Former NFL quarterback Fran Tarkenton, who led the Minnesota Vikings to three Super Bowls and was the league MVP in 1975, is not a fan of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman. Tampa Bay has had only one winning season with Freeman under center, but he has had some bright spots during his four-year career. Tarkenton feels he should have settled in by now.
During an interview with WDAE on Tuesday, the nine-time Pro Bowler had some harsh things to say about Freeman and his inconsistencies.
“They’ve had him there for four years and they have question marks about you?” Tarkenton said, via ESPN.com. “You didn’t have question marks about Matt Ryan after his fourth year or Joe Flacco. That means they don’t think he can play. He’s not going to get magical and all of the sudden in the fifth year be Aaron Rodgers. They want (Glennon) to be able to play. The only thing that will keep him from playing is if he’s not able to learn the system and make plays.”
Tarkenton even believes that rookie Mike Glennon has a chance to beat Freeman out for the starting job, despite Freeman holding the Bucs’ record for highest quarterback rating in a single season (95.9).
“You’ve got to look at the signs,” Tarkenton said. “The signs never lie. The signs are reality. If you’re giving the rookie most of the reps, you want to see if he can play.
“He plays sometimes at a nice level. I’ve watched him a lot. He just plays god-awful. That’s who you are. It’s just a player being able to play or not play. Josh Freeman has proven to me that he can’t play.”
It is highly unlikely that Glennon will beat out Freeman, but there is some truth to what Tarkenton said. Freeman has been inconsistent, though he has not has as good a supporting cast as some of the aforementioned quarterbacks. For now, Tampa Bay likely has no choice but to stick with him.