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michael89156

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: March 23, 2011, 10:30:22 PM

NFL coaches agree Bucs QB Freeman is special


 
 
By IRA KAUFMAN | The Tampa Tribune

Published: March 23, 2011



NEW ORLEANS - The men who help design game plans to stop Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman can't help but notice the 6-foot-6 quarterback's startling growth spurt.

Coaches who attended this week's NFL owners meetings needed little prodding in offering testimonials to the dynamic, 23-year-old face of the Buccaneers.

"The thing that stands out the most about Freeman, to me, is the way he makes big plays at the end of games to give them a chance to win,'' said Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt, who saw Freeman throw for 278 yards in a 38-35 victory at Arizona. "Everyone knows he's a big guy who can make all the throws, but when you see a guy play that well at the end of close games, it leads you to believe he's special.''

In his first full season as an NFL starter, Freeman threw 25 touchdowns passes and only six interceptions as the Bucs improved by seven wins to 10-6.

"He's got great leadership qualities about him,'' said Saints coach Sean Payton, who has seen Freeman post back-to-back road victories against New Orleans. "I see great command of the huddle. He's a guy who brings his team back from behind, so there's a lot to like.

"The bad thing is he's in our division. It's evident everyone on that team believes in him. When you have that at the quarterback position, it's a big deal.''

In finishing as the NFL's sixth-rated passer, Freeman worked with one of the league's youngest receiving corps and developed a quick rapport with rookie Mike Williams. Freeman's size and surprising mobility helped him add 364 yards as a runner.

"He creates major problems with his ability to extend plays,'' Falcons coach Mike Smith said. "Freeman's hard to get on the ground and he has a much better understanding of the pro passing game. He took a big step forward last year and I think you'll see significant steps again next season.''

A first-round pick out of Kansas State in 2009, Freeman said his personal goal is to be compared with the game's elite quarterbacks Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees.

Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway already likes what he sees.

"I'm really impressed with Josh Freeman,'' said Elway, the new executive VP of the Broncos. "I haven't met him, but from the way he plays, the Bucs definitely hit on him, that's for sure.''

Although the Falcons have registered five consecutive wins against the Bucs, Atlanta general manager Thomas Dimitroff knows Freeman looms as a giant difference maker as the season series resumes in 2011.

"He's got such a presence about him and I'm very impressed with the way Tampa Bay has developed Freeman,'' Dimitroff said. "They've been very mindful of how to handle him as a young quarterback. Scouting him in college, you could see the arm and the intelligence. It gave you a feeling that in the right system, schooled the right way, he was going to have a chance to be very successful. Their coaching staff has done a great job with him.''

When the Bucs edged the Browns 17-14 in last year's season opener, Cleveland president Mike Holmgren looked on in admiration as Freeman threw two touchdown passes.

"He played a fine game against us, and then I think he got better,'' said Holmgren, who tutored Hall of Fame quarterbacks Joe Montana and Steve Young in San Francisco. "Physically, he's a very talented young man and now it's just learning to play the position. Freeman also seems to be a great worker. Anyway you look at it, this seems to be an impressive young man.''

Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo can still close his eyes and see Freeman rolling right in the final seconds, buying time before flipping a 1-yard touchdown pass to Cadillac Williams to rally the Bucs to an 18-17 victory.

"Our tight ends coach, Frank Leonard, was at Kansas State when Josh was there and I remember him talking about all the intangibles this kid had coming out of college,'' Spagnuolo said. "I listen to the comments by his teammates and you can tell Freeman is special just by the things they say about him in the huddle.

"I think we have that kind of guy in Sam Bradford. I think Raheem Morris has done a heck of a job with Freeman. Anytime you've got yourself a quarterback like that in this league, you've got a real chance to be pretty good.''


Boid Fink

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#1 : March 23, 2011, 10:39:46 PM

If you are a true Buc fan, you know how good Josh can be.  I would settle for an entire career based off of what he did last year alone.  He was great.

Of course, guys like Java have no clue, and cue him with some stupid, nonsensical comment in 3...2...1...(cannot stand Java anymore...grown men should be able to act like grown men...clearly, he has painted himself as a troll, enjoys it, and I am sure to get a philosphy angle from Illuminator soon...and I like reading Illuminator posts to be honest).


Hate

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#2 : March 23, 2011, 11:17:17 PM

If you are a true Buc fan, you know how good Josh can be.  I would settle for an entire career based off of what he did last year alone.  He was great.

Of course, guys like Java have no clue, and cue him with some stupid, nonsensical comment in 3...2...1...(cannot stand Java anymore...grown men should be able to act like grown men...clearly, he has painted himself as a troll, enjoys it, and I am sure to get a philosphy angle from Illuminator soon...and I like reading Illuminator posts to be honest).

Any sensible fan of this team should be ecstatic about where this team sits currently..... and where its headed. And IMO, with Free5 at the helm, the sky's the limit.

As for the rest of your post, i agree. I fully expect ILL to come running to his damsel in distress in 3.....2.....1......



-------------------------------------------------------
   

MiltonMack21

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#3 : March 23, 2011, 11:29:15 PM

In before Ill and Java come in... Elway praised Freeman, that must really sting for Tebows ball sack holder.


DefenseWins

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#4 : March 23, 2011, 11:40:36 PM

Love it. Thanks for posting.

Pretty exciting stuff :)






It is a new day in TAMPA BAY!    GO BUCS!!

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#5 : March 24, 2011, 12:37:34 AM

Props to Josh! He 100% deserves respect and I haven't been this excited about the QB play... compared to any other QB in franchise history.

Freeman could be better than Montana or Young easily...

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#6 : March 24, 2011, 01:09:33 AM

What's scary is the kid has the ability to be the best in the game... Scary to think that at 22 he had a 25 and 6 season.....

Scary.


cyberdude558

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#7 : March 24, 2011, 01:31:43 AM

Just be careful. A lot of young QB's looked promising their first season and then go into a slump that they will never pull themselves out of.

This lockout mess alone could easily derail progression of a young team.

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#8 : March 24, 2011, 02:36:33 AM

His dad must be BURSTING with pride reading this, they've obviously raised that young man the right way....kudos to mom and dad!! 

While progress could be derailed, and nothing good will come from all this...... I can easily see Freeman picking up, right where he left off.   Some of the other 1st and 2nd (now 2nd and 3rd) year players I'm not as sure about, but I don't think it will be an issue with #5. 

   

Boid Fink

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#9 : March 24, 2011, 03:56:42 AM

...friggin jinxers...


CyberDilemma

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#10 : March 24, 2011, 06:30:10 AM


Freeman could be better than Montana or Young easily...


He's missing one very important ingredient........a guy named Jerry Rice to throw to.

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#11 : March 24, 2011, 07:29:18 AM

Mike Williams IS his Jerry Rice.   Williams is already the best WR this team has ever had.   


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#12 : March 24, 2011, 07:40:58 AM

I have never been as excited and impreessed about a Bucs QB or offensive team in my 20 years as a Bucs fan. If your not impressed with Freeman then  your not a Bucs fan and you don't know football.

Bucs N Beers

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#13 : March 24, 2011, 07:54:42 AM

Everyone on the team believes in J5 and Raheem. That is something you can't measure.

Watching him play is the thing I look forward to the most on Sundays. What will he do next? What sack does he spin out of while using the referee as a blocker then chucking the ball down the field? It's things like that that are so special. ThIngs other guys just can't physically do.

I had bought a cheap replica 5 jersey from NFL.com but the number is already peeling off. May have to invest in a high dollar, high quality 5 jersey.
: March 24, 2011, 07:58:02 AM Bucs N Beers


chrisras

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#14 : March 24, 2011, 08:16:48 AM

I was watching when we drafted him on youtube the other day and Mel Kiper gave the pick an F grade. What a moron. Mike Mayock said he liked Freeman a lot but he had to speed up his decision process. I get a kick out of looking at things in the past and seeing how they turned out. Ever since than I take Kipers opinion with a grain of salt.
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