Josh Freeman, the once promising young signal caller of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, currently finds himself on the NFL un-employment line. The former first-round draft choice has been unceremoniously dumped by Tampa Bay, Minnesota, and the New York Giants all within the span of eight months. Not willing to take this setback lying down, Freeman has enlisted the help of former Super Bowl winning head coach Jon Gruden and quarterback guru Terry Shea, according to NFL.com.
At just 26-years old, and two years removed from a 4,000-yard passing season, I firmly believe there is still plenty of juice left in Freeman’s big right arm. With great size, strength, and mobility at his disposal, there is no doubt Freeman physically has what it takes to make a return to the NFL. After all, the NFL is currently littered with highly paid quarterbacks who have far less physical talent than Josh Freeman. However, Freeman MUST change his mental approach to the game of football in order for his comeback to stand a chance. Here will be Josh Freeman’s five keys to success as he embarks on a comeback trail to the National Football League:
5) Eat Some Humble Pie: Understand that you will have to catch on as a backup somewhere and work your way up the depth chart. If you think that any NFL team would want you as their starter right now after coming off such a pitiful 2013, you are clearly delusional. Make your goals reasonable, and then increase them as you go along in this process.
4) Follow Instructions: Jon Gruden is a proven winner at the NFL level. He was able to turn a pedestrian talent such as Brad Johnson into a Super Bowl Champion quarterback. Just imagine what he could do with a player of your skill set so long as you respect the process and are willing to learn.
3) Accountability and Leadership: As the quarterback of a team, other players will naturally look for you to set the tone. The ability to remain calm under pressure and lead by example are things that have not always been your strong points. When things go wrong, it is easy and convenient to place blame on others. You will be able to bounce back from adversity more effectively when your mission is to be part of the solution.
2) Preparation: The great UCLA basketball coach John Wooden once said “failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” NFL defenses adjust from year to year, game to game, and even play to play. If you are not constantly breaking down game film, you will fall behind the 8-ball within the blink of an eye. Your brief time in Minnesota already illustrated that.
1) Dedication and Commitment: You must be 100% dedicated to the game of football, or else this comeback will end before it starts. It is absolutely essential that you eat, sleep, and breathe the game of football. Your lack of dedication and commitment to the Bucs organization is the main reason why you find yourself in this mess to begin with. Playing in the NFL is not a birthright, it is a privilege. How willing are you to throw extra reps after practice and watch extra film after Gruden’s study sessions are over? The Tom Bradys and Peyton Mannings of the world all put in the work that others aren’t always willing to do, and that is why they have become legendary.