The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have done something the Kansas City Chiefs have basically never done -- drafted a quarterback and groomed him into a starter. The Chiefs have tried but failed to do that consistently with anyone throughout the entire history of their franchise. (Yikes..that's sad.)
Two years ago the Bucs drafted QB Josh Freeman and he's turning into a very good quarterback. He was a little raw coming out of Kansas State, and I think people recognized that, but last year really showed that he's making some nice strides.
His numbers last year are impressive: 61.4% completion, 3,451 yards and just six interceptions. That's Matt Cassel-style right there with the TD:INT ratio.
When I talked with SB Nation's Bucs Nation this week I wanted to know: Is Freeman on his way to becoming an elite quarterback?
Yes, Josh Freeman is on his way to be an elite quarterback. Freeman took some giant steps from his rookie year to his sophomore year. In his rookie year he was inconsistent and turnover prone, while showing a few flashes of greatness. In his sophomore year he turned into a consistent quarterback who managed to minimize turnovers. Moreover, he got better as the year progressed, really finishing the season at a high note.
He and Cassel sound similar and they are, sort of. Cassel has three years starting experience and Freeman has two. Each had a rough first year with their current team but returned the next year to cut down on the mistakes and put points on the board.
Perhaps most impressing has been his work ethic and his leadership. He's just 23 but he's the clear leader on offense and works tremendously hard at his craft. He has the tools and the work ethic to be a franchise quarterback, and showed last season that he could handle the game and produce. I'd very surprised if he isn't talked about as one of the elite quarterbacks within three years.