In 2010 quarterback Josh Freeman threw just six interceptions in his 16 starts for the Buccaneers. In just five games this season, Freeman has already matched that mark with 11 contests remaining. While head coach Raheem Morris isn’t ready to panic yet, he is concerned with his offensive captain’s carelessness with the football so far.
“He started off last year with the four picks early then he went on a streak where he didn’t have but two the rest of the year, or something like that,” Morris said. “So he hasn’t made the great decisions up until this point. He has to make better decisions. That is constantly getting your quarterback better -- that is constantly talking about the development of Josh Freeman. He has to do a better job of going through his progressions and get into his check downs and relay routes.
“Sometimes when you lack the big play that we have been lacking this year, you start to force things. And that is not a good decision by the quarterback. Sometimes he just relies on his arm too much.
“They touched too many balls down the field that they could have picked off, and they did pick off the two,” Morris went on to explain. “We have to keep those things in perspective. A little bit is on him, some of it is on the receivers who have to come up with some of those balls, and some of it is just getting open and making plays as a unit. And we will do that. These guys stick together and they will keep working at it. But he knows he has to protect the football. That is no secret.”
Correcting the problem will be a major goal for the Buccaneers in the upcoming weeks, as the turnovers battle is being lost. Morris believes Freeman will make the necessary changes.
“He is smart enough and well detailed enough to know that he just cant press it and push it. But yesterday when things were getting out of hand, you could see the frustration building in all of us a little bit. Some of it was because you were sore and couldn’t do what you normally do, some of it was because he couldn’t get the plays off on offense as we normally do, and you could see the frustration in all those guys. That was a credit to San Fran."