Josh Freeman's future in Tampa Bay
September, 21, 2013
By Mike Sando | ESPN.com
Bruce Kluckhohn/US PresswireQuarterback Josh Freeman has thrown for just 335 yards and two touchdowns this season.Sometimes a leadership change produces sudden, extreme results carrying maximum shock value. The Cleveland Browns' decision to trade highly drafted running back Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts comes to mind. New general manager Mike Lombardi publicly defined the organizational outlook in one swift, unanticipated move. Any pretense that the Browns were doing their best to win in 2013 dissipated in an instant. The front office sacrificed the present for the future with a Week 3 kickoff fast approaching. Dramatic stuff.
Other times, an organizational leadership switch produces change incrementally, creating confusion along the way. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' quarterback situation under second-year coach Greg Schiano fits the profile. We should know the routine by now. Team hires new coach. New coach inherits quarterback. Awkward moments ensue, and the team moves on to another quarterback -- sometimes right away, sometimes after a little while. As hard as organizations try to pull in the same direction, that can be exceedingly difficult to accomplish when management, coaches and players are operating on different timelines.
Schiano and his quarterback, Josh Freeman, are not in sync. Schiano has a five-year deal running through 2016, with a rookie quarterback waiting for a shot. Freeman is two games into a contract year, with reason to wonder whether his coach has his back. Freeman might yet succeed as the Buccaneers' quarterback, but the odds have been stacked against him in ways a 25-year-old player could not reasonably anticipate.