Fran Tarkenton: Josh Freeman can't play

August, 20, 2013
8/20/13
11:05
AM ET
Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton had a harsh assessment of Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman in this radio interview with WDAE.

Freeman
Tarkenton expressed doubt about Freeman’s ability to succeed in the NFL and suggested rookie Mike Glennon could beat him out.

“They’ve had him there for four years and they have question marks about you?’’ Tarkenton said. “You didn’t have question marks about Matt Ryan after his fourth year or Joe Flacco. That means they don’t think he can play. He’s not going to get magical and all of the sudden in the fifth year be Aaron Rodgers. They want (Glennon) to be able to play. The only thing that will keep him from playing is if he’s not able to learn the system and make plays.’’

Tarkenton said the fact Glennon has gotten more preseason work than Freeman could be a sign of things to come.

“You’ve got to look at the signs,’’ Tarkenton said. “The signs never lie. The signs are reality. If you’re giving the rookie most of the reps, you want to see if he can play.’’

Tarkenton said Freeman lacks the consistency to succeed.

“He plays sometimes at a nice level," Tarkenton said. “I’ve watched him a lot. He just plays god-awful. That’s who you are. It’s just a player being able to play or not play. Josh Freeman has proven to me that he can’t play."

That’s a pretty harsh assessment. I don’t think the Bucs are ready to hand the starting job to Glennon. But it’s also pretty obvious they aren’t completely sure that Freeman is the answer. Freeman remains the starter, but I think it’s safe to say he’ll be on a short leash. If he struggles in the regular season, he could end up being replaced by Glennon.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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