QB coach McNulty says Freeman has good reputation among NFL teams
John McNulty heard a lot of things about Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman before becoming his fourth position coach in five years.
Nearly all of it was good.
"Honestly, there's not one person that said, "Good luck with him,'' said McNulty, who coached quarterbacks last season for the Arizona Cardinals. "Everybody has said, "I'll take him. You don't want him? I'll take him.' And that's guys who have good quarterbacks and guys who are struggling.''
Freeman became the first Bucs player to pass for more than 4,000 yards last season and finished with a club record 27 touchdowns. But he also threw 17 interceptions and saw a 6-4 start become a 7-9 season.
McNulty, who was an offensive coordinator under Bucs coach Greg Schiano at Rutgers, said Freeman should benefit from being in the same system under offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan for the second straight year as well as having much of the same surrounding skill players.
"The biggest thing was his command and control of the offense, that's what I told him before this off-season,'' McNulty said. "And so far on the field and in the meetings with the players, he's demonstrated that with the players and it's not B.S., you can't fake it. I mean, he has to have it. And I think he's demonstrated that on the field so far.
Freeman is in the final year of his contract and facing what many consider a make-or-break year with the Bucs.
"I know this, there are a lot of guys who would take him today,'' McNulty said. "Everbody I talk to says he's tremendously talented, a great person, football savvy, will do anything you ask him to do and just really needs to have a chance to have a consistent structure around him as far as his system, his coaches and people he can kind of rely on, the players he's playing with, all that. If that can kind of line up, and really, that kind of goes for anybody. But he's kind of caught a lot of the flack for that.''