With the Tampa Bay Buccaneers winning and the offense putting up big numbers, a lot of people are jumping back on the Josh Freeman bandwagon. Count ESPN analyst and former NFL quarterback Ron Jaworski as one of them.
Jaworksi spent a lot of time singing the praises of the Tampa Bay quarterback in a recent conference call with the national media.
"Josh Freeman is playing phenomenal football," Jaworski said. "I thought last year he really struggled with his accuracy. As their season wore on and their record got worse, disinterest might be the wrong word, but there just didn't seem to be a fire in that Bucs offense. That usually reflects upon the quarterback, and I thought Josh really struggled last season. Two years ago I thought he was really coming on and had the potential to be a superstar. I'm seeing that superstar potential now come to the forefront.
"I think clearly Freeman is on his way to becoming a superstar in this league. He's got all the attributes you would want in a quarterback. Clearly those are being refined."
Jaworski cited the new offensive scheme of coordinator Mike Sullivan for much of Freeman’s improvement. Jaworski proudly pointed out that Sullivan worked at his alma mater (Youngstown State) as an assistant and went on to coach receivers and quarterbacks with the New York Giants.
"Here's what I like, and it is crystal clear what this offense is about,’’ Jaworski said. "It's about discipline. We know (coach) Greg (Schiano) has brought that to the Buccaneers in general. But when you watch this offense, and the first thing that stood out to me, it's much like the Giants' offense. It's not complex; it's not sophisticated. We're not going to beat you at shifts, motions and gimmicks and gadgets. We're going to play football first. That template has worked for Tom Coughlin and the New York Giants. Mike Sullivan is cut from that same cloth."
Jaworski also praised how the Bucs have dealt with a rash of injuries on their offensive line.
"I'm here in Philadelphia, and people are complaining about all the losses in the offensive line," Jaworski said. "Well, Tampa's lost four of their starters in the offensive line. No one's whining, no one's complaining. Go out and do your job. They've developed that next‑man‑up philosophy that's been heard of around the league. People say it, but you actually have to go on the field and perform."