May 15, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman (5) works out during organized team activities at One Buc. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
Moving on with the position-by-position preview of the upcoming training camp, we come to the quarterback position.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers need better play from the quarterback position, but they haven't made this a true competition. Josh Freeman remains the unquestioned starter for the Bucs, and the team has only brought in Dan Orlovsky as a quality backup and possible mentor to Freeman. Orlovsky is said to be a true professional, who knows what it takes to succeed in the NFL. Unfortunately, his statistics disagree. He had his best season last year, completing 63.2% of his passes for 1,201 yards (6.2 yards per attempt), 6 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. He played for the miserable 2011 Colts, and did help them attain their only two wins of the season. Still, Orlovsky will always be best remembered for running out the back of the end zone as a Detroit Lion.
In an effort to not have to live through that kind of play, the Buccaneers have done everything they can to make Josh Freeman's life easier so Orlovsky won't have to come in and relieve him. Injuries aside, Freeman should be much improved from last season, when his decision making and accuracy especially suffered while he led the league in turnovers. With Vincent Jackson, Carl Nicks, Dallas Clark and Doug Martin as the new attractions on offense, Freeman should have a better chance to compete.
Finally, there's Brett Ratliff. He's basically just here as a training camp arm, and barring a spectacular preseason he's unlikely to even make it to the regular season roster. That means the Bucs have a major problem if Josh Freeman and Dan Orlovsky go down. Then again, they have a major problem if they have to trot out Orlovsky in the first place, so hey, who cares?
Likely regular season roster: Josh Freeman, Dan Orlovsky