Football is just around the corner! FOOTBALL IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER!!! Do I need to repeat that a third time? Probably not, because I know that we are all so excited!
In about a month and a half, Sunday mornings will be more exciting and competitive! To gear up for the football season, I want to buy a new jersey (McCoy’s hopefully) and I am sure many of you will want to buy something Buccaneer (or any other team you like) as well.
So while our football team heads to training camp, I head for the stats sheet.
Freeman has been very lucky with the people that are amongst his team. The re-signing of Mike Williams took longer than expected but it got done and that’s all that matters. Weapons such as Vincent Jackson, Doug Martin, Darrelle Revis and Lavonte David should make the Buccaneers a fierce team. Anywho, lets look at the numbers and some of the 2010 first round quarterback class that has had 2 of 3 quarterbacks earn extensions with their original team.
2009 – PRESENT CAREER TOTAL
** Due to Stafford’s injury – he missed 13 games in 2010.
At first glance they all look pretty even in regards to the numbers that they put up. Once you go to the W-L column you can see that none of the quarterbacks have had extensive success, only Sanchez has a winning record (Thanks to a stout defense). Once you dig a bit deeper you can somewhat give a nod to Stafford for his statistical success since he has produced equal yardage and touchdowns to his peers of that 2010 class. One can argue that it is only attributed to having Megatron to throw to, but numbers do NOT lie, and he has put up sky-high yardage year in and year out and deserves credit for that.
Sanchez has been average at best, which for his situation in the first couple of years in NY was enough. They needed someone to make a couple of plays here and there, but primarily not to mess up as their run game and defense alone was putting teams away. Once that faded and he was asked to put the team on his back, he folded. He has yet to throw for more than 3,500 yards, which in this new pass happy league is not cutting it.
Now we go to our QB, Freeman. He set the world on fire in 2010 and hasn’t quite found the consistency since. In 2011 the team started out 4-2 and fizzled. In 2012, he was once again on fire for a good portion of the season but could not keep it going. A lot of the growing pains can be excused by saying he has had to learn new offensive systems over and over, but at the end of the day it’s still an excuse. Onto the numbers, statistically you can say he’s right up there, if not better than Stafford and Sanchez on some aspects. He has played in less games that Sanchez, but still beats him in all categories but wins, which I do not put any blame on Freeman.
Simply enough, Sanchez had a better team around him. On a game average, Stafford does exceed the production of Freeman, but one can argue that the ability of Freeman to stay healthy is more valuable than a Stafford that has been known as a liability in the health department. As mentioned, having Megatron is simply unfair. I can’t even remember how many times I have seen Stafford throw a jump ball to Megatron who has 3 defenders near by and to have him out-perform them and make the reception. I strongly believe that Stafford would not have nearly the numbers that he has had if not for Megatron, but at the end of the day it is an irrelevant argument as that is life and Stafford lucked out to have him as a target.
Why is any of this important? As I mentioned earlier, 2 of the 3 quarterbacks have bagged themselves a new contract. One was a big buck deal, the other was more of a damage control contract, that now they seem to regret. If I were to blindly look at the numbers and guess who earned what, and who was left looking on the outside with no contract I would say that Freeman had earned that big dollar deal, Stafford earned the other average contract, and Sanchez the odd man out. Yes, this sounds extremely biased since I am a believer in Freeman, but I believe that of the three, he has earned more. He put up a huge season in 2010 with a mediocre team at best. At one point in the 2012 season he even had this offense so potent that only the Patriots were scoring more points per game than the Buccaneers. For most of his career he has not had nearly the supporting cast that either of the other quarterbacks had whether it was in the form of a great defense, or a stud receiver, but he still managed to show just enough to keep us wanting more.
Freeman should be raking up the numbers this upcoming season with the help of his healthy line. Freeman has been under Mike Sullivan’s offensive coaching for a whole season now and should feel comfortable and confident in himself to lead the Buccaneers to the playoffs.