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November 1, 2011 @ 12:25 pm
Current rating: 4.33 Stars/3 Votes

Freeman: "You Just Can't Turn The Ball Over"

Written by Victoria
Horchak 
Victoria Horchak 

Victoria
Horchak 

Staff Writer E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Tampa Bay QB Josh Freeman met with the media Tuesday and discussed the first part of the season and things the Buccaneers must improve upon.

Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman held his weekly press conference on Tuesday at One Buccaneer Place and discussed Tampa Bay’s running game, his interceptions and the upcoming game with the Saints. The following is a transcript of Freeman’s press conference.

How was the time off?
“It was good. It was relaxing.  I was planning on going out of town, but I just didn’t really feel like traveling anymore. I don’t know how those guys go to the west coast and stuff – I don’t know.”

What does getting LeGarrette Blount back do for you as a quarterback?
“It's going to be big. If you look back [to] prior games [and] really [to] the prior game last year in New Orleans, Blount kind of went off. He was a big difference maker in that game. From the early game we played them, without Blount really – and the last game – he really kind of took that game over. [He] had some big, explosive games early. It's big to have LeGarrette Blount in any game.”

How big is the ability to have play action and the running game?
“It's huge. A quarterback's two best friends are first the defense and second a great running game. Having LeGarrette (Blount) in there with the way our O-line is blocking is huge.”

How much easier is your work on Sunday with a good running game?
“It helps a lot. You talk about a defense and what they are looking at. If you have a running game rolling and picking up big chunks every time you run the ball with it, [then] those linebackers have to fill that perspective.”

Does a successful running game open up running lanes for you?
“Yes, for sure. When we are rolling it opens everything up. [It helps] on play action. Then you have linebackers turning their backs getting deep. You have defensive linemen trying to stay in their run lanes. Then they see that it's a pass so they are going to try to do whatever they can to get at the quarterback. They push out of the way and that opens things up.”


Did you spend some time looking at tape and the interceptions?
“Yes. I went back and watched all the interceptions and watched all the poor decisions. Looking back, it's really — we were that close. You say that you're that close, but at the same time, really, you just can’t turn the ball over. There are a number of picks on first down in the red zone and, knowing that is completely unacceptable, you look back and we are fortunate to have some of the wins when we turned the ball over in the red zone. At the same time looking back maybe the San Francisco game [and] those two picks — you look back and you probably have at least another win [and] maybe two if you don’t turn the ball over.”

As you get better do you know you can get balls through tight windows?
“Yes. You've got to understand the circumstances. You are never letting the ball go and are like, ‘Oh maybe this one will be an interception.’ You expect things to go well. At the same time you've got to maintain your aggressive mentality, but you can do that within the confines of your game [and] within your confines of the offense. One of our main philosophies is turnover-free, protect the football.”

With the third-down situation someone needs to step up and can LeGarrette maybe do more on that?
“Yes. I think Kregg (Lumpkin) does a really good job at it. We got (Mossis) Madu up this week. Yes, I think LeGarrette is going to get a shot. Talking about it from the preseason [to] moving on with the season, it was a thing that has always been kind of a monkey on LeGarrette’s back and he can do it. He's out there calling out the protections and knowing where he is going and it's huge. You should see the strides that that guy has made.”

Is Mossis Madu a guy that has a little bit of shake to him and really good hands?
“Yes, he's really explosive. Coming out of the backfield he catches the ball extremely well. You guys saw him in the preseason game [and] I think it was Miami when Rudy (Carpenter) had that comeback. [He] got the ball to Mossis (Madu) and he made some big plays down the stretch and we are hoping we can get some of that this game.”

Does facing the Saints two times in three weeks (games) present a different challenge than normal?
“I really don’t think so. They got to play us back-to-back as well like this. I talked to Drew (Brees) before the game we played last week and he was like, ‘This is crazy, how does the schedule get spit out like this?’ They're a team (like the first game), we know this team extremely well [and] they know us extremely well. Like always, it's going to come down to making plays and finding a way to get it done.”

What is your perception of 62 points and then getting beat by the Rams?
“It just talks about the NFL. It's a league with a lot of talent. If you're not coming to play every Sunday – and I am not saying that they were not coming to play – but it's going to be a thing where we know we are going to have to play a great game. The Saints are still a top-tier team in this league. They have a great defense [and] a great offense. We're fortunate that they are in our division and we know them well. They seem to catch a lot of teams off guard — Indianapolis Colts for example. I'm really excited about the opportunity. As always, it's fun to play the Saints.”

Given the turnovers being 4-3 is not a bad position?
“We were talking about that when we were watching the tape (with) AVP (QB coach Alex Van Pelt). He said with the way we've been playing we haven’t even come close to playing our best football. All around, to be 4-3 is kind of a blessing. You know we are 4-3 [and] still a young team [and] still a team with a lot of room to improve. A team that (has) got to continue to improve week in and week out. You can’t take anything for granted. Got to get ready to play. And I'm excited because coming back off this bye week you look at everybody and everybody is prepared. Everybody took home their study sheets. We're out there making our calls [and] everybody is on the same page. It's not like a normal first day of the week where there's still a little indecision. Everybody is all over it.”

This is the time of year everyone has to dial it up, right?
“Yes. This is crunch-time football no matter what your team’s situation is. This week for a lot of teams is make or break. You've got to start looking at games like that. It's no longer the beginning of the season. You're starting to get to the home stretch and we just got to find a way to play well. We found a way to do it last year [and] if we can channel that same sort of energy [and] come out and put together complete football games I think we will be in pretty good shape come December.”

Last modified on Tuesday, 01 November 2011 13:10
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COMMENTS

  • avatar


    i would love to see the bucs add a big time wr in the draft this year. of course there's more pressing needs and im sure thats what dominik wants to address, but if we drafted a wr in the 1st round (blackmon, jeffrey, floyd) put him and williams on the outside. Benn could move into the slot which I feel he's best suited for. We need to put more weapons around him to let Freeman develop. Teams are shutting down Williams, he's clearly not getting free as often as he was last year. Another threat opens up the field for everyone, and will continue Freemans development into an elite qb like we saw last year.
  • avatar

    HES TWENTY FREAKING THREE YEARS OLD!!! OMG. NO ONE IS BABYING HIM. HE STILL NEEDS TIME TO GROW! patience, patience, PATIENCE. hes not surrounded by veterans, hes surrounded by 2nd and 1st year players.. he doesnt have calvin johnson, or andre johnson, or a big time receiver. mike williams isnt catching the ball, kellen winslow is crying like a little girl and olsens playcalling sucks. ya, freeman is not playing great but god damn, have we completely forgotten how many games hes won for us? you all need to chill out and let freeman continue to get better. we are the youngest team in the nfl and these are growing pains that come with a young qb. all freeman needs to do is go back to what he was doing in 2010 and on top of that, just take what the defense is giving him. he did that very same thing in the colts game so hes more than capable, hes just taking more chances and is trying to make something happen. its not all josh, everyone needs to step up and play better. Clayborn is a game changer, Im so happy we have him! and guys, just imagine what this team will be like when their in there 25-26-27-28 years old. just be patient. its hard for me too but i am very excited for the future of this football team. GO BUCS, GET BETTER! :)
  • avatar


    The Buc's need to invest in some top receivers and there would not be so many interceptions. Free agency Glazers.
  • avatar

    Scubog, I agree with you and I am a big Freeman fan at the same time potential is a dangerous word. I believe Josh will have a great career but his over-confidence is showing his quiet gunslinger mentality forcing throws because he has a strong arm. I would like Freeman and Olsen to adjust the route patterns. I watched the Rams route running against the Saints and it was simple attacking routes that really put pressure on the Saints secondary. Lets see if the WRs and offense as a whole can show some growth. I totally agree with PR honest reporting on this team. How they finish will totally determine the immediate future of the Bucs.
  • avatar


    The proof is in the pudding. We will know this Sunday if Josh is improving! If you look at his history, just like he comes on at the end of games, he also has shown marked improvement toward the end of both seasons he has started. I look for him to do it again if he can get some cooperation from his wide receivers and TEs. There have been too many dropped balls this year and for some unknown reason our receivers are having a harder time getting open. Perhaps other teams are taking the Bucs seriously and are doing a better job on us, or it could be they all have discovered the benefits of playing more zone and having the linebackers spy on Freeman to stop his runs and follow his eyes and disrupt his game. Time will tell, but I am ecstatic to hear Blount will be back. Sprinkle in a little Madu too, and the Saints linebackers may be too busy with the running game to spy on Freeman. Beat the Saints like a drum!
  • avatar


    With the history of mediocrity I've endured at the QB position on this team, it cracks me up when some of you are so critical of Josh Freeman. He's just 23 and only at the mid-point of his third season. The guy has a tremendous work ethic, strong leadership skills, rare physical gifts and a unique ability to win in the 4th quarter. Yet some of you act like he's Ryan Leaf because he threw an interception. There are a lot of teams in this league who would love to have # 5 behind center.
  • avatar


    third season, and seems to be regressing. He had Blount and Graham the first games of the season, and wasn't lighting up the league. All the starters were in when he was overthrowing receivers, staring down Winslow and Williams. Right now, he's playing like a mid level qb, not the upper level qb that people wanted to believe he is. --Can he get back to the top 10, only he can answer that question by fixing his mechanics. I hope he does fix it, and fixes it soon, I don't want to watch another Shaun King type, where there are a few flashes. I'll reserve harsh criticism until after this game, and see if he makes strides to improve.
  • avatar


    We had on very very good QB. Steve Young. The rest is history.
  • avatar

    Scubog - its okay for us to come down on him, it's not going to make him any better or worse for it. I love Free and I want and hope for him to be our leader for years to come. And he can be! But lets not baby him. There are younger QBs in this league that get ripped apart for the same mistakes Free makes. This is the first time in his career that he is finally getting some heat for his mistakes and every great QB has had to go through it at some point. Kid gloves are off. Tell him when he makes a mistake and praise him when he makes a good play. I for one care less about the turnovers he's made this year and more about his missed open receivers and not seeing more than half the field, and being hesitant with his passes. I want to see a confident Free. A Freeman that is going to make mistakes, but makes them going a 100 miles per hour. We look for every excuse for the kid (his receivers aren't getting open, he has no running game, we put him in to many 3rd and longs, etc). Well, he is part of the problem. He's not getting the ball to our receivers when they are open, no one is afraid of our passing game so there are always 8 men in the box, and he's missed many opportunities to make something on 1st and 2nd downs. If I didn't think he had the ability to be great I really wouldn't waste my time posting about him.
  • avatar


    Josh is a good QB; it's not his fault that our two starting RB's went out with injuries. The game changes big time without a running threat. If you have to blame someone then blame the GM & HC for not having adequate backup, but then who does when both starters go down. Go Bucs!
  • avatar

    I agree bveghte. And I can't stand that we're mainly focusing on those interceptions. That was only a quarter of his problems. I really hope that he comes up gunslinging. Stepping into the ball and throwing it without hesitation. The thing you like about the true gunslingers is you know that they are going to throw a few ints when trying to get a tight one in, but they are also going to pick the defense apart for most of the day. Freeman was hesitant and making turnovers. This is a big second half of the season for him and he is now going into his 3rd season as a starting QB with starting over 32 games. I want to see that flair from last year. That mocksie. That running over the safety to get the first down last year. That was he is and that's what he needs to do to be a successful QB in the NFL.
  • avatar


    Did you spend some time looking at tape and the interceptions? “Yes. I went back and watched all the interceptions and watched all the poor decisions. Looking back, it's really — we were that close." ---- Uh, no, you weren't that close. He makes it sound like he did not readjust his mechanics or improve his navigation of his progressions during the bye week, since those INTs were more bad luck than anything. They were "that close". I wish he would state the problems and say he's worked on them. Uggh.
  • avatar

    Man, he knows what he needs to do. hes a smart guy and he will improve. you are making it sound like he isnt even trying which is what the majority of you are starting to make it seem like. hes 23 years old and still developing, stop acting like he doesnt care and like the sky is falling. what a bunch of fair weather fans.
  • avatar


    Thanks for sharing, liked the transcript.
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