Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Raheem Morris defends his decision to select Kansas State QB Josh Freeman with the 17th Overall selection in the NFL Draft:
"You know, I made this statement the other day. If I had the Detroit Lions pick at No. 1, I might have taken Josh Freeman. I might have been fighting for him. Our owner is very excited, they haven't had an opportunity to be this excited for 15 years and they are really pumped up. They've got a chance for a franchise quarterback, man. That's our quarterback, to quote T.O." - Head Coach Raheem Morris on drafting Josh Freeman per the St. Pete Times
Well I guess it's a good thing we didn't have the #1 Overall Pick, this would have been worse than the picks the Chiefs and Raiders made. Having said that Raheem is obviously wagering his career on Freeman's success, so if he is willing to do that you have to believe that they know what they are doing. What gives me closure is the fact that Jeff Jagodzinski is on board, he obviously signed off on this pick-up.
Raheem Morris on the process of selecting QB Josh Freeman:
"There is always a danger of having too much information on a guy, There's no question about it. And I recognized that. So early in the process, I tried to stay back, you don't push a guy, you don't sell a guy, you don't even give your opinion of a guy because you don't want to sway people's opinion in the building. You just want him to get a chance to be around people. So you bring him in on a pre-draft visit, you meet with him at the combine, you let the coaches evaluate the tape. You talk to him later. You get their opinions. You let them tell you what they believe. And then you say what you believe. Then you get all in the same circles, all in the same hat, you mix it up and you pull out a solution. He was the solution." - Head Coach Raheem Morris on drafting Josh Freeman per the St. Pete Times
Again I take solace in that everyone was on board with this selection as it will be the Draft pick that makes or breaks their time here in Tampa, no doubt, it was that huge of a pick. I know I'm reading too much into this quote, but I get the sense Freeman may play earlier than we all expected. Raheem said he was the solution, the solution to what? Our current QB corps. Well if he is the solution, what is McCown, Leftwich, Johnson, and Griese? Obviously not the answers...
Raheem on his familiarity with Freeman:
"I was lucky enough to be there when he came in as a freshman and I watched him lead us and beat teams. We didn't have a whole lot of talent around us, but every time he walked on that field, no matter who we were playing that week, whether it was Texas or FIU. It didn't matter. You felt like you had a chance to win with this guy leading you. We didn't always do it. He wasn't able to lead them to as many wins as he would've liked to in his career. Hopefully, he can do that here. I'm actually positive and excited about him coming and doing it here." - Raheem Morris per the St. Pete Times
His familiarity with Josh Freeman can't be overlooked with this selection. It was clearly a strong deciding factor or he wouldn't even discuss this issue with the media. Freeman did have a mediocre college career at a mediocre university, but that's where Jeff Jagodzinski steps in. It's on him to get this kid to reach his potential and i have complete confidence in his abilities.