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October 22, 2012 @ 7:46 pm
Current rating: 5.00 Stars/1 Votes

Freeman Focused On Keeping The Momentum Going

Written by Victoria
Horchak 
Victoria Horchak 

Victoria
Horchak 

Staff Writer E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
In two weeks, Bucs QB Josh Freeman has thrown for 748 yards, six touchdowns and just one interception. The fourth year quarterback is hitting his stride and hopes to keep the momentum going in the short week before playing the Vikings Thursday night. 
Buccaneer quarterback Josh Freeman is pleased with the progress his offense has made over the past two games. 

On Sunday against the New Orleans Saints Freeman threw for 420 yards and had three touchdowns while the week prior against the Kansas City Chiefs No. 5 threw for 328 yards and had three touchdowns.

Freeman spoke to the media Monday afternoon and credited his offensive line with the progress the offense has made. 

“It is a thing [that] we have always felt confident in our system,” Freeman said. “Even right now we are not as good as we can be and we plan to be. It is a system [with] a lot of different aspects that go along with it. We have done a lot of work up to this point and we plan on continuing that. Improving—constantly improving. Ultimately it is about guys getting in the right position and me understanding that run game and pass game to be successful. 

“You talk about the run game [and] I think it all stems from our offensive line, pass game included. Our offensive line starting—you got Jeremy Zuttah you talk about the left side with Donald (Penn) and Carl (Nicks). You got the right side—Jamon (Meredith) stepped up. You got Demar Dotson who is playing extremely well. Those guys are really the foundation. They go out and whether it is pass protection or it is running the ball they really have done a tremendous job till this point. Each week you can see them starting to gel more and more as a unit and playing better and better.”

The Buccaneers will travel to Minnesota on Wednesday to play the Vikings in the NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football primetime game. The fourth-year quarterback spoke of the Viking defense and in particular one notable player – Jared Allen.

Freeman obviously has much respect for the defensive player who leads his team with six sacks.  

“The brief time we’ve had to watch the Vikings just to watch and get a general overview of the defense,” Freeman said, “And obviously Jared Allen is a guy that the minute you think Minnesota Vikings you think Adrian Peterson on offense and you think Jared Allen on defense. He is a tremendous player. He is a guy that I am sure the coaches are going to have a great plan to try to somewhat deal with him. You can never eliminate a guy like that out of the game, but you got to minimize the impact he has on the game. 

“Definitely going to be an exciting opportunity. We played up there last year, the atmosphere [with] this being a Thursday night game and then the game that night I know it is going to be electric. It is going to be loud—everything you hoped for in a big Thursday night game.”

Since the Vikings play in a dome, noise is a factor for the visiting team. The former first-round draft pick credits the Vikings fan base, but at the same time believes having two division rivals who play in domes helps his team be prepared for games such as the one coming up Thursday night. 

“At times it does get really loud there,” Freeman said. “They got a lot of passionate fans all crammed into that stadium—the dome.  Then you got the little horn thing they do. It gets pretty loud, but I feel like we have great preparation and having two indoor teams in our division: the Saints and the Falcons. Yes, it gets loud, but I feel like we have a great plan for communication. As far as the game plan goes I know everybody will be on the same page as far as being able to understand what we are trying to get accomplished with different plays [and] different formations. I think we will be prepared going into it.”

Even though this is a short week to game plan, Freeman actually doesn’t mind it. 

“I like the format honestly,” Freeman said. “You get through a game week [and] you finish up practice on Friday and you are like ‘ah we don’t play all the way till Sunday.’ This one it is kind of like boom, boom, boom. Started doing stuff today. A lot of opportunities tonight, tomorrow morning [and] tomorrow during the day just to get in the film setting. 

“It is almost like cramming, but it is not as crazy as you would think. But it’s good. I like it. The one thing that I would say would be a concern is guys have been in two physical football games the past two weeks. I like how Coach (Greg Schiano) structured this week as far as guys having the opportunity to get their body back to 100 percent going into the game.”

The quick turnaround could be good for Freeman, who can ride the momentum of two great back-to-back performances, something the Bucs are hoping continues. What Tampa Bay needs to figure out is how to change the momentum of the game’s outcome.

- Dory LeBlanc contributed to this report
Last modified on Monday, 22 October 2012 21:50
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COMMENTS

  • avatar


    I see that Tampa will go up to Minn an old foe that we played year end and year out. This time around I think Freeman will over look the QB on the same field. Tampa should start throwing TD's, And Iam not worried about Petterson because you know we got Martin, Blount and DJ Ware. I see the score is 37 to 17. But after this game Tampa has ten days to get ready for San Deigo,Oakland, and the rest of Tampa games. I see that they are improving-GO BUCS.
  • avatar

    The comment wasn't for anyone specific just generally speaking. PR and fellow posters have criticized Freeman. I have always thought Freeman had alot of talent and potential but is very inconsistent lets see if he plays at this level against better competetion on defense KC and Saints are the worst in the league.
  • avatar


    Not sure where the "flip flop" comment is coming from jongruden...perhaps you can point them out. IMO, subscribers to PewterReport have been fairly consistent in their posts about Freeman...criticize when he doesn't play well, and cudos when he does...that's par for the course considering the QB is the most important player on the field for any team. I don't recall anyone asking for his head or screaming to draft a replacement QB in the draft...I must have missed that. One thing of which I'm hopeful is that there will be consistency for Freeman in the future...consistency in the system...consistency in the coaching...and consistency in his ability to lead this team.
  • avatar


    2010 was proof enough for me that Josh Freeman is a franchise QB. I don't worry about him. He's prolific and still learning. I worry about our pass defense and our OL. Considering the team around him and the coaching situation he's gone through, he's done very well. The two QBs who were drafted ahead of him would have done much worse for the Bucs. Raheem did one thing right in picking Freeman for us. Dominik did one thing right when he hired Schiano. I look forward to the future of this team.
  • avatar


    jongruden- My postings have consistenly said Freeman is not the problem yet he was a product of poor play calling and learning a new offense. People who say he displays "poor clock management" must forget he's the same Freeman that won many games in the 4th quarter earlier in his career. Playing quarterback is not a add heat, water and stir process and most fans forget that. PR gets paid to critique Freeman so of course there are games that he hasnt been at his best and there job is to report is accordingly. However the people who call for another QB dont know football. That has been MY stance always on Mr. Freeman if you have come across any of my posts then you will see. I defended him after the Dallas game so i'll assume that "flip flop" comment was intended for someone else.
  • avatar

    The comment wasn't for anyone specific just generally speaking. PR and fellow posters have criticized Freeman. I have always thought Freeman had alot of talent and potential but is very inconsistent in his play lets see if he play at this level against better competetion on defense KC and Saints are he worst in the league.
  • avatar

    stlbucsfan - I wouldn't say "don't know football." It's okay to disagree, but I'm pretty sure I know a little bit about this sport.
  • avatar

    Well you can't just blame fellow posters on here for the critisizm of Freeman PR has wrote plenty of times of how he stares down receivers and displays poor clock management. Many posters were saying we needed to look else where for a qb in next yrs draft so its funny to see so many flip flop their stance and opinion but I guess thats human nature of the NFL Fan, play bad you suck play awesome and we always trusted you blah blah blah, lol
  • avatar


    Its good to see there are some Buc fans left who really understand the maturation of a quarterback. People forget that Josh Freeman had his Cam Newton, Matt Stafford esque season where the numbers looked great but like they are currently going through there are adjustments that have to be made. Each week I see Josh getting better and I think as he gains comfort in the offense the sky is the limit for this group. This offense hasnt figured how to utilize Blount and Martin yet, they are without their best offensive lineman for the year and havent really incorporated the tight end (excluding Sunday) into the offense. Josh Freeman is the last thing Buc fans need to be worried about.
  • avatar


    Nice comments toofamiliar17 and macabee. None of us know yet if Josh Freeman will be headed to Canton, become a journeyman clip-board carrier or somewhere in between. But I do know that #5 shows the athletic ability, class, determination and work ethic that one of his main critics, Shaun King never displayed. One need only to look at the history of the NFL and see how a QB's early success can be fleeting or their early inconsistencies corrected. Drew Brees is a perfect example of a QB who had modest success with the Chargers but not enough to keep them from drafting Eli Manning and swapping him for Philip Rivers a few minutes later. Phillips has had some success, but as you mentioned, he's no Drew Brees. The 2011 rookie of the year, Cam Newton sure doesn't do his Superman impersonation this season. His physical tools are the same but his mental psyche doesn't alllow him to deal with failure so he goes deeper into despair. But the best example is Alex Smith whose career was on the brink only to get some coaching stability and a better team around him to succeed. Point is, let's allow our young QB to continue on the path he's on. It doesn't necessarily have to lead to a little town in Ohio for him to lead this team to another championship.
  • avatar


    I agree completely, macabee. Just for fun, let's play a game. I'm going to give you a list of players, then I'm going to tell you 3 things they all have in common: Terry Bradshaw, Dan Fouts, Warren Moon, Jim Kelly, John Elway, Randall Cunningham, Steve Young, Troy Aikman, Drew Bledsoe, Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger. Things in common: (1) every single one of them are either in the Hall of Fame or are absolutely headed there when they become eligible; (2) every single one of them had at least one (many of them more than that) season within the first 4 years of their careers OTHER than their rookie years in which they threw more INTs than TDs and had a completion percentage worse than 60%; (3) every single one of them was YOUNGER than Josh Freeman was when that first 4 year stretch as the starter began. The point of this is not that every QB who struggles in the first 4 years becomes John Elway. Of course that's not true. The point is that young quarterbacks usually go through growing pains. As fans and as media, it can be hard for us to have perspective and be patient. But Josh has shown us some truly GREAT things enough to have faith that he could one day be in that list. He has talent and drive and is improving. Knee jerk reactions after some struggles aren't constructive. After all, we don't want to end up like the Chargers who grew too impatient to let their young stud stumble on his way to greatness. You think their fans didn't moan and complain about Brees? Bet they feel pretty darn stupid now. PATIENCE, people. #5 has the look. He's growing. PATIENCE.
  • avatar


    I've listened to comments on the Bucs since the season began and the subject has primarily been Josh Freeman and whether he has what it takes to win. We are so used to complaining about our losses that we have totally overlooked how much progress Freeman has made. With everything that went wrong in the Saints game did anybody notice how we got points on the board? In the critical moments of the game, did anybody notice how we got down the field? Did anybody notice the pass to Dallas Clark in the end zone? Even though it didn't count, that the pass to V-jax in the end zone was dead on? And the last play of the game that was ruled a penalty, did anybody notice the precision of the pass to Mike Williams? Yes, we lost that game, but I came away thinking about the possibilities when Freeman really masters this offense. These other things can be fixed, if not this year then next. But if you didn't see what I saw Sunday, you missed a coming of age event!
  • avatar


    I watched Ponder play a lot while living in Tallahassee and he has proven that he was worth a first round pick. He can run and throw. Peterson is still special as a runner and receiver. I hope we put pressure on Ponder with the pass rush and put David on Peterson everywhere he goes. I know they are 5-2, but we can beat them by getting the 28 points like we got on Ssunday. Go Bucs1 Conquer the Vikings! No three man rushes, please!!!!!
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