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Friday Happy Hour: The Launch of the Good Ship Freeman

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So, a new era begins this weekend for the Buccaneers. When a team reaches drafts a quarterback in the first round, they gamble the next five years on his development. Against the Packers, we’ll see our first Josh Freeman game. Now, everyone will tell you "don’t expect much", "it is not the quarterback’s fault this team is bad", and other nonsense. Let’s be honest, if Peyton Manning was our quarterback and every other player was the same, we’d be a 4-3 team at worst. I firmly believe in the team concept, and how the entire team working together wins games, not one player. But, a great quarterback cures a multitude of sins. Think back to the Gradkowski era, and how his complete inability to pass within ten feet of Buccaneer receivers made the defense look bad. The Buccaneers would hold teams in the first half, but fall apart in the second after 56 consecutive three and outs by the offense and a total time of possession of ten minutes. We all heard how Shaun King was working on his footwork to improve his accuracy. IT NEVER GOT BETTER!! So, while Freeman may not command the offense this Sunday, here are five clues that you have the makings of a great quarterback, and hopefully Raheem won’t need an annulment:

 

FIVE ATTRIBUTES YOU CAN SEE IN A QB’S FIRST GAME:

1. Theme Song: A good quarterback must have his own theme song. With Josh Freeman making his first start, I respectfully nominate the "Soul Glow" theme song from Coming to America. This Sunday, Josh, just let your Soul Glow!

2. Accuracy: (This one is serious) We know that a rookie quarterback will make some bad reads. He’ll make some bad throws when he should just take the sack. However, if a guy is wide open, a good NFL quarterback should be able to complete the pass. This is a must, and very underrated. Jamarcus Russell simply can not throw the ball accurately. I don’t care about anything else on Sunday, but please let me see Freeman hit open receivers. Gradkowski, King, and JJ were inaccurate from day one. Please be 60% accurate, Josh.

3. Beams the Mascot: I have to rely on the definitive movie for all things football, that’s right "Varsity Blues". In the late nineties classic, who can forget when Mox steps back and beams the opposing team’s mascot in the face. Since, the Packers don’t actually have a mascot, Josh needs to step back and drill Mike McCarthy (somewhere the guy from "Something About Mary" is smiling at that idea).

4. Pocket Presence: Good quarterbacks make those subtle moves to buy some extra time in the pocket, then they deliver a great pass knowing they’ll get drilled. Tom Brady’s best quality is the ability to stay in the pocket and deliver an accurate throw just as a defensive tackle is about to nail him. He does this in huge situations, taking the punishment, but completing the pass. I hope to see Josh Freeman display this toughness, because it is apparent from the start.

5. Take Over the Team at Halftime: Again, I have to go back to "Varsity Blues", and the only way to pull a dramatic upset is to tell Raheem to leave at halftime. JJ, the deposed former starter will become the offensive coordinator, calling the perfect plays on the fly to win. Really, this could happen, so watch for it. It was in a James Vanderbeek movie for crying out loud.

BONUS ITEM:  Fawning Announcers:  You know you are a great quarterback when announcers ignore all of your faults, attribute everything positive to you, and gush about routine plays that you make.  For a point of reference, just watch Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski have a "Favregasm" during any Minnesota game (the Favregasm is a term coined by a reader of Peter King in this week's MMQB Tuesday Edition article).  

 

So, let’s hope that Raheem and Dominik picked the right partner, and our honeymoon starts Sunday!