I live in Baltimore and I am a huge Bucs fan, but I still follow the Ravens because they are local. For the past year all I've heard from Ravens fans on the local sports talk radio show, is that Flacco is terrible and needs to be cut, replaced or traded. They said he was too inconsistent, not confident in the pocket, made terrible rushed throws, and didn't have 'it'. Sound familiar to the Bucs situation with Josh Freeman?
So what changed? Well the Ravens fired OC Cam Cameron for his poor game plans, and promoted QB's coach and former Colts HC Jim Caldwell to take over the play calling. The offense began to be more consistent, and started utilizing their 1-2 RB combo in Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce more effectively. They began to throw off the run, and keep the opposing defenses guessing. Around the same time of this coaching change, there was a change in the Ravens offensive line. Guard Jah Reid went down with an injury, forcing rookie Kelechi Osemele from RT to LG, Michael Oher from LT back to RT and Bryant McKinnie from the bench to LT. This new combination of offensive lineman provided the best results yet. They began opening more holes for Rice and Pierce, and gave Joe much more time to go through his progression and find the right targets. Suddenly Joe went from a hated QB, to a national favorite. He went from a guy that wasn't going to get a big extension, to a guy who is about to set the bar for QB's.
Now look at our current situation. We have Josh Freeman, a big bodied, strong armed QB with tremendous upside, who just needs the pieces to fit around him. For the last 2 years his offensive line has crumbled around him, providing him with back-up patch work protecting him. This inhibited his ability to read the defense, step up and make the correct through consistently. Then look at our defense, they provided no support to our offense. Freeman was constantly being thrust into awkward positions that our defense put him in. We don't need to waste a pick, trade or cut Freeman, we need to build on the pieces around him. I think if we can keep the Oline healthy, get Josh a safety blanket of a TE, and bolster our secondary, we could have something. I just hope we re-sign him for a reasonable deal before he breaks the bank.