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michael89156

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« : May 05, 2013, 12:01:46 AM »



Assessing the Damage: Breaking Down All 17 of Josh Freeman’s 2012 Interceptions

May 4th, 2013 at 6:25 pm by Leo Howell




In 2012, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers got to see flashes of brilliance from their young quarterback Josh Freeman, particularly during the middle of the season when he was producing at a high level and overcoming a poor defense that failed to support him week after week. But near the end of the season, he started to fall apart, turning the ball over more often and becoming the subject of speculation and criticism. So what went wrong for Freeman, and what led to his collapse in the final few weeks?
 
In this article, I am going to break down every interception thrown by Josh Freeman in 2012, and attempt to extrapolate the root causes, notice the trends, and speculate how Freeman may do in 2013 based on the mistakes he made in 2012. Let’s start in Week 2.
 



Interception 1: Week 2 against the New York Giants. Up 11 Points in the 3rd Quarter.
 
This play is maybe the prototype Josh Freeman interception, or at least it was coming into 2012. Freeman took a short drop, faced pressure, and throws fading away from the play rather than stepping into his throw. Troy Aikman on FOX’s coverage noted that Freeman had the chance to escape the pocket and run, but he instead chose to throw moving away from his target, and sails it over the head of Sammie Stroughter for an easy pick. Freeman committed two cardinal sins of a QB: He threw late over the middle, and he threw off his back foot while moving away from the play. Freeman showed that he was unable to handle pressure well on this play, something I broke down statistically a few weeks ago (click here to read more once you’re done with this article!).
 
Verdict: This one was Josh’s fault, and while he was under pressure, he should have done better than to make a poor throw with awful footwork.
 
Interception 2: Week 2 against the New York Giants, Down 7 points in the 4th Quarter.
 
With just 12 seconds left, and with one timeout, the Buccaneers were looking to get down the field and tie the game despite blowing a big lead. Freeman again faced pressure thanks to a perfectly timed jump by a Giant’s pass rusher, and doesn’t make a good throw at all. Freeman bolts from the pocket and rolls right, and is trying to find Dallas Clark over the middle to get closer to the end zone in order to set up one last heave downfield with a few seconds left. The other receivers were not open at all, and Clark had broken into a bit of space, but Freeman’s throw on the run wasn’t good enough, and the defense took advantage.
 
Verdict: This one is on Josh as well, there was a fairly open receiver and he failed to deliver a catchable pass in a key situation.
 
Interception 3: Week 3 against the Dallas Cowboys, Up 7 points in the 1st Quarter
 

This one isn’t on Josh Freeman at all. DJ Ware leaked out of the backfield, and with Josh facing a corner blitz, he looks to dump the ball off to his running back to see if a play can be made, and to settle for a punt. The playcall was awful, with three other receivers virtually running to the same spot in the middle of the field, so Freeman had no choice but to try to dump it off. Ware allowed the ball to hit his body, pop into the air, and land in the hands of a Cowboys’ defender.
 
Verdict: Bad luck, bad playcall, and awful attempt to catch the ball by Ware.
 
Interception 4: Week 4 against the Washington Redskins, Down 4 points in the 1st Quarter
 
Freeman took a seven step drop on this play, but it had to be cut a bit short, as the outside pass rushers were already on the chase behind Josh. He stepped up and had to weave his way through the maze of a collapsed pocket and stepped into a misguided throw that ended up in the wrong spot. Vincent Jackson had 1-on-1 coverage against Deangelo Hall, and Hall had position on the sideline side of Jackson. Freeman threw the ball to this side, rather than to the inside of Jackson, and that meant Hall was in perfect position. The pressure probably disallowed Freeman the time and ability to consider the positioning of Hall, so the throw wound up in the hands of the Redskins.
 
Verdict: Josh once again allowed pressure to affect him, but this wasn’t an awful decision, it was just a throw that needed to be very well thrown, but was instead thrown slightly below average, which isn’t good enough against a ballhawk like Hall.





Interception 5: Week 6 against the Kansas City Chiefs, Tied in the 1st Quarter
 
This play was doomed from the start. Dallas Clark was sent in motion across the field, and Josh never took his eyes off of him. Clark ran a slow, shallow route into the flat, and Freeman floated out a pass that was undercut and picked off by the KC defense. The throw would have needed to be PERFECT to connect with Clark on such a route (there’s no separation or trickery here, it’s a basic route to the flat that has to be thrown a long distance for such a short potential gain), and Freeman had a better option (Vincent Jackson on a drag route) that he never even considered.
 
Verdict: Not the best playcall, but Freeman made it worse by locking into a receiver and not even beginning to read through his progressions.
 
Interception 6: Week 11 against the Carolina Panthers, Up 10 in the 1st Quarter
 
On this play, Josh Freeman steps back and has a clean pocket to throw from, but was looking short to Dallas Clark who wasn’t looking back for a pass at all. His route was leading him a few yards down the field where he would turn around for a catch, but the timing was off, and Freeman had to scramble backwards and throw fading away from the play. As he usually does when throwing while moving away from the play, he sails the pass over Clark’s head for an easy interception.
 
Verdict: Freeman may have had an option deep on the other side of the field, but had locked in on Clark and the other receivers to his right. The play was on third down, and in field goal range, so a sack would have made it a tougher field goal, but the pass was never going to gain enough yards for a first down. This was a poor decision and poor fundamentals from Freeman.
 
Interception 7: Week 11 against the Carolina Panthers, Down 4 in the 3rd Quarter
 
Coming off of a big stop on a fake punt, the Buccaneers went to the air for a big play on offense. Freeman has plenty of room to throw from the pocket, as he deals well with an outside rush by stepping forward into his throw. Vincent Jackson was his intended target downfield, and there was either a miscommunication or just the worst of throws by Josh Freeman, as Freeman left the ball well short of Jackson. Vincent was streaking towards the back-left pylon and expecting a throw to that area, but the throw came in short, as if Jackson was going to come back or cut towards the sidelines.
 
Verdict: Freeman may have just made a poor throw, or there may have been a disconnect between he and his best receiver (this will happen later, so it’s not unprecedented to consider).
 
Interception 8: Week 13 against the Denver Broncos, Down 10 in the 3rd Quarter
 
Josh Freeman was put in a bad, bad place here. He was feeling pressure from his blind side, and had only Vincent Jackson in his view. There are 3 Bronco defenders playing short on that side, with Jackson as the only receiver, and there’s also a safety helping up top on Jackson. Freeman faces pressure and tries to throw to get rid of the ball, and it would have likely been intercepted anyways as Jackson was well covered. But to make matters worse, he’s hit as he throws. There was no other throw to make, and taking a sack would have been better. He couldn’t have thrown left without facing a blitzer in his face and more good, short coverage to correspond with the pressure he was facing.
 
Verdict: The Broncos played amazing defense on this play, but Freeman still could have made a better throw to throw the ball away, or could have simply taken a sack. It was a forced throw that turned into an awful throw thanks to pressure.





Interception 9: Week 15 versus the New Orleans Saints, Down 7 in the 1st Quarter
 
The first of many interceptions heading down the final stretch of the 2012 season, Freeman tried to connect with Dallas Clark on a short in route on 2nd down just outside the red zone. Clark stumbles on his break after a five yard route, and Freeman has already started to throw as Clark makes a clumsy turn infield. He cuts back towards Freeman a bit as he turns inside, and the throw sails right above him as he fails to make a play on the football at all. But this wasn’t a typical Josh Freeman overthrow, this one was more a symptom of poor timing. Clark’s route was poor, and it’s curious why he would be lined up outside against a cornerback anyways, as this sort of route is better suited for Vincent Jackson.
 
Verdict: The blame here is split between a bad call to have Clark outside against a corner, Clark for running a poor route, and Freeman for throwing the ball high to a tight end with no athleticism.
 
Interception 10: Week 15 versus the New Orleans Saints, Down 10 in the 2nd Quarter
 
As mentioned earlier, Freeman and Vincent Jackson would have another possible miscommunication turn into an interception in 2012, and it happened on this play. Josh faced a blitz, but it was picked up well enough for him to pick up a free-releasing Vincent Jackson. Freeman starts to throw as Jackson is 7 yards from the line of scrimmage, and Jackson never looks back to pick up the situation. The throw winds up in such a place that implies Freeman was looking for Jackson to run an in or a slant based on the pressure he was facing, while Jackson was running a post route heading deeper down the field. There were no signs of Josh making a poor throw in terms of poor footwork, this was an intended pass over the middle to a location where no receiver would wind up.
 
Verdict: This was a miscommunication, not a technical mistake by Freeman. It may have been on Jackson for failing to recognize a need for a hot route, or for Freeman for assuming that Jackson was going to run a route he wasn’t planning to run.
 
Interception 11: Week 15 versus the New Orleans Saints, Down 24 in the 3rd Quarter
 
This was the infamous jump ball to Dallas Clark play.  Freeman has all day in the pocket, and for some reason, Dallas Clark is streaking down the field and is the target of a lobbed pass. Clark makes absolutely no play on the ball and is completely lost as a receiver looking for a pass over his shoulder, and it’s an easy interception. As Brian Billick said on the FOX broadcast “(Josh) was looking for (Clark) to settle and battle for a jump ball, but Clark continued on like he was going to be led by the pass.” There weren’t many safer, shorter options available (one receiver may have been open on the left sideline and missed by Freeman), but I’m not sure why Clark was such a deep target. This was a confusing play.
 
Verdict: This was a poor playcall to send Clark deep, a poor decision to throw a jump ball to a guy like Clark, and an awful effort by Clark, who looked lost that far down the field.
 
Interception 12: Week 15 versus the New Orleans Saints, Down 31 in the 4th Quarter
 
Josh Freeman was looking to put some points on the board on this play, and lobs it down the field for Tiquan Underwood. Underwood slows up multiple times on his route, while the defensive back never stopped, and Freeman’s pass sailed right into the Saints’ hands. Freeman was upset coming off the field, and despite attempts to read his lips as to what he was saying, I could only decipher profanity. But it’s reasonable to think Freeman knew Underwood gave up on the route.
 
Verdict: The team just wanted some points, and Freeman had Underwood in a one-on-one situation. Underwood just put forth a lackluster effort, and Freeman’s throw was probably a bit long.





Interception 13: Week 16 versus the St. Louis Rams, Up 3 in the 1st Quarter
 
Josh was looking to get the ball to Mike Williams on a comeback route, and he fell down. The throw may not have been perfect, but this one can be chalked up as an unfortunate interception because Williams lost his feet.
 
Verdict: Josh didn’t deserve this one.
 
Interception 14: Week 16 versus the St. Louis Rams, Down 1 in the 2nd Quarter
 
This play was a playaction pass that drew in the linebackers, but the pass takes a while to develop, and the linebackers drop back into coverage. Josh tries to throw a comeback route to Vincent Jackson, but telegraphs it enough that the linebackers dropping from the fake are able to track it and one makes the play for an interception. The middle of the field was open, so Jackson could have been sent on a different route, rather than coming back towards the line on a play where linebackers are sucked into that area of the field. Not sure I like the route, and I don’t like the throw to Jackson on this play. I think he could have gone to Mike Williams, who was in more space on the wide side of the field and possibly made something happen there.
 
Verdict: This pass was telegraphed and was a poor decision by Josh Freeman, but the play could have been called better.
 
Interception 15: Week 16 versus the St. Louis Rams, Down 15 in the 2nd Quarter
 
Mike Martz from FOX Sports NFL said that this interception was on Mike Williams, who ran a very soft short in route and allowed the receiver to cut in and make the play. Martz points out that Williams needed to get “across the DB’s face” and get to the football, but instead Williams just cut short in and allowed the DB to take a free run at the football.  Mike was jogging to the football to try to time a catch and run, rather than competing for space to make a catch for a sure first down.
 
Verdict: This one is on Mike. It could have at least been an incompletion, but should have been a catch, because Mike had the space, time, and speed to get in front of the DB and keep him from making the play.
 
Interception 16: Week 16 versus the St. Louis Rams, Down 15 in the 4th Quarter
 
This pass was batted down at the line, and popped up for an interception. Josh was trying to make a pretty decent pass to an apparently open Mike Williams, but it never made it.
 
Verdict: This one was unfair to Josh, as well.
 
Interception 17: Week 17 versus the Atlanta Falcons, Up 13 in the 3rd Quarter
 
Josh directs traffic and leads Tiquan Underwood into a bit of open space for a pass, but this attracts the attention of Asante Samuel. Underwood sits down waiting for the pass, and Samuel cuts in front for an easy pick.
 
Verdict: Probably on both Freeman and Underwood, because Underwood made no effort to fight for the ball or come back to it, and the play wasn’t going to result in a first down so Freeman could have played it more conservatively with a lead.
 


Click here for the chart.....      http://thepewterplank.com/2013/05/04/assessing-the-damage-breaking-down-all-17-of-josh-freemans-2012-interceptions/


So looking at the chart, I want to point out three key trends I notice:

 Josh Freeman started the season facing lots of pressure and turning that into interceptions and mistakes. He then lost confidence in himself and his offense by the end of the season, and that led to the frustration and interceptions we saw prominently in the final weeks of the season.

 Josh Freeman tends to make mistakes on long-yardage situations. Having seven or more yards to go is a danger zone for Freeman, as this is a situation where he seems more likely to force a throw, and to face a pass rush or  blitz.

 Josh proved that his mistakes would come more frequently when the team was down. He had so many successful comebacks early in his career that he almost certainly takes it upon himself to get the team back into games, and this leads to poor decisions as he tries to play beyond his abilities and force plays that aren’t there.
 
This upcoming season almost completely hinges on Josh Freeman overcoming his mistakes and guiding the offense to success to help support an improved defense. Freeman has proven to be a capable NFL quarterback with big play ability. In his contract year in 2013, we will need to see the consistency that has been lacking for the past couple of frustrating seasons. If Freeman can handle pressure better and play within himself, he’ll be in line for a nice payday, and the Buccaneers will be in line for a playoff run.


http://thepewterplank.com/2013/05/04/assessing-the-damage-breaking-down-all-17-of-josh-freemans-2012-interceptions/

The Anti-Java

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« #1 : May 05, 2013, 01:33:51 AM »

Freeman showed that he was unable to handle pressure well




Kind of sums up the whole article...IMO


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« #2 : May 05, 2013, 02:20:00 AM »

"Verdict: This one is on Josh as well, there was a fairly open receiver and he failed to deliver a catchable pass in a key situation."

and that sums up why I don't and never have thought Freeman is a good QB. That happens on a regular basis with Freeman. Not to mention the countless times he limits his options to one side of the field and just neglects the fact that receivers are running routes on the other side, as well as Doug Martin who is possibly the Bucs biggest play maker. They Ravens have made it a priority to quickly dump it off to Ray Rice if people are not open. Even having Rice as the number 1 option is often in Flaco's mind. I can't stand it when I see Doug Martin wide open with Freeman not realizing. chances are that Doug Martin wide open would equal a first down with the possibility of a game changing play.



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« #3 : May 05, 2013, 02:57:19 AM »

all 17 of those ints were the fault of our poor secondary..... i thought everyone knew that.

-------------------------------------------------------
   

 I thought Lovie said he wanted quickness & speed, even at the QB position?

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« #4 : May 05, 2013, 03:05:36 AM »

"Verdict: This one is on Josh as well, there was a fairly open receiver and he failed to deliver a catchable pass in a key situation."

and that sums up why I don't and never have thought Freeman is a good QB. That happens on a regular basis with Freeman. Not to mention the countless times he limits his options to one side of the field and just neglects the fact that receivers are running routes on the other side, as well as Doug Martin who is possibly the Bucs biggest play maker. They Ravens have made it a priority to quickly dump it off to Ray Rice if people are not open. Even having Rice as the number 1 option is often in Flaco's mind. I can't stand it when I see Doug Martin wide open with Freeman not realizing. chances are that Doug Martin wide open would equal a first down with the possibility of a game changing play.

Freeman has proven he can utilize a dump-off option he trusts.  A quarter way thru last year Martin led the entire league in drops, and Freeman clearly lost faith in him.


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« #5 : May 05, 2013, 03:39:56 AM »

"Verdict: This one is on Josh as well, there was a fairly open receiver and he failed to deliver a catchable pass in a key situation."

and that sums up why I don't and never have thought Freeman is a good QB. That happens on a regular basis with Freeman. Not to mention the countless times he limits his options to one side of the field and just neglects the fact that receivers are running routes on the other side, as well as Doug Martin who is possibly the Bucs biggest play maker. They Ravens have made it a priority to quickly dump it off to Ray Rice if people are not open. Even having Rice as the number 1 option is often in Flaco's mind. I can't stand it when I see Doug Martin wide open with Freeman not realizing. chances are that Doug Martin wide open would equal a first down with the possibility of a game changing play.

Freeman has proven he can utilize a dump-off option he trusts.  A quarter way thru last year Martin led the entire league in drops, and Freeman clearly lost faith in him.

and his ball placement on some of those was horrendous

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 I thought Lovie said he wanted quickness & speed, even at the QB position?

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« #6 : May 05, 2013, 06:12:34 AM »

One other issue for Freeman is the batted balls.  He is not as bad as Simms was but he does get a alarmingly high number of balls batted down at the line of scrimmage.

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« #7 : May 05, 2013, 09:00:31 AM »

These are all situations where the coaching staff needs to help Freeman with this off season. The return of Nicks and Joseph should hopefully help the pressure situations up the middle that caused some of Josh's poor throws. Sullivan and McNulty need to work on those situations where when under pressure, taking a sack, running or throwing the ball away rather than attempting to force a throw into a tight window.

>>  Josh proved that his mistakes would come more frequently when the team was down. He had so many successful comebacks early in his career that he almost certainly takes it upon himself to get the team back into games, and this leads to poor decisions as he tries to play beyond his abilities and force plays that aren’t there. <<

And yes Hate, this statement would appear to confirm that the defense plays it's part in Josh's decision making. I'm not attempting to defend it (as other's have noted it as well), it's a issue that he needs to fix (and he said the that at the PR draft party), he attempts to do too much. Again, this is something that good OC's help their quarterback with by calling safer plays or putting them in situations where they maximize the chance for success. I think we all forget that Sullivan was a 1st year Offensive Coordinator last season and he had his share of bad play calls as well.

Bottom line is that Freeman does need to make better decisions, especially in pressure situations where his mechanics tend to break down. Recognizing those situations is what the coaching staff needs to work on with him this off season and determining a better list of options rather than forcing a pass. I'm a big believer in Sullivan and from some of the things that Sullivan has said in the past about knowing your weaknesses and training it to become a strength, I believe Freeman will improve.

JMO.

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« #8 : May 05, 2013, 09:54:43 AM »

all 17 of those ints were the fault of our poor secondary..... i thought everyone knew that.

Relentless. Lol.

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« #9 : May 05, 2013, 10:14:43 AM »

There are times when he has open field in front of him where he could run for nice yardage and he still forces it to a covered receiver.

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« #10 : May 05, 2013, 10:18:52 AM »

Kind of sums up the whole article...IMO

Summation of the article is that 5 or 6 of the INTs at the end of the season weren't even his fault.

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« #11 : May 05, 2013, 10:35:24 AM »

    And every one of the alleged "bad play calls" just MIGHT have been poor execution. I doubt we have any actual plays where 3 receivers end up in the same spot...  8)
    The fact remains Josh is erratic on short passes. Bad ball placement at times, or wrong pace on the ball;, sometimes he guides it which is real prone to a pick, sometimes he throws a rocket, which is virtually uncatchable. And too often he throws to someone who is standing still and blanketed by the D.
    Yeah, then there is the throwing a high risk pass on 3RD DOWN when he has an easy 1st down by running...

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« #12 : May 05, 2013, 02:30:23 PM »

all 17 of those ints were the fault of our poor secondary..... i thought everyone knew that.

Brees tosses up that many almost every season, yet they win games (most of the time). Their defense gave up some whopping yardage, but they can also manufacture turnovers periodically.

QB's cannot get by too well if the defense isn't good. It's probably one of the very reasons manning chose the broncos over other teams.

Playing catch-up is a rediculious way to live as a QB, and that's exactly what freeman was doing all season long and most of his career.

Naismith was right about Revis. Everyone else is a dummy.

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« #13 : May 05, 2013, 02:40:20 PM »

all 17 of those ints were the fault of our poor secondary..... i thought everyone knew that.

Yes, because Josh knew that he had to overcome such a horrible secondary(not scheme...secondary).  He had to try and make plays.  Duh!

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« #14 : May 05, 2013, 02:45:35 PM »

He will be fine next season, not worried.
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