterbacks in the past in an effort to improve Freeman's play, but that might not be the solution this time.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers' quarterback Josh Freeman has concluded his fourth season under center, a year that saw him set career records in passing yards (4,065) and touchdown passes (27). Despite the bigger numbers, Freeman's quarterback rating was just 81.6, well off his career high of 95.9 in the 2010 season. That's thanks in part to the 17 interceptions Freeman threw this year compared to just six in his sophomore campaign. He also threw a career-high 558 passes but completed just 54.8 percent of those attempts.

At the end of the season, head coach Greg Schiano hinted the team could bring in another quarterback to compete with Freeman. But Bucs Nation isn't sure that's the best thing for Freeman's development. Sander Philipse says the issue isn't Freeman's work ethic; he's frequently cited as having to be kicked out of the team facility to comply with league rules because he's staying too long. The issue is Freeman just needs to play more.

What Josh Freeman needs is, quite simply, more time. He's had great games, good games, mediocre games, bad games. He's not that different from, say, Joe Flacco or Jay Cutler or Matt Stafford at this stage in his development. The question is whether he can grow beyond here. And there's no way to find out the answer to that question other than by giving him the opportunity to grow.

Philipse theorizes the Bucs could take a quarterback in a middle to late round of the draft. but whoever it is likely wouldn't push Freeman enough.

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