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Just how good was Josh Freeman in 2010?

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Let's get this out of the way; Josh Freeman had a fantastic sophomore campaign.  He surpassed what most of us expected in such a short time frame, and with the help of Blount and Mike Williams, hoisted the team on his back and nearly led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the playoffs.  Not something to be overlooked for a 2nd year quarterback who had been panned by many (including me) as being worthy of the 17th pick. 

So what do you do after a stellar 2010?  Resting on the laurels of 2010 shouldn't be enough for Freeman, and with his declarations that he would lead the player workouts during the lockout, it looks like he means business.  But that doesn't mean we can't look back and evaluate his 2010 season in comparison to other quarterbacks.

Some things to consider before we dive into the numbers.  The NFL has a remarkably high number of competent quarterbacks right now. Freeman's ranking in some categories will seem too low to be true, but don't forget he's a second year player in a league that features Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Philip Rivers. Those are some big names to vault in only your second year, but lets see how Freeman compared to his peers.

Player
DVOA Rk
T.Brady 53.30% 1
B.Roethlisberger 38.20% 2
P.Rivers 34.00% 3
A.Rodgers 33.60% 4
P.Manning 25.00% 6
M.Ryan 23.90% 7
M.Vick 20.60% 8
J.Freeman 20.50% 10
D.Brees 19.30% 12
M.Schaub 18.20% 13
J.Flacco 15.60% 15
M.Cassel 15.20% 16
K.Orton 14.40% 17
C.Palmer 13.80% 18
S.Hill 12.80% 19
E.Manning 11.00% 20
 

 Pretty impressive numbers for Freeman, and a decent rank in DVOA.  20.50% is nothing to sneeze at and is likely affected more by the other player's out of conference schedule (DVOA is defense adjusted) than by Freeman's play.  This seems pretty accurate minus Matt Ryan being ahead of Freeman.  Everything else seems to make sense and is a feather in Freeman's cap.

Next we'll take a look at Effective Yards.  This may be new to some of you, so I'll lay out the FootballOutsiders definition of it for you.

Effective Yards, listed in red, translate DVOAinto a yards per attempt figure. This provides an easy comparison: in general, players withmore Effective Yards than standard yards played better than standard stats would otherwise indicate, while players with fewer Effective Yards than standard yards played worse than standard stats would otherwise indicate. Effective Yards are not the best way to measure total value because they are more dependent on usage than DYAR.

 Not an all encompassing stat, but can give you an idea if those 3,500 yards meant a player had a good year or feasted on weak defenses.   

Player

Passes

Yards

EYds

Diff

T.Brady

525

3,830

5,574

1,744

B.Roethlisberger

417

3,061

3,707

646

P.Rivers

584

4,480

5,202

722

A.Rodgers

508

3,736

4,781

1,045

P.Manning

704

4,747

6,023

1,276

M.Ryan

605

3,729

4,929

1,200

M.Vick

406

2,864

3,251

387

J.Freeman

510

3,375

4,029

654

D.Brees

684

4,479

5,434

955

M.Schaub

614

4,257

4,811

554

J.Flacco

540

3,585

3,962

377

M.Cassel

476

2,958

3,505

547

K.Orton

541

3,610

3,926

316

C.Palmer

622

3,892

4,638

746

S.Hill

432

2,583

3,084

501

E.Manning

564

4,036

3,960

-76

 

Not too shabby for our boy Freeman.  He ranks in the top 10 here, which is saying a lot given the talent in the league.  I would like to note that some quarterbacks (Eli Manning) who everyone considers to be a Pro Bowl caliber QB essentially plays worse than what his stats say.  This is no surprise if you have ever watched Eli play.

This is just a quick taste as to what we can expect from Freeman. The talent surrounding him coupled with his physical tools and personal desire to become a better quarterback have essentially removed the ceiling for his talent level.  If/when next seasonkicks off, I'd advise everyone to find a way to watch this guy play.  It's not often a premium offensive player walks into our stadium wearing a Bucs jersey.