A big part of the reason why the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been able to win three straight away from Raymond James Stadium has been the play of quarterback Josh Freeman. As a rookie, Freeman led the Bucs to victories in Seattle and New Orleans to close out the 2009 season. After throwing five interceptions in Carolina last season as a rookie, Freeman responded this year on the road and threw for 178 yards, two touchdowns, and more importantly, no interceptions against the Panthers.
The 22-year-old quarterback says he does not know why the team has had so much recent success on the road.
“I don’t know. On the road or at home, a field is a field,” said Freeman. “It’s just a matter of executing.”
The field may be the same, but Freeman says it is a different ball game when they are not playing in front their home fans.
“Playing on the road presents a different challenge for the offense,” said Freeman. “When you are at home your communication is a lot easier, but when you are on the road the crowd tends to get a little noisy and you might have to rely a little more heavily on your non-verbal communication. That is definitely going to be a point of emphasis. I know we are going to have load speakers to try and simulate what it is going to be like on Sunday.”
When the Bucs travel to Cincinnati to play the Bengals on Sunday, the team will try and earn their fourth straight road victory. Win or lose, Freeman feels like the team bonds more playing away from home.
“I think playing on the road brings the team closer together because you are playing in a hostile environment,” said Freeman. “Everybody has to come together and work hard.”
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