Fran Tarkenton slams ‘God awful’ Josh Freeman

Although he hasn’t yet entered Mark Sanchez or Tony Romo territory, Josh Freeman has faced a good amount of criticism for his inconsistent play.

Fran Tarkenton is the latest to stoke the fire.

During an appearance on WDAE radio on Tuesday morning, the Hall of Fame quarterback blasted the Buccaneers signal-caller, saying he “can’t play.”

“He just plays God awful. And that’s who you are, right?” Tarkenton said, via “Josh Freeman has proven to me that he can’t play.”

Tarkenton went on to compare Freeman to former Rays outfielder B.J. Upton, who similarly underwhelmed during his time in Tampa Bay. In all, Tarkenton’s six minute interview was a scathing analysis of a player who’s thrown for at least 3,400 yards in each of his last three seasons.

Freeman’s teammate, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, says enough’s enough.

“I think the reason I’m so sensitive about [the Freeman bashing] is because I got it for two years,” McCoy told reporters, via ”They talked bad about me for two years.  So, it’s like, I don’t take to well to it when they talk about my teammates.

“He had a real good year.  People give him so much scrutiny.  I’m like, ‘Man, you all got to relax.  Like, calm down, man.’  They just, I think he gets treated unfairly a lot.  Like I said, to me, it’s a sensitive area because, you know, I got it for two years.  Actually still get it.”

No matter which side of the argument you fall on, it’s clear that Freeman, now in year five, is running out of chances to become the Bucs’ longterm answer. They didn’t burn a third-round pick on Mike Glennon for nothing.

(Photo credit: Brian Blanco, AP)

Zack Kelberman
An award-winning sportswriter, reporter and blogger, Zack currently serves as the Miami Dolphins live correspondent and Team Stream curator for Bleacher Report. He's also a freelance NFL writer and the founder/editor-in-chief of Helmet2Helmet. His work has appeared on media outlets such as ESPN, Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports,,, and Zack can be reached on Twitter (@ZackKelberman) or via email (
  • Mark

    As I said on another site about this subject he (Freeman) has improved his stats in each of his seasons in the league while playing under different Coordinators for 3 of those seasons. Not only that but does Tarkenton (or anyone) REALLY think it’s Freeman’s fault that the Bucs had the WORST pass defense in the league last year? I mean come on.. NICK FOLES throws for almost 400 yards against them, is that Freeman’s fault? I don’t think so.