Frazier: Josh Freeman a "pro," was in unfair situation with Vikings
The experiment with ex-Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman in Minnesota this year appeared disasterous.
And it might have played a role in Vikings coach Leslie Frazier losing his job after an 5-11 season. But Frazier, now the Bucs defensive coordinator, praised Freeman in today's introductory press conference, saying he was a "pro" and the situation "probably wasn't fair."
Freeman, signed by the Vikings to a $2 million deal after his October release from Tampa Bay, made one awful start (going 20-for-53 in a Monday Night loss Oct. 21 to the Giants) and never played the rest of the season. Former players anonymously ripped Freeman in an NFL.com report, saying he was late to meetings and didn't know the offense.
But Frazier lauded Freeman's work ethic, saying he just got "lost in the shuffle."
"Josh did a lot of good things for us in that short time we had him," Frazier said. "Unfortunately it didn't work out. He worked as hard as he could every week trying to prepare and be ready to go. He's a pro in every sense of the word. But we made a decision to try to figure out what Christian Ponder was, and also take a look at Matt Cassel as well as we were trying to determine, get some questions answered regarding our quarterback position. Josh got caught up in the shuffle in that, it probably wasn't a fair situation for him, made it difficult for him, made it difficult for all of us as we were trying to evaluate the quarterback during an NFL season, that's not a wise thing. It was nothing to do with Josh, he prepared, worked as hard as he could to get on the field, just didnt work out."
Freeman, the Bucs first-round pick in 2009, was once thought of as their franchise quarterback, but is now a free agent. Frazier believes Freeman still has a future in the NFL.
"He's still young," Frazier said. "He's shown glimpses of it in his time here. I think he can be a solid starting quarterback in our league."