With over 30 years of coaching experience Tampa Bay's quarterbacks coach Ron Turner will rely on all of those years to try and get Josh Freeman back on track. Turner says Freeman is already well on his way and is embracing the challenge.
New Bucs quarterback's coach Ron Turner has always admired Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman, even if it was from a distance. After meeting with him and seeing him up close, the admiration has grown even more.
“I am very impressed with him as an individual and obviously as a player too,” Turner said. “I remember when he came out of college and I was with the Bears and I evaluated him and had a really high grade on him and felt great about him. Being here and getting to know him, I feel even stronger about him."
Many fans have wondered what Freeman’s mindset is and also have questioned his work ethic. Turner says those thought s should be forgotten.
He has a burning desire to be good and to be great,” Turner said. “And he doesn’t just talk about it. He comes in and does it. He has accepted the coaching that we have given him – the technique, the scheme, the fundamentals – all of things we are working on he has accepted and embraced them, and he is working extremely hard to improve.”
Turner’s coaching resume is impressive, dating back to 1978 when he was named the receivers coach for the University of Arizona. From there, Turner spent time as head coach at San Jose University and at the University of Illinois. Turner broke into the professional coaching ranks as Dave Wannstedt’s offensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears in 1993 then again from 2005 to 2009 under Lovie Smith. Besides an extensive career coaching offense, Turner’s offensive mind apparently runs in the family, as his brother is San Diego Chargers’ head coach Norv Turner.
With the experience gathered over the last 34 years Turner has learned one key to being successful in the NFL is to have a short memory.
“You keep focusing on the next play,” Turner said. “That is what I tell him (Freeman), ‘Hey lets focus on the next play. Just try and get little bit better today. Don’t worry about anything else. Focus on your job and the next play.’ And he is doing that. He does have that tendency (to try to do too much). He wants to be good and to do more. So we are trying to stay focused on the task at hand right now.”
Part of Turner’s excitement for the future is based on those in front – and behind – Freeman. With three Pro Bowlers on the offense line along with LeGarrette Blount and first round draft pick Doug Martin in the backfield, Turner thinks the pieces are in place for success in 2012. Those pieces will only help Freeman succeed Turner said.
“I think it (the run game) is crucial (in developing a quarterback) I think any great quarterback will tell you that – especially in this league,” Turner said. “You have got to run the football. When you run the football that helps everything else. Helps the pass game, protections and it opens up big pass plays down the field. Josh is working real hard at learning the run game as well. He is working on getting a full understanding on the run game so he can get us out of bad plays and gets us in to good plays. That is good to see that he has the willingness to do that.”
Fundamentals have been something many felt were missing from last season’s 4-12 Buccaneers squad. While Turner didn’t specifically say they were lacking he and head coach Greg Schiano are on the same page when it comes to the basics.
“We have and not just because of Josh, but that’s because that’s what we believe in,” Turner said. “I believe, and coach Schiano believes, and we believe as a staff, that you win with your techniques and fundamentals. First time I met him (Freeman), we started talking about his techniques his fundamentals and what I believe. He has embraced it. If you work hard to master the fundamentals now then you don’t have to worry about them come game day. They become second nature and improves you accuracy and improves your play."
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