- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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TAMPA, Fla. -- Josh Freeman has played fewer preseason snaps than just about any other projected starting quarterback in the NFL so far.
Freeman has taken only 21 snaps. That ranks No. 29 in the league. But it’s important to note that Robert Griffin III, who ranks No. 32, has been idle and Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger, who ranks No. 30 with 19 snaps, won’t play his second preseason game until Monday night. That means San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick (16 snaps) is the only projected starting quarterback that has played two games and taken fewer snaps than Freeman.
In the preseason opener, Freeman got 13 snaps. On Friday night at New England, Freeman took only eight snaps. Coach Greg Schiano said part of the reason for Freeman’s short stint Friday was because he got a lot of reps in joint practices with the Patriots.
“It’s all by design,’’ Schiano said. “One of the advantages of working against New England was that I feel like he got three days worth of snaps against another team.
"I look at it as if he’s played two games: the New England practices and then the game.’’
Schiano said he doesn’t feel like Freeman needs more action to be ready to take hits in the regular season.
“If it were a different quarterback, I’d fell like, yeah, he needs to get hit,’’ Schiano said. “But I’ve never been around a guy that stands in there as well and moves up in the pocket and doesn’t let the rush get to him, I’ve never been around a guy better than [Freeman].’’
But Schiano said Freeman -- and the rest of the starters -- will play substantially more in Saturday’s preseason game at Miami.