Josh Freeman's biggest improvement last season: turnovers

CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 10: Quarterback Josh Freeman #5 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is hit just as he is about to throw by Chris Crocker #42 of the Cincinnati Bengals causing him to fumble at Paul Brown Stadium on October 10, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Tampa Bay recovered the fumble and went on to defeat the Bengals 24-21. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

In his rookie season, Josh Freeman played like an inexperienced, instinct player. He alternated some great plays with inaccurate throws, incomprehensible interceptions and stupid fumbles. With 18 interceptions, 10 fumbles, 4 of which were lost, he turned the ball over 22 times in just 340 dropbacks. he turned the ball over every 16 plays, over twice per game. Not surprisingly he spent his offseason fixing this problem. He studied film to know where to throw the ball. He worked on his accuracy to eliminate errant throws. He even practiced holding and running with the football to make sure he didn't carry it like a loaf of bread a la Michael Vick

 

And that offseason work showed in 2010. He threw just 6 interception, and lost just 3 fumbles. One of those fumbles was caused by a pulling offensive lineman, and one of them was a bad handoff to Legarrette Blount. He never fumbled while running the ball, and only lost one fumble because of a defender. That happened on a sack by New Orleans Saint Jeff Charleston, who beat James Lee on the play. 

With 9 turnovers on570 dropbacks last season, Freeman improved from turning over the ball every 16 plays, to turning over the ball every 63 plays. That's about once every two games - an incredible total. While Freeman was a little lucky not losing more of his fumbles and seeing a number of interceptions dropped, this is an incredible number, and another reason to feel very good about the Bucs' young franchise quarterback. 

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