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Monday, Jun 18, 2018
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Martin Fennelly Columns

Fennelly: Freeman can add to Bucs' misery

TAMPA — Wouldn't it be funny if the Minnesota Vikings made Josh Freeman a team captain?

Or what if they re-shot the team picture? I can hear the photographer.

Adrian ... Hey, A.P., would you mind scrunching down? I can't see Josh's left shoulder.

The hits just keep on coming for the Bucs, as if things weren't bad enough at headquarters, even after building sweeps and the DICON good housekeeping seal of approval.

Rub, rub here

Rub, rub there

Whether you're tin or brass

That's how we keep you in repair

In the merry old land of Oz

The problem is there's another game Sunday, in Atlanta, against the receiver-less, but nevertheless desperately still thinking playoffs Falcons.

Postseason talk is over for the 0-5 Bucs. Here at Sleepy Hollow, the legend continues to unfold.

The real problem: There's another game Monday.

Someone leaked this to me.

Joshua Tyler Freeman plays — and starts — for the first time with his second NFL team.

Monday night, on national television, against the winless football Giants.

Think Greg Schiano is looking at the heavens about now going, “Really? Seriously?”

And, as an added Doomsday bonus, color commentary by: Jon Gruden.

“You see the arm on this kid? You know what a rocket is? I'll tell you one thing: I know quarterbacks. I don't know what's happening in Tampa. I like Mike Glennon. He's a good kid. But this Josh Freeman kid. I don't know about his alarm clock, I don't know if that works real well, but this kid has got an arm that works in the NFL, I can tell you that.”

What Bucs follower hasn't been doing Gruden impressions the last few days?

What Bucs fan won't be watching Freeman on Monday night?

Can you imagine Schiano and Mark Dominik, sitting there, sharing a bowl of Fiddle Faddle, as the Josh-a-roo throws for three touchdowns, no interceptions?

That's not going to happen.

For one thing, I haven't seen Fiddle Faddle on the shelves for years, except once at Citgo, next to the "C" batteries and jerky.

The hits just keep on coming.

Yes, it's The Bucs Nuclear Winter Road Show: They dump Freeman, get nothing for him, Freeman gets a job in like 20 minutes, gets money from the Bucs and now the Vikings, and starts Monday night with Chucky, another Bucs dump, in the MNF booth.

And don't forget a week from Sunday, when Freeman presumably makes his first home start for Minnesota — at night, on national TV, NBC ... Tony Dungy in studio or on site.

The hits just keep on coming.

Of course, Freeman could flop. He could go right on completing 45 percent of his passes, followed by a catatonic news conference. He could fall apart, on field, off field.

However, he appeared alert and responded to commands after being named the 1-4 Vikings' starter Wednesday over both Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel.

Whether it was a shot or not, Freeman told media about the “character” of the Minnesota organization and “character people.” Also, “It's been a smooth adjustment. The opportunity to come in here and just focus on football, and this is a storied franchise. ... They do things the right way around here.”

Maybe this is nothing a Bucs win at Atlanta wouldn't solve. Or Freeman throwing into Giants double coverage. Then again, even if the Giants win, with Freeman crashing and burning, the Bucs could lose, and so could Jacksonville, thereby leaving the Bucs and Jags, Florida's ugly ducklings, as the league's only winless clubs. Let the matchup charts begin!

The hits just keep on coming.

You see the arm on this kid? You know what a rocket is?

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