VERO BEACH | When a team of the canadian League puts an old quarter of the NFL contract, the question is always the same : will he able to success in canadian football ?
It is also the mark that one can have with Josh Freeman, who signed a contract for two seasons with the Alouettes during the offseason. The former choice first round of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2009 has had some ups, but mostly downs in the circuit Goodell.
Since 2013, Freeman has not played a game in the NFL and that was with the Colts of Indianapolis in 2015. It has also evolved into a league of development in the United States during a short period of time. In spite of this time of game is limited, one quarter of 6 feet 6 inches and 240 lbs has decided to try his luck with the Alouettes, who are looking for a shift quality since the departure of Anthony Calvillo.
On Monday, during the first day of mini-camp, Freeman has shown that it was rusted in certain facets of his game. We have seen lack detail on a few occasions on the paths of passes to his receivers and had some difficulties to uncheck passes while he was in motion. However, the power of his arm is undeniable.
“In addition to the fact that there is a player more on the field, I would say that the big difference is the width of the field, said Freeman at the Journal de Montréal. The pace of the game is faster, but it’s still football and there are challenges every day. “
An athlete that is humble
In recent years, several old quarters of the NFL have hit a wall when they are brought into the canadian tour. One has only to think of Vince Young, Troy Smith, Akili Smith, Eric Couch or Quincy Carter.
“I just have to introduce me to the field and work hard, said Freeman. I have to learn from the mistakes that others commit. I have to be the best player I can be and the best teammate possible. It is my main objective.
“I know that nothing I will be given on a silver platter and that is part of the competition. I am aware that I will fight for my position and I am very humble compared to the reality. “
One thing is for sure : he will need time to familiarize themselves with the game of the CFL and his new team-mates. And it’s hard to believe that he will be the starter at the beginning of the season despite all its good will and its roadmap.
A trial last year
One remembers that Freeman had conducted a trial noticed during the camp des Alouettes in Lennoxville last year. However, it did not reach agreement with the club after more than a week of negotiations.
“I arrived late for the training camp and the game of the CFL is very different from what I had known in the past, said Freeman. At this time, the chemistry within the team was almost formed in anticipation of their regular season.
“I thought it was simply that this was not the right time for me to join the team. I was not comfortable enough. “
This year, the story is different. He is at his position for the minicamp and it will be on the same page as his teammates when training camp gets underway may 20 at the olympic Stadium. It remains now to prove that he still has a place in professional football.
A player like the others
In spite of its track record in the NFL, Josh Freeman will not be treated differently by the coaches of the Alouettes.
During the first day of the camp, it was part of a group of seven quarters and he has executed the same exercises as required by the offensive coordinator Khari Jones. Freeman has had the same number of repetitions as the other.
“In football, nobody is going to give you anything. You have to earn it by yourself and it is well aware of this reality, ” said Jones.
“Josh has gone through several things during his stay in the NFL and we’re going to hope that he became a better player and a better person thanks to these experiences,” he added.
Jones believes that there is still fuel in the tank of Freeman, but he did not yet know at what level.
“It was a choice of the first round in the NFL and this is not a coincidence, stressed man football. Josh has the talent and it is no doubt.
“We need only to know if it is able to transpose in the CFL. “
The new boss of the attack of the Cheerleader knows that the assessment of Freeman will be possibly more difficult than the other six.
“You can’t remove what he has done in the NFL in the equation. It is he who has accomplished it and nobody else, said Jones. However, it is necessary to take into consideration that it was done in a different circuit, with different regulations and land with dimensions smaller.
“The game of the CFL is particular. I often say to players americans that it is sometimes necessary to forget certain things that they have learned in this league to have success in Canada. The more quickly he will learn, the stronger his progress will be interesting. In his case, this is not a question of talent. “
Receivers Chris Williams and Ernest Jackson have not taken part in the first day of the minicamp, but they should be at their post for the last two. They were to arrive Monday night in Vero Beach.
Speaking of absences, we also note that Nik Lewis. Given that participation in the minicamp on a voluntary basis, it shall not be suspended or fined. We would not be surprised that it is released in the next few weeks before signing a contract one day with the Calgary Stampeders. It is with this team that he has experienced his best moments in career.