Josh Freeman, the quarterback many in and around Minnesota thought would be the signal caller that would save the season, made his debut this evening. He’s got a new team, a new uniform, no Greg Schiano and guess what? He still stinks. Watching the Monday Night Football broadcast was painful, at times resembling a preseason affair as both teams struggled mightily. However, the apologies by ESPN for Josh Freeman were bordering on embarrassing.
Jon Gruden and Mike Tirico made references several times during the broadcast that Freeman had just 2 weeks in the Minnesota Vikings system and did not have complete knowledge of the playbook. We get that guys. How could we forget? You reminded us half a dozen times. But come on Gruden, you saw that play on the field. Freeman made every throw an adventure. You wouldn’t have been that soft on Freeman if he was coming into your offseason quarterback camp. How come you weren’t all spider 2 Y banana on his ass Monday night? Guess those corporate paychecks are getting comfy each week.
Freeman attempted over 50 passes and had 33 incompletions, no touchdowns and an interception. He threw for 190 yards. If he had been a starting pitcher, he would have been yanked in the third inning. His passes were high, low, outside, inside, all over the place. He struggled to complete basic passes that a high school quarterback could complete in practice.
The Freeman apologists will point to the fact that he set the Tampa Bay Buccaneers single season passing yardage record last season. And how many of those Freeman followers can name 10 other starting quarterbacks in Buccaneers franchise history? It’s not really an esteemed list. Fact is, most of the time last season, Tampa was playing from behind since they had a nearly historically bad secondary, and was forced to throw the ball while opposing teams played prevent defense.
And to ESPN. I understand you know that the NFL scheduling Gods handed you a steaming hot turd of a game for Monday night with a game that featured two teams with one win between them, but don’t insult the viewers by making excuses for Freeman. Have you not watched the Buffalo Bills in the last two weeks?
Thad Lewis, signed off the practice squad two weeks ago, started for the Buffalo Bills and took the Cincinnati Bengals to overtime and while playing with an injured foot Sunday, beat the Miami Dolphins on the road. In doing so, he completed 40 of 64 attempts for 418 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Oh, and not for nothing, Lewis had one prior career start leading up to his start against the Bengals, Freeman had 60 starts before tonight’s game against the Giants.
The MNF announcers continually tried to explain the wildly overthrown passes by Freeman as the fact that the receivers were not used to a 6-foot-6-inch quarterback throwing the ball. Huh? LeBron James on the top rung of a step ladder wouldn’t have caught many of the balls Freeman was launching.
Freeman will go down as another first-round quarterback bust. Another physical specimen that looks great on paper when it comes to the measurables with a strong arm, but a quarterback that lacks the mental toughness to take his talent to the next level in the NFL. There have been many. Freeman is nothing more than a career backup that will occasionally tease you with a good game. Nothing more. Nothing less.