Unlike failed 2010 first-round quarterback Tim Tebow, failed 2009 first-round quarterback Josh Freeman is willing to play football wherever he can. But Freeman’s debut for the FXFL may have vindicated Tebow’s approach.
Tim Casey of the New York Times (as noted on Twitter by Adam Schefter of ESPN) reports that Freeman had a rough game with the Brooklyn Bolts of the Fall Experimental Football League. It’s a three-franchise operation, and on Sunday night the Bolts hosted the Florida Blacktips, a team that per Casey has no set roster and will have no home games.
The Blacktips’ roster on Friday night featured only two players with NFL experience, but the man who made 60 NFL regular-season starts completed nine of 16 passes for 32 yards, a touchdown and an interception, and five fumbles. While that technically may qualify him to start for the 49ers in their rematch with the Cardinals, as a practical matter it does nothing to attract any NFL team to give him yet another last chance to show that he recapture his long-lost football form.
It’s possible that Freeman had protection problems or other factors that weren’t in his control. But no excuses were offered for Freeman’s inability to compete against players with no ability to compete in the NFL.
Freeman stiff-armed reporters after the game. Coach Terry Shea had this to say on Freeman’s behalf: “I’ve got to think that this was maybe just one of those nights where a perfect storm came together for him. It really controlled him.”
Before the game, Freeman spoke via telephone to Casey.
“I just wanted to keep playing football in any capacity and continue to stay sharp,” Freeman said Thursday. “Stepping in the huddle and calling plays and that whole procedure and process, maintaining my routine that comes along with being in season, I think it gives me a better shot to perform at my highest level if a team does call me up.”
It’s the right approach, as long as the player doesn’t get the wrong results. Ultimately, it’s better to have no film than bad film, and it’s hard to imagine Freeman having anything but bad film from his FXFL debut.
His best hope at this point may be that the fly-by-night league couldn’t afford cameras to record the game.