Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman took to the podium at One Buccaneer Place Tuesday sharing his thoughts on his new teammates, his new coach and the excitement level among the whole team.
Can you tell us what the process has been like going over the offense with Sullivan?
“Yesterday sitting down [was] the first time we really got to talk any football. So getting to open it up and really see kind of an overview [and] kind of getting an idea, but for now we are kind of starting off real slow. He wants to start [to] build from the ground up and make sure we have everything down because with anything with a new offense [and] an offense with different terminology and stuff you need to start with the fundamentals for everybody.”How tough is it to digest a new terminology and scheme and everything?
“You know I don’t really know,” Freeman said. “I [can] probably compare [it] coming into my rookie year as far as learning a different system and moving forward, but I got a lot of confidence in all the guys around me. Whether it is the coaching staff or the quarterbacks in the quarterback room as far as really sitting down and getting to the core of this offense and really learning it and having a great feel for it going into the season.”What is your feeling on Jackson and Nicks who are two big pieces for that offense?
“Both those guys, really glad to have them,” Freeman said. “Just out their workouts [and] seeing them in the workroom – both those guys are freaks. They are going to be great. They are going to be great for us.”Can a receiver like Jackson make a huge difference in this offense?
“Yes, he has been doing it in Sand Diego for a while. [He] is definitely the type of guy that defenses are going to be aware of on every play.”Have you and some of the receivers been working offsite too because I know you cannot work out here?
“Yes, we were down at IMG in Bradenton getting some work — working out and throwing,” Freeman said. “It is good because you get the whole support staff, training staff because with the CBA and stuff you can’t really work with your own coaches. You can’t really lift with the strength coach so we were down there getting a lot of good work in.”Has Vincent Jackson been down there with you?
“No, he has been in San Diego with his wife.”Not having to have certain conversations with your coaches has that been frustrating, tempting, or awkward?
“Oh yes of course when moving into a situation when you are going to start learning a new offense you want to get to work as soon as possible, but with the certain rules it is kind of the deal where they can’t teach you anything,” Freeman said. “It was frustrating because they are right in your backyard, but at the same time just going down to Bradenton helps you kind of get away and focus on more of the physical conditioning aspect of things. Throwing the ball and working on fundamentals and feeling pretty good.” Do you want to put a pitch in for Trent Richardson, Josh?
“I have no idea. That is really out of my area — you know the draft. I am just going to focus on learning this offense and try to do my part.”Is there a team that you think this offense wants to pattern themselves after?
“Yes, I think it is going to be a variation of obviously Coach (Mike) Sullivan’s own twist, but of the Giants offense.”How much do you know about what this offense is going to look like? Do you have kind of a rough idea?
“You know not really as far as different pass patterns and things,” Freeman said. “Coming in and watching film. Sitting in with Dan (Orvlosky) watching film and guys just kind of got an idea, but right now we are just working on formations. We are getting into protections [and] just the whole standard procedure of calling the play at the line procedure and the difference cadence and things.”When you hear coaches talk about we are going to run the ball to you is that a liberating thing?
“Believe it or not that has been really the strategy the whole time I have been here, “Freeman said. “Obviously there are going to be certain games where you might pass a little bit more than you run it, but I mean that has always been — you know you get out and establish the run and that really opens things up down field.”What do you have as far as putting great sophomore year and not so good year last year and what have as far as putting it in perspective now?
“You learn a lot, but really I was just pressing too hard,” Freeman said. “Felt like I had a good offseason of work, but at the same times you get into games coming off a good year (sophomore year) you feel like you can do so much more. You continue to get better and I was working harder, felt better and was throwing the ball better and sometimes you try to force things. When things come down in the game you kind of got to go back to the thought after your rookie year of you just got to let it come to you. When you are playing your best football you are not making plays, I mean you are just going [and] running the offense and letting the playbook [and] letting the system make the plays for you. “Do you think having more weapons helps you not to think you have to force things?
“Yes, I mean it is really heat of the moment sort of thing. It is not some deeply rooted philosophy that I am just like I am going to go out there and force it. It is more of a thing that certain times in a game you got to try to make things happen and you just got to pull your punches at times.”What kind of mood do you sense from your teammates? Are they excited?
“Yes, everybody is really excited,” Freeman said. “Coming into meetings [and] going out and working out it is kind of a different energy. You don’t really know how everybody is going to take to the change, but at the same time I think Coach (Greg) Schiano gave a great opening speech. Kind of telling us about himself [and] what he believes and how we are going to win football games around Tampa. I think everybody is buying in. The workouts have been great and I am really excited moving forward.”What jumps at you about Greg Schiano?
“He is just a really strong personality,” Freeman said. “He is kind of old school, but I am really excited. Just sitting down talking to him [and] talking about different leadership aspects and you know it’s not…you are going to get football and you are going to get 100% football, but at the same time kind of going into just sort of life. It is kind of deep, but there is a lot of stuff that he is going to cover and that he is going to go through, but ultimately it is going to be about winning football games. With his strategy moving forward I think that it is going to be a great situation.”What is Sullivan’s personality?
“He is awesome,” Freeman said. “Extremely enthusiastic [and] real big on discipline [and] real big on hard work [and] mental toughness. Just getting to talk to him and sit down and learn this offense you know we are going to have a good time.” -Victoria Horchak and Mark Cook contributed to this report
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