Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman’s second year as a full-time NFL starter was much different than his first. His touchdown-to-interception ratio fell from 25:6 to 16:22, and Freeman averaged nearly a full yard less per pass attempt than he did in 2010.
What went wrong?
According to ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski’s game-tape study, Freeman lost confidence, made poor decisions, and did not improve the finer points of his game.
“In 2011, Freeman threw four red-zone interceptions,” Jaws noted. “No quarterback threw more. It was part of a season in which Freeman took a step back. He struggled all year with his decision making. He tried to make too many throws that were not there.
“In addition, his ball location was not precise enough. Throws that you have to make became turnovers. Freeman has a lot of work to do. … I saw a lot of deficiencies that plague young quarterbacks. Poor decision making, lack of confidence. The physical talent is there, the consistency is not.”
Jaws is optimistic that Freeman can turn it back around.
“Hey, this kid is talented. When I saw him throw live for the first time, I was really impressed. He can spin it as well as just about any quarterback in this league. He needs to focus on the small details. The disciplines of the position.”
Jaws said on SportsCenter that he expects the Bucs to rely heavily on play-action passes in 2012. “It will provide a solid foundation for a young quarterback looking to regain some confidence.”