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May 19, 2009 @ 7:33 am
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Freeman Joins Veterans At OTAs

Written by Jim
Flynn
Jim Flynn

Jim
Flynn

Former Editor-in-Chief E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Bucs rookie quarterback Josh Freeman joined his veteran teammates at One Buc Place as the team resumed organized team activities on Tuesday. How did Freeman fare? Find out in this article.
Tampa Bay's 2009 first-round draft pick joined his veteran teammates on the practice field at One Buccaneer Place for his first time as a Buccaneer on Tuesday.

Rookie quarterback Josh Freeman was one of many Bucs players participating in Tampa Bay's voluntary practice today.

Freeman, who was the 17th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, had the opportunity to work behind fellow quarterbacks Luke McCown, Byron Leftwich and Josh Johnson. Brian Griese did not participate in the voluntary OTA and is expected to be released or traded sometime this offseason.

"I was limited on my reps. I was just trying to get a feel for how the veteran guys to do it," said Freeman. "They're really helping me along a lot. Luke, Byron and Josh Johnson are giving me a lot of advice.

"Luke and Byron took all the live rounds [during the blitz period]. Then they went through it with the younger guys, the rookies and second-year guys. We went back and redid the entire period, and that's where I got a lot of reps. I got pretty much the same work in."

Tampa Bay's rookie class, including Freeman, was not permitted to partake in the team's first set of OTAs due to graduation rules. However, that didn't stop the former Kansas State signal caller from doing his homework in Jeff Jagodzinski's playbook when he returned home after the team's rookie mini-camp.

Freeman is a big fan of Jagodzinski's playbook and some of the plays his teammates were making on the practice field Tuesday.

"I think this offense fits me well," said Freeman. "It's fairly similar to what we ran at Kansas State. We have a power running game, and it allows you to hit up an element of the West Coast offense with still having some play-action and shots downfield. It kind of covers everything.

"Today was really smooth. Everybody seemed like they knew what they were doing. It looked really good. It is new for everybody, but Luke was in a similar offense last year and Byron has been in offenses like this one. I think everybody felt pretty good about it today. I don't know what everybody was thinking, but from my point of view it looked pretty good."

Freeman said his veteran teammates are "very cool" and have not pulled any pranks on him yet. He expects that to happen in training camp. In the meantime, he's attempting to learn as much as he can from the veterans, who are noticeably quick on the field.

"The tempo from rookie min-camp to OTAs is a lot faster," said Freeman. "There isn't a whole lot of teaching going on. Everyone is expected to know and run the script.

"We have a lot of playmakers. A lot of plays were made today. All I have to do is worry about myself and get myself in the best position to help the team. That's goal number one right now."

One player that apparently isn't letting the learning process slow him is Freeman's fellow rookie classmate, wide receiver Sammie Stroughter, a seventh-round draft pick out of Oregon State.

"I can't say there was one moment in particular, but I hooked up quite a few times with Sammie," Freeman said when asked what stood out to him in his first practice with the veterans. "He's making a lot of plays. He was even out there running with the [first-team offense]."

Freeman has already developed some chemistry with Stroughter, and now that he's on the practice field with the veterans he is working on getting more familiar with Jagodzinski's offense and a better rhythm with his veteran teammates.

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