On Friday Josh Freeman took time out of his busy schedule and made it into the Buccaneers team facilities on an off-day to have a meeting with Bucs quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt. Pelt and Freeman were both thinking the exact same thing ever since last Sunday when Freeman had a not so good game and did not do the one thing at the top of Pelt’s list, that is take better care of the ball. Just ask Freeman I mean after all the first words out of his mouth upon entering the meeting was, “I have to take better care of the football.”
Freeman has four interceptions through three weeks of play thus far, and that comes on the heels of only throwing six interceptions all of last season. Two of the four interceptions that Freeman has thrown this year came when the Bucs were in the red zone, desperately in need of points, and Freeman was just looking to make a play. It was a rookie mistake really, except for the fact that Freeman is not a rookie and those are the types of mistakes that he seemingly put behind him last year and was looking to avoid all together this year.
Freeman was constantly reminded by Pelt and Bucs head coach Raheem Morris that he needs to take better care of the ball and also make better decisions, just look at what Morris had to say about the situation when he was asked about Freeman having to make better decisions, “Oh, there’s no doubt. We definitely want to take better care of the ball.” Now Freeman is not taking offense to the comments by Morris and even admitted he’s made mistakes this season, “Two turnovers in the red zone, that’s just unacceptable. That’s something you really don’t anticipate doing or expect to do at any time. And we talk about it all the time.”
Freeman’s stats thus far in the season have been somewhat decent, he has completed 72 out of 106 pass attempts for 682 yards and only two touchdowns, but one of the big factors playing in Freeman’s favor is his “clutch gene”. Freeman has consistently made big plays in the fourth quarter to lead his team back to victory, 8 fourth quarter comebacks to be exact. Now the Bucs haven’t made the playoffs with Freeman as starter so only time will tell if he is able to do the same in the post season but usually the clutch gene is not something you just forget on a big stage, that’s usually when it’s at it’s best.
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