Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

25 Sep 2013

Bucs Bench Josh Freeman for Mike Glennon

Well, so much for the Josh Freeman era. It started with so much promise, didn't it? The Bucs will apparently try to deal Freeman at this point. (The Jaguars have some lower-round picks, right?) Greg Schiano told the press that he would rather have Glennon take over this week because a Week 5 bye gives the coaches two weeks to critique his first start. It also helps that Glennon's first start will come against the Arizona Cardinals, where the strategy is just "find where Patrick Peterson is not standing and throw there." As a reminder, the Lewin Career Forecast really, really did not like Glennon, who declined as a senior with just a 58.5 percent completion rate.

Also, I saw David Lewin this weekend and he asked me to start calling the Lewin Career Forecast something else because people keep asking him why certain quarterbacks are rated high or low and he has to explain to them that he works for the Celtics now and doesn't have any idea. Heh.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 25 Sep 2013

55 comments, Last at 28 Sep 2013, 10:08am by dryheat


by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Wed, 09/25/2013 - 12:05pm

Freeman has shown enough flashes that I wonder if he could thrive with a head coach who is the happy medium between the Raheem Morris coddler, and the Greg Schiano hardass/underminer.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Wed, 09/25/2013 - 12:40pm

Yes, so much promise. That 2010 was wracked by injuries, had no offensive line, and Freeman had a simply phenomenal year in every way. When a guy is that good and then gets this bad, it would seem he's just not being coached correctly, right? I mean, you've got a QB with an obviously great arm, WRs who excel at going down the field, a solid offensive line, a great back . . . how does he get this erratic?

Mike Glennon looks to be basically a less-talented version of Josh Freeman; tall, big arm, questionable accuracy and decision-making. So, basically, it's Josh Freeman, except he looks like Beaker.

by tuluse :: Wed, 09/25/2013 - 12:43pm

It could be the player not taking his job seriously. Too much success early making him believe he doesn't need to try hard to keep improving.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Wed, 09/25/2013 - 12:49pm

Could be, but I don't think I've heard a single peep about his attitude until Schiano started talking about him missing meetings and the photo and such. After his rookie and 2010 seasons, players were going out of their way to talk about his offseason work. He was still getting the big C on his jersey until at least this year's apparently questionable vote.

He had a really great run last year; I'm just wondering if he hates Schiano so much he isn't showing up at the facility so much. No clue, but wow, did he crater.

by tuluse :: Wed, 09/25/2013 - 1:12pm

I have no specific knowledge about Freeman, just speculating about all possibilities.

by Kyle D. (not verified) :: Fri, 09/27/2013 - 11:14pm

He played at Kansas State for Bill Snyder, who is pretty strict. I find it hard to believe he changed that much. My guess is the problem is strictly with Schiano.

by dryheat :: Sat, 09/28/2013 - 10:08am

Are you sure? I thought he was between Snyder eras.

by sundown (not verified) :: Wed, 09/25/2013 - 12:48pm

I think some different coaching could do wonders for Freeman. I saw somebody float the idea of KC picking him up as a backup. Not a bad idea there.

Glennon seemed like an oddball pick to me at the time as he just never seemed to be that good. Then again, his stats were right in line with Russell Wilson's when he was at NC State, so maybe that's just the best a guy can do in that program with that system. But he is about the gawkiest looking pro QB I can imagine.

by Drunkmonkey :: Fri, 09/27/2013 - 7:08am

Have you ever seen Brock Osweiler? Pretty gawky...

by Tino (not verified) :: Wed, 09/25/2013 - 3:01pm

Maybe defenses just figured him out. Take away the deep ball and watch him flounder making correct reads and accurate throws on the shorter stuff. That's what seemed to happen to Rex Grossman's career.

by johonny (not verified) :: Wed, 09/25/2013 - 3:53pm

Isn't Freeman's career pretty much the basic formula for bad QBs. At least the info Football Outsiders posted was QBs tend to improve in the their second year and then bad QBs decline after that until they are no longer viable starters. In this respect Henne, Freeman, Sanchez seem to all fit the model of the typical bad QB. It is always possible he is the rare QB that puts it all together late in his career like Smith but isn't just more likely he is what he is and Tampa is smart to look at other options. The other options likely won't pan out, but hey most QBs in the NFL do not pan out long term.

by DavidL :: Thu, 09/26/2013 - 3:16pm

Now I want to hear Beaker call an audible.

by bingo762 :: Wed, 09/25/2013 - 12:49pm

Not that they'd trade for him but I think it'd be interesting if he went to the Chiefs. No pressure as a backup and maybe Reid could fix him

by MilkmanDanimal :: Wed, 09/25/2013 - 2:10pm

It's a logical move in some ways; Freeman's from the KC area and talked about wanting to play near home. That being said, Reid's system really values accuracy, and that's clearly one of the knocks on Freeman. Great deep ball, iffy on the shorter/touch stuff. I do think if Al Davis was calling the shots he'd be on an express train to Oakland, as he fits the "throw it deep", "physically gifted", "not living up to talent" trifecta of Al's late-years decisions.

Ideally, he doesn't get traded for some low-round pick this year; if he walks at the end of the season, I would guess the compensatory pick formula would toss Tampa a 3rd in 2015 based on playing time and salary. There's no way they're getting something even vaguely equivalent to that in trade. I'd assume he goes somewhere on a one-year deal as a backup next year and tries to rehab his image. His value right now is about as low as it could possibly be.

by bingo762 :: Wed, 09/25/2013 - 4:22pm

"Great deep ball, iffy on the shorter/touch stuff."

You just described McNabb & Vick

by sundown (not verified) :: Wed, 09/25/2013 - 4:54pm


by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Wed, 09/25/2013 - 10:59pm

McNabb's "inaccuracy" has always been overstated. His career completion percentage was almost exactly median for a peer starting QB. His AY/A was top-20, and he had one of the lowest INT% of his era.

Basically, McNabb consistently threw short passes low and outside, where the downside was an increased chance at bouncing one in, but at a gain of almost zero chance of interception. He was a rich man's Alex Smith.

by tuluse :: Wed, 09/25/2013 - 11:11pm

Throwing for the median is pretty bad when you were usually considered a top 5 QB.

No one is calling him Cade McNown, but when you are considered an elite QB, and your completion percentage is 16th, well that's a weakness compared to the rest of your game.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Thu, 09/26/2013 - 8:35am

Manning only has median arm strength. Does that make him not a top-5 QB?

McNabb wasn't even inaccurate. Given that his passes, when off, were always short, I expect he was actually of above-average accuracy but threw to locations that were markedly conservative. It's not like he was just spraying the ball around.

by tuluse :: Thu, 09/26/2013 - 10:57am

I think you misunderstood me. I never said McNabb wasn't a top 5 QB, just that for a top 5 QB, he had surprisingly poor accuracy. Which he made up for with other attributes.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Thu, 09/26/2013 - 9:21am

And Freeman's completion percentage is clearly on the low side, and, even worse, he tends to be high on his passes, leading to excessive INTs. McNabb was far more in control of his game than Freeman.

I will readily admit I thought Vick and Reid would be a terrible combination, and was utterly shocked when Vick had that great year. That being said, it's year five for Freeman, and his weaknesses seem to me to be particularly misaligned for the kind of things Andy Reid likes to do.

by Dean :: Wed, 09/25/2013 - 12:51pm

At this point, it's re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. I saw probably close to half of Glennon's games in college and I don't see why he was even drafted. Even at the college level, he was just a guy. Whatever Schiano saw in him is a mystery to me.

by dryheat :: Wed, 09/25/2013 - 1:52pm

I saw two Bucs pre-season games, and FWIW, Glennon outplayed Freeman significantly, albeit while playing with/against second and third stringers.

by jonnyblazin :: Wed, 09/25/2013 - 3:53pm

I agree, Glennon impressed me in the one preseason game I saw him in vs. the Ravens. Yes, it's preseason, but still the guy can sling it.

by sundown (not verified) :: Wed, 09/25/2013 - 5:00pm

He was 11 of 23 for 169 yards and an interception versus the Ravens, 12 of 22 with 2 TDs versus the Pats (possibly that was the game you actually saw?), 3 of 9 versus the Dolphins and 7 for 16 versus the Redskins. Freeman's preseason stats were terrible, but Glennon was nothing to write home about and most of them came against 2nd and 3rd teamers.

by Nathan :: Wed, 09/25/2013 - 1:38pm

Oakland would have made a lot of sense if this had happened a year or two ago.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Wed, 09/25/2013 - 1:51pm

If this happened last season, Arizona would have made sense, but the Cardinals may still be stinging from the Kevin Kolb fiasco.

by LionInAZ :: Thu, 09/26/2013 - 12:02am

He could perhaps be groomed as Carson Palmer's replacement. Otherwise you're looking at JAX, CLE, TEN, or possibly MIN as likely destinations.

by panthersnbraves :: Thu, 09/26/2013 - 3:28am

Not that I want this, but - Panthers as Cam's backup?

by gregf (not verified) :: Wed, 09/25/2013 - 2:12pm

Nothing against Glennon, as I have no idea how well he will do, but Schiano's reasoning for playing him his week is transparent.

"Greg Schiano told the press that he would rather have Glennon take over this week because a Week 5 bye gives the coaches two weeks to critique his first start"

This move is the only way those coaches are around in two weeks. He is gone by the end of the season.

by Dennis :: Wed, 09/25/2013 - 5:22pm

Wouldn't it make more sense to have him start after the bye so the coaches have two weeks to prepare him?

by dryheat :: Wed, 09/25/2013 - 7:37pm

One would assume he's been paying attention during practice all this time.

by RickD :: Thu, 09/26/2013 - 1:08pm

NFL Head coaches are pretty much never fired in the middle of a season. Not that I'm a Schiano fan, but why would he be fired after 20 games as head coach?

by tomdrees :: Wed, 09/25/2013 - 2:43pm

Josh Freeman is Jason Campbell 2.0.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Wed, 09/25/2013 - 3:03pm

Not really. The general refrain on Campbell is he's a checkdown king; he gets rid of the ball too fast on dumpoff passes. Freeman's the opposite; he doesn't check down. If it's there, he throws it. If it's not there, he still throws it. Really nothing in common between the two at all.

by TomC :: Wed, 09/25/2013 - 3:52pm

Well, there is that one thing...... by which I mean they are both 6'-5" 250.

by Tino (not verified) :: Wed, 09/25/2013 - 7:46pm

This is why he reminds me of Rex Grossman. Grossman was a great deep passer but when forced to throw short(er) he would make the most inexplicably bad decisions.

by tuluse :: Wed, 09/25/2013 - 10:38pm

Grossman is an overrated deep passer. He threw a beautiful rainbow, but they rarely landed at the right spot.

by Independent George :: Wed, 09/25/2013 - 11:34pm

That's more Eli Manning than Rex Grossman. Sexy could throw hard, but he wasn't very accurate deep. Eli throws one of the most beautiful deep balls in the league, but seems to miss the linebacker standing right in front of him with startling frequency.

by mm(old) (not verified) :: Wed, 09/25/2013 - 4:26pm

Would the Vikings try to trade for him at this point?

by CBPodge :: Thu, 09/26/2013 - 7:31am

They would make the most sense. The Jags and Browns might as well just play out the string and look for a top notch QB in the draft. The Vikings still seem to believe they can be playoff contenders. And a QB who can actually throw the ball deep would fit well with them.

But then why trade for him when they have Joe Webb?

by td (not verified) :: Fri, 09/27/2013 - 12:29am

is this like saying 'candyman' 3 times?

by Waverly :: Wed, 09/25/2013 - 7:22pm

Ideas on what to call the "Lewin Career Forecast"? How about "The Win Career Forecast"?

by jds :: Wed, 09/25/2013 - 8:37pm

How about the Wilson Predictor.

by IB (not verified) :: Wed, 09/25/2013 - 9:30pm

How about "Backfitted Over-Engineered Regression Analysis (version X)"? They could call it BOERA for short to give it that nice, sabermetrics-y sound.

by speedegg :: Wed, 09/25/2013 - 10:03pm

Could call it the Buehler Career Forecast? Disinterested, clever, charming but talented young algorithm coming of age and is generally well received by critics and audiences alike? Also has characters like Sloane and Rooney to deal with. Maybe?

by Yes, (not verified) :: Wed, 09/25/2013 - 10:51pm

This *1000

by wr (not verified) :: Thu, 09/26/2013 - 10:41am

How about "QB Divining Rod"? :mischief:

by Jerry :: Thu, 09/26/2013 - 2:31am

How about just making the acronym the name and call it LCF? When the annual article runs, someone will ask what it stands for, and the answer will be "It stood for Lewin Career Forecast, but David Lewin, who originated it, asked to have his name taken off."

by speedegg :: Wed, 09/25/2013 - 9:02pm

Uh-huh. Never mind that Tampa Bay has 2 good outside receivers, a strong HB, a questionable FB, BAD TEs, and no slot WR. So, the Buccs can move up and down the field, attack the edges, but are weak in the middle and will get stuck in the redzone.

And switching to a rookie QB that shows flashes of brilliance, but will make rookie mistakes, while keeping the WR routes/schemes simple is suppose to transform the offense into...Rutgers?

South Carolina called, Steve Spurrier wants his mojo back.

by greybeard :: Wed, 09/25/2013 - 11:46pm

Schiano reminds me Mike Nolan days of the 49ers.

by CBPodge :: Thu, 09/26/2013 - 7:33am

He reminds me of Mike Singletary.

by greybeard :: Thu, 09/26/2013 - 4:23pm

I guess he has Singletary's football acumen and Nolan's fake tough guy attitude. A great combination for failure.

by Nathan :: Thu, 09/26/2013 - 5:42pm

At least Nolan had the suit.

by Jerry Garcia (not verified) :: Fri, 09/27/2013 - 10:26am

The coaches in Tampa don't want to coach a QB-
they have more important initiatives- like coaching how to knock the ball out during the victory kneel-down.

I think Freeman has been sabotaged by poor coaching & screwed up priorities.

The Jets decimated every skill position around Sanchez -yet actually expected him to improve!

Things that make you go hmmmmm.....