A different vision may lead to a different conclusion.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Hockey Duckie looks at Freeman's failings.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have decided to go with rookie, third round pick quarterback Mike Glennon in week four of the NFL season.  From owner to GM to head coach, all are on board with replacing fifth year veteran Josh Freeman with the rookie.  This move could either be considered insane or brilliant.  Yet based upon Einstein’s definition of insanity, this move cannot be categorized as insane.

There are is a cornucopia of stats that reveal Freeman’s inaccuracies.  So there is no point on kicking a dead horse over again, but I do not believe that is main reason why the Bucs’ needed to go in a different direction.  No quarterback will be perfect so incomplete passes are bound to happen.  So too are dropped passes as receivers cannot reach that perfection plateau.  There is something else that is more pertinent for the change at the quarterback position, the helm of the offense.

Before I reveal the reason, I want to paint a picture that spans these two seasons.  I will paint it first with a chart:

2012 – Present


Tampa Bay Buccaneers


Averages of Scoring,


For and Against


Game


* Offense


** Defense


Points Scored


Points Allowed


2012 Season


1 – 4


18.75

22.75

5 – 10


30.67

22.0

11 – 16


17.0

25.0

Season


22.56

23.31

Unadjusted


24.3

24.6

2013 Season


1


17

16

2


7

16

3


3

23

1 – 3


9.0

18.3

* Adjusted for defensive scoring.

** Adjusted for offensive pick sixes.

Last season, many fans often blamed the defense for being atrocious, and rightly so.  Yet, these same fans seem to omit any blame on the offense as they often point out if the defense was just slightly better, then there would be a different outcome.  The breakdown for 2012 shows how consistent the defense played.  So the threshold for the team to win would be to score a little more than 25 points per game in the last six game set, which included the 41 point decimation at the hands of the New Orleans Saints.  The offense tanked in that six game set.  In fact, when the scoring adjustments were made then we notice that the offense scored much less than the unadjusted offensive average.

Because the defense was consistent and consistently mediocre, it was easy to identify that the Bucs’ secondary was what needed fixing in a hurry.  Thus the offseason brought upon the organization Pro Bowlers CB Darrelle Revis and S Dashon Goldson along with second round pick CB Johnthan Banks.  Despite losing DE Michael Bennett, the team’s leading sack artist in 2012, and CB Eric Wright before the season started, the defense is only allowing 5.01 less points per game.  Surprisingly, the sack production has increased.  In 2012, the Bucs’ defense accrued 27 sacks all last year, ranking 29th overall in the league.  This season, they have 12 sacks already, in only three games, and are tied for 3rd overall in the NFL.  And yet I still believe this defense should still perform better than what was shown for the past three games.

Consistency helps to identify what is working and what is not working.  Unfortunately, the offense was inconsistent in 2012.  That offense still produced two Pro Bowlers in two first year Buccaneers in free agent WR Vincent Jackson and rookie RB Doug Martin.  WR Mike Williams had a career high in yards caught, missing the thousand yard mark by four yards.  Great, so we can narrow our inconsistencies on either the QB position or the OC, offensive coordinator.  Of course, there is another factor called strength of schedule.  My rebuttal to that is we scored zero points the second time facing the Saints when we had put up 28 points on the Saints the first time around.

Assume that the offense is complicated.  Then after more repetitions the offense should be improving week to week as the season goes along.  Except, that is not what happened.  A burst of scoring occurred after the bye week.  Near the season’s end, the offense fell apart from once scoring over 30 points a game for a six game stretch.  The team did lose OG Carl Nicks after the seventh game for the rest of the season and that might have contributed to the offensive woes.  Odd thing is during that same stretch of missing Nicks, Doug Martin was able to rush for about 101 yards per game for a nine game average.

The run game improved for the offense.  So that would leave us with the QB or how the passing game is devised.  A finicky observation to denote the problem in the passing game belongs to the QB or the game planning.  So we fans must wait for the 2013 season for Freeman to become more fluent in this complicated offense.  After three games, we fans have noticed Freeman is still not fluent in this offense, even though many of us fans do not see how the implementation is that complicated.

While many fans would not agree with the removal of Freeman, I welcome it.  I welcome it because Freeman is still showing he is staring down his receivers to the point that he may be missing the open receiver on the same play.  Here is a Bucsnation article by GurSamuel that focuses on Freeman, Josh Freeman vs. Game Film.  But the treasure of the argument can be found in the comment section below it.  Here’s another article that reveals how Freeman is failing in scanning and hitting the open receiver on Pewter Report : http://www.pewterreport.com/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=20&view=item&layout=item&id=9233.

What if the opposition is zoning on the Freeman’s failings?  Could that be the reason why the Saints were able to shut out the Bucs on their second meeting?  Could that also be the reason why the offense looked inept again in 2013 against the Saints?  On a parallel, there is a reason why Denver had decided to part ways with QB Tim Tebow and go with someone who can see things differently (as well as throw much better) in QB Peyton Manning.

In conclusion, throwing in QB Mike Glennon a game before the bye could be most beneficial for the team in the long run.  Glennon gets to play his first NFL game and then has a whole week afterwards to become even more acclimated to the offense as well as the NFL game.  If Freeman is that predictable still to this day, then he actually hampers the whole offense.  When the opposing defense hones in on Freeman’s habits and Freeman is not able to evolve, then we will continue to see the slide from last season.  From the last six games and this year’s three games, the team is 1 – 8.  The defense has improved with improved personnel.  The offense is only missing TE Dallas Clark, but that should not hinder the team from scoring at all.  How does an offense score on an average about 23 points per game for 2012 to only 9 points per game in the three games played in 2013?

Implementing Glennon, hopefully, will give the offense a different vision in the passing game.  But by inserting a rookie, then maybe the offense will scale back a bit to protect the young pup from being ravaged.  Either way, the Bucs have set into motion a different conclusion for now.  If the passing game is still abysmal, then the last factor could be snuffed out.  Yet it seems weird to have an offensive game plan give you over 30 points per game for a six game stretch to 17 points per game in the last six games of 2012 to 9.0 points per game.  As much as I want to blame the offense, could the QB be holding the offense back?  Don’t know?  Don’t worry, though, because we’re about to find out.

Einstein’s definition of insanity is, paraphrasing, "Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."  Here's to a different result for this coming weekend.

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