When Josh Freeman was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he came to Florida with mixed reviews and lot of questions. The tall, rangy quarterback with the cannon arm form Kansas State was expected to eventually be the answer to the team's needs and try to be the best passer on the team since Vinny Testaverde.
Yes, I went there.
Freeman, who has a Pro Bowl appearance to his credit, has been on a roller coaster career that rivals one of the rides at Busch Gardens. And now entering his fifth season as the signal caller for this franchise, there is strady competition for his job.
Mike Glennon, a rookie from North Carolina State looks to be the man to follow in Freeman's footsteps more quickly than Freeman would like. And in order to remain in the good graces of head coach Greg Schiano and move this team forward, Freeman must find a way to find that Pro Bowl form again.
And it has to happen this season.
To say Freeman is overrated may be a misnomer. To say he is overvalued, is a complete truth. The fact is, the Buccaneers have not had a talented quarterback to push the 6'6" 248-pounder until now. Will he wilt under the pressure or will he find resolve and try to make sure everyone knows how great he can and will be?
The Buccaneers fans are still waiitng for those answers.
While we fans are waiting for the right moment to relax at quarterback, the tight end they will have starting the season may not get the credit he deserves this season.
When Luke Stocker lines up to play, he will be working to replace a solid player in Dallas Clark and become the best tight end the franchise has had. That includes Jimmie Giles and Kellen Winslow.
Right now, he is an unknown, a virtual underrated commodity that is looking for a chance.
Stocker is in the process of putting injuries behind him and overcome obstacles to be the player the team drafted out of Tennessee.
“This is absolutely my shot,” said Stocker in the tampabay.com story, listed as No. 1 on the preseason depth chart. “They’re handing it to me and saying, ‘It’s yours, you have to take it and run with it.’ That’s why this injury has been so frustrating.”
If he can play and show he belongs in the lineup on a weekly basis, then this team may have some real offensive firepower to work with.
And in turn, may be able to help Freeman keep his job and prove doubters wrong.