Barth missed all of last season with an Achilles tendon injury, but he was around the previous two years when Freeman was starting. On the second day of the team’s offseason program, Barth was talking about how different things are and he specifically cited new quarterback Josh McCown.
“You can just tell, having a veteran guy in like Josh McCown, he kind of brings more of a leadership role,’’ Barth said. “You can just tell the difference in that perspective because you want your quarterback to be a leader. It’s just great seeing the guys coming together.’’
Barth’s comments might shed some light on what went on with Freeman. Once considered a potential franchise quarterback, Freeman’s career fell apart early last season as he feuded with former coach Greg Schiano.
That feud seemed to divide much of the fan base, with many siding with Freeman and painting Schiano as the bad guy. I think both are to blame. Freeman reportedly was late to or missed multiple meetings and wasn't elected a captain.
I also think it’s pretty telling when a player talks about how much better the leadership is with a new quarterback.