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October 24, 2010 @ 5:16 pm
Current rating: 1 Star/1 Votes

"Because Of Him, I Feel Like We Always Have A Chance"

Written by Scott
Scott Reynolds


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With his fifth career come-from-behind victory on Sunday with Tampa Bay's 18-17 triumph over St. Louis, QB Josh Freeman has become one of the best around in the fourth quarter in just his second season and is a key reason the Bucs are off to a 4-2 start.
“Try to believe
Though the going gets rough
That you gotta hang tough to make it

History repeats itself
Try and you’ll succeed

Never doubt that you’re the one
And you can have your dreams

You’re the best – around
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down
You’re the best – around
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down
You’re the best – around
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down!”

“You’re the Best” lyrics by Joe Esposito, The Karate Kid soundtrack

Like Daniel-san knocking out the Cobra Kai one by one in the 1984 classic flick, The Karate Kid, Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman keeps rallying to knock off Tampa Bay’s foes in come-from-behind fashion. On Sunday, it was St. Louis’ turn as the Tampa Bay defense stiffened and shut out the Rams in the second half while Freeman and the offense rolled up 226 yards in the final two quarters and scored the game-winning touchdown in the final 10 seconds to claim a 18-17 victory.

The fourth quarter comeback was Freeman’s fifth in just 15 career starts, which is an amazing feat for a second-year quarterback.

“There’s no other person that I want out there, in my opinion, on my football team when I’m coming from behind than Josh Freeman,” said Bucs head coach Raheem Morris. “I’ve got so much confidence in the young man. He has so much confidence in himself. He says it best. He says he loves winning more than he hates losing, and that’s a great way to live.”

Freeman showed incredible poise, composure and playmaking ability on Tampa Bay’s 16-play, 81-yard drive that was capped off with his 1-yard touchdown pass to running back Cadillac Williams with 10 seconds left.

“Josh Freeman got in the scramble drill and I just kind of got lost [in zone coverage] and he found me,” Williams said.

In all five of his career fourth-quarter comeback victories, including Sunday’s win over the Rams, Freeman completed a combined 33-of-51 passes (64.7 percent) for 423 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions. He was 11-of-16 for 87 yards and a touchdown against St. Louis, and with each come-from-behind victory, Freeman’s legend continues to grow.

“You don’t see a lot of that, especially with young quarterbacks,” said franchise cornerback Ronde Barber. “You can name a few guys out there across the league with a lot of tenure that do this regularly, but for him it’s amazing. It’s fun to watch him. You feel like you have a chance to win the game. It was 17-3 at one point in that game and the few fans that were here probably left. Because of him, I feel like we always have a chance.”

Just prior to the game-winning 81-yard drive, Freeman tried to project an aura of confidence in the huddle.

“They know that if I have a lot of confidence, they will have a lot of confidence,” Freeman said. “I remember Sammie Stroughter came up to me and said, ‘Are you ready to do this?’ I said, ‘It’s not quite panic time, but yeah, let’s go get it.’ Everybody stepped up.”

After the win, Freeman lauded the play of the offensive line, Stroughter, Cadillac Williams, tight end Kellen Winslow, who made a 9-yard catch on fourth down to keep the drive alive, and rookie wide receiver Mike Williams, whose 20-yard catch set the Bucs up with a first-and-goal at the St. Louis 1.

“We just play. I love winning, like I said, we all do,” Freeman said. “We all love the feeling of a game when you come out on top, that you went out and you beat the other team. We understand that it’s not always going to be pretty. Today, we would’ve liked to have a few more touchdowns early on, it would’ve made things a lot more easy on us. The defense stepped up and shut them out in the second half, and Connor Barth was the majority of our offense. He did a great job keeping us in the game and at the end of the games. I remember my coach in college telling me, ‘Play as well as you can for three-and-a-half quarters. And when it comes down to it, you have to step up and be the hero.’ That’s the mindset I play with. I want to play well enough to win the whole game, but when it comes down to it, and you have to make a play.”

And that’s exactly what Freeman did when he was flushed to his right and suddenly threw a touchdown pass to Williams with 10 seconds left to be the hero – again. His seventh touchdown pass of the season turned out to be Freeman’s “crane” kick on Sunday. All that was missing at the end of the game was the hug from Ali Mills and the smiling nod of approval from Mr. Miyagi.

“He is a real up and coming player,” Rams defensive end Chris Long said of Freeman, whom he sacked in the first half. “Very talented. We knew coming in he was going to be the X-factor for them, and he was. He basically made a lot of plays to help them win the game.”

For the second time this season, the Bucs have bounced back from a blowout loss to stage a fourth quarter rallying win the next game. After losing to Pittsburgh, 38-13, in Week 3, Tampa Bay scored 10 points in less than two minutes to win at Cincinnati. After losing, 31-6, last week against New Orleans, Freeman and Co. came back to beat St. Louis on Sunday.

“As a team we don’t listen to a lot of naysayers and how people tell us how bad we are,” Cadillac Williams said. “I do know this team has a lot of resiliency and this team is going to fight for 60 minutes. This time last year if we get down by a touchdown or two, everything collapses. This time, we stay together and we feel like we have a chance to win.

“This game was a huge game, man. New Orleans lost. Atlanta won, but this game is huge. We’re 4-2 and we’ve put ourselves in position to do some great things.”

If Freeman, who is now 6-3 in his last nine starts, keeps up his winning ways his legend will keep growing. Tampa Bay’s first-round pick in 2009 may indeed be the best around one day.

And Freeman might even have a memorable – and possibly cheesy – theme song written about his heroic, fourth quarter exploits one day.
Last modified on Thursday, 28 October 2010 08:54

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  • avatar

    Every year we have these idiots that can never give the Bucs credit for winning games they are suppose to win, they should not have to apologize for winning, ever! So before the season starts, if the Bucs have what's considered an easy schedule, then I guess their season ends right there because they will not get credit for winning games against what's considered beatable teams...totally rediculous, and if you feel that way, then it shows you are reaching to pile up on this team, this matedor fella that uses the word "US" "OUR" and "WE" when talking about the Bucs, yet thinks they suck from top to bottom, the Bucs don't need people like this rooting for them.
  • avatar

    It was a good team win. Let's be honest, if Barth misses one of those FGs we are talking about a "L" in our record. After missing two last week, he came up big this week. Good job bouncing back Connor! Freeman is the real deal and beginning to play like an elite QB in the 4th qtr. Time to take your talents into QTRs 1-3 Josh! That will be an easier feat if they establish Blount on first and second downs. Caddy was instrumental in the final drive and has obviously been working on his pass catching abilities. Mike Williams just continues to make plays and Winslow is mr. consistent on 3rd and 4th downs. This team has a LOT of potential and if they put it all together in a game and play to their potential we will blow teams out. A good offense is the teams best defense, especially when we are struggling to stop the run. I want to see a complete game of execution in all phases of the game. Then, and only then, will we be able to see if this team can be a playoff contender or just an average team. GO BUCS!!!!!!!
  • avatar

    whats up with matador? can't believe his tude after a win. that being said, it's time to park the caddy. I love the guy but his legs are gone. Blount should be the starter for the remainder of the season. I wasn't thrilled when Freeman was drafted but the kid has some serious game. also scrachted my head with the Grimm pick, but hey, what do I know. Rhonde should be in the hall of fame, the guy is ageless. GO BUCS
  • avatar

    What a bunch of whining *censored*..... It was ugly, but they got the win.... Four out of six ain't bad, and it's one more win than last year, already. Maybe if you get out and support your team it will give them a little inspiration. (I've seen more people at a high school game.)
  • avatar

    What a bunch of whining *censored*..... It was ugly, but the they got the win.... Four out of six ain't bad, and it's one more win than last year, already. Maybe if you get out and support your team it will give them a little inspiration. (I've seen more people at a high school game.)
  • avatar

    I got censored for saying the word that means "a female dog"?
  • avatar

    Yea freeman is doing his thing If were within 14 or 7 in the fourth he doesnt quit. Hes a fourth quarter player. I think freeman is a frachise qb I know its a still developing rams team but 5 fourth quarter comebacks and two that were blown in the dolphins game and falcons last year. Its only in 15 starts,. Freeman just gets the job done and hes only gonna get better as the weapons improve around him. Blount needs to be starting next game and caddy can come off the bench. Caddy just seemed alot more effective and blount gave the team a spark that they didnt have before. Raheem made adjustments at halftime and didnt let them run the ball so he deserves the credit of that. Im not saying he's a great coach but makin adjustments is a trait you need and they showed something. Go Bucs
  • avatar

    Watching them win is great but it's pretty obvious that this isn't a very good football team. That shiney 4-2 record is about 3 plays away from being 1-5. New ownership is a must.
  • avatar

    A win that we had to have.
  • avatar

    1st live game for me this year and what a great game! Honestly,very unimpressed with freeman in the 1st half, very indecisive, does not make quick release, holds ball to long, BUT he made a big turnaround ins 2nd half. Obvious, needs to be more decisive, there were open reciever everywhere, but didnt pull the trigggerquick enough. he's gettin better and what a great ending Now to the real problem..Why the hell is Blount not starting the game. Blount, single-handledly(IMO) brought this offense to life, this guy is a BEAST. Not just a a power guy but he has some great explosion after making cut. WOW, very impressed and it fires the whole team up, especially OL. We're gonna have to to have some great WR/TE because if Free' innacury does not improve quicky. Noticed Bradford passe we right on the #'s, they have no WR, yet Bradford is so accurate, reminds me of a young Brady. disclaimer OU alum. Great win!!!!
  • avatar

    I sure hope they can draft a middle linebacker as well as QB. Ruud is garbage.
  • avatar

    Can we get Ronde to play another 5-10 yers?
  • avatar

    I love me some Freeman, but really, up until the final seconds of the game Barth was the most effective weapon we had. There needs to be some props given to him as well.
  • avatar

    Starting with Ra/Dom's first pick (Freeman) right thru to picking up Blount and Dezman off practice squads, the future potential of this rigime (after only 2 drafts / seasons so far) might possably be the best all around Bucs rigime in the history of the buccaneers........possably.......Awesome !!!!! Cant wait to see what players we get next year........keep up the great work Ra/Dom!!!
  • avatar

    If we're down in the 4th quarter and need a score or two to tie or win the game, I will always have faith in Josh Freeman.
  • avatar

    Our coaches suck. Our OL sucks. Our DL sucks. Our LBs borderline suck. Our RBs borderline suck. Our TEs are old enough they will all need to be replaced in 2 yrs. Our safeties suck. This is a near complete re-do in 3 yrs. Wake up. Please please sell the team to owners who can afford to run it.
  • avatar

    Get out of here the only one that sucks are those of us who can't play, and by the way the Bucs are 4-2 and in second place, with some easy games ahead, wins don't suck. The sign of a good football team is winning as a team, not as individuals, look at the Patriots of the past. If you have nothing good to say, don't say it. At the end of the day the wins our what count.
  • avatar

    The Best player we have on the team. All we need to do is build around him.
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