Josh Freeman was out of football in 2014 and that left him "hungry" to return to the game and succeed, the newest Miami Dolphins quarterback said Friday.
Freeman, 27, talked to the local media for about 10 minutes today.
So what is his take on a lost 2014 in which he was signed by the New York Giants in April, cut in May, and was out of football until Miami signed him to a one-year deal Thursday?
"Really it was a culmination of things<" Freeman said. "After Minnesota, I went to New York and after New York there was kind of a dead period because teams had their rosters set. I continued to work. Came back to Kansas City. Continued to work. Me personally, during the year, I felt it was better to let things cool down because it was a pretty rocky year the previous year."
The previous year, as is well chronicled, Freeman was cut by the Tampa Bay Bucs after being their first round pick in 2009 and starter since 2010. He went to Minnesota and started one game. He bombed that game and didn't play again that season.
"Things went down how they went down," Freeman said. "You can't change that. Obviously going forward I'm trying to learn from that and make things easier."
So what did all that teach him?
"I learned a lot," Freeman said. "I mean, how much time do you have? The NFL is constantly shifting with players, coaches, organizations. There's a lot that goes into the product you guys see on Sundays. I've spent time watching quarterbacks, watching the process, trying to formulate a plan that will allow me to be as good as possible.
"I learned that regardless of how things end up and turn out, if I give it everything I got, there are no questions, no doubts in my mind. It's not an uncommon thing for guys to get cut and be out of the league. But it's not how I see myself. It's not how I see myself in the future."
Later in the interview, Freeman was asked if he learned anything during his time away and said "there were no drastic revelations" but then added "not playing last year really left me hungry. Left me wanting to get back in the swing of things."
So what are his goals with the Dolphins?
"My goal is to just become the best player I can," Freeman said. "Talking to the coaches yesterday, they were all about everyone trying to get better at football. That's my goal. As far as spots on the depth chart, that's up to the coaches. Ryan Tannehill has had a lot of success. Matt has had a successful career. I'm coming with a very humble mentality. Coach [Bill] Lazor's offense I'm not really that experienced in. At the same time, playing quarterback is what I've always done. I have a lot of confidence in myself as a quarterback. I'm coming with the mentality to work my butt off."
Freeman dismissed his time in Tampa and his statistics falling off the table after 2010 to the changes made there. There was a coaching change and that brought a system change.
"There was a change and that's how it kind of went down," he said. "The thing a lot of people don't understand is when it comes to passing the football, there's a lot of different offensive systems you can be a part of. And the system [the Bucs] brought in put a real emphasis palced on throwing the ball down the field. It took a lot of shots on deep posts. It wanted to be very, very aggressive. And when you are aggressive. We were taking a lot of shots. You're risking things like the percentage not being as high. At the same time the reward is being explosive and scoring a lot of points."