Bucs offensive player to watch: QB Josh Freeman

How he beats you: Big, strong and athletic, Freeman poses a threat both with his legs and his arm. The 6-foot-6, 240-pound Freeman isn’t exactly an impressive scrambler, but does have the mobility to extend plays. Coming off of a season that saw him throw for a career-high 3,592 yards. But he had 22 interceptions (also a career high) to go with 16 interceptions. The year before, as a second-year pro, Freeman threw for 3,451 yards, 25 touchdowns and only six interceptions. “He has a strong arm, he’s about 6-foot-6, big guy, great pocket presence,” Redskins linebacker London Fletcher says. “For him, he can make plays with his feet, make throws on the move, things like that.”

 How to stop him: The Redskins hope to get to Freeman often and force him into mistakes so he doesn’t have time to stand in the pocket and use his big arm to take advantage of Washington’s weak secondary.  “You’ve got to hit him and harass him,” nose tackle Barry Cofield. “A lot of it is putting him in tough positions. You can’t let them churn out six or seven yards on first and second down and then put them in a favorable position on third down. You’ve got to have them in third and long. Obviously, that’s no guarantee, but you’d like to have him in third-and-down.” Teams have had success limiting Freeman, who quarterbacks a passing offense that ranks 30th in the league with a total of 447 yards and four touchdowns and three interceptions in three games. The Redskins own the 31st-ranked passing defense, and aim to cure their woes this week against the Bucs.

Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.

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Mike Jones · September 26, 2012

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