The teams’ decision to expedite the learning curve of rookie quarterback Josh Freeman has many in the media second guessing earlier predictions.
Just how much stock should fans put into the recent rumblings that the team plans to accelerate the learning curve of Josh Freeman. For starters, if you are a fanatic that likes to read the tealeaves it says more about the veterans on the roster… there lack of progression this off-season and the maturity that Freeman has shown since being drafted.
There is no mistaking that it’s Luke McCown’s job to lose, but he needs to find a way to separate himself from the other quarterbacks. Which too date, he has not done enough of. While he seems to be grasping the offense, the coaching staff would like to see him stretch the field more and reduce the turnovers in practice. He has done a nice job of avoiding the pass rush when his protection breaks down around him and he uses his athletic ability to elude pressure and hit the check down. But has not attacked the intermediate & deep zones with the consistency you would expect from a player fighting to become the teams starter.
Byron Leftwich was brought in to provide a push to McCown, but with his lack of mobility, slow windup and accuracy issues thus far in camp he has looked ordinary at best, while he shows veteran leadership & poise. Compared to the likes of Freeman, Josh Johnson & McCown he is the least athletic of the bunch and it shows during practice.
The good news, if you’re a fan of Freeman’s is that he has done well enough in practices to have the coaching staff second guessing themselves so much so that they have went back to the drawling board to reevaluate their initial stance to have Freeman brought along slowly.
With the coaching staff conceding, that Freeman might see the field sooner then they had originally though it is only a matter of time before he could possibly be named the starter for the season opener.
The teams desire of not wanting to put too much on Freemans’ shoulders or take a chance at ruining his confidence level at such an early developmental stage in his career will come down to his command of the huddle and the offense.
But even with that being said, the team might just be playing poker and trying to ignite the likes of McCown & Byron Leftwich to get them to bring there level of performance up a notch while producing at a much more consistent basis on the practice field.
Should Leftwich falter in his bid to either become the starter or grab hold of the number two spot his career will be at a crossroads. He needs to show he can exceed expectations in training camp or face the daunting task of realizing he could be looking for work come cut down day.