Around the NFL  

 

Josh Freeman is playing for his job, Ronde Barber says

Josh Freeman used to be viewed as a franchise cornerstone for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Now he's a curiosity, a quarterback who might be great if he ever learned how to stay out of his own way.

Free-agent defensive back Ronde Barber had a sideline view of every snap in Freeman's four (sometimes maddening) seasons in the NFL. During a Monday appearance on NFL Network's "NFL Total Access," Barber spoke candidly about Freeman's hugely important 2013.


Vote for the greatest play in NFL history:
NFL.com has picked the 64 best plays ever, and over the next three weeks we are asking fans to cast their votes for the best. Vote now!

"I think Coach (Greg Schiano) wants to find out if Josh is the guy because Josh shows moments of complete brilliance," Barber said. "Yet he gives you the moments where you're scratching your head as well. It's kind of reflective of our season and as a whole last year.

"Coach Schiano did not draft him, even though (general manager) Mark (Dominik)'s married to him because he was with him when (former Bucs coach) Raheem (Morris) drafted him. But you have to believe that Josh Freeman is our franchise quarterback. He fits the build. He has the arm. He understands the mechanics of the game. Like I said, when he's good, he's really, really good. We just need him to be that player with more consistency."

Will Freeman play for his job next season?

"I would imagine so," Barber replied. "That's just the nature of football. (When) you have a new coach, which we had last year, you're proving yourself to him, and Josh has to do that."

The Bucs would like to fashion themselves as NFC contenders. That especially will be true if they manage to acquire a certain New York Jets defender.

Freeman is the key, however.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.

Fan Discussion

NFL News
CONTENT
15