The Buccaneers will try to get back on the winning track this Sunday against the Eagles, and a big part of it will be the offense rebounding from the last two games which have resulted in losses. Quarterback josh Freeman and offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan both spoke with the media about the two-game losing streak and the opportunity to change it starting this week.
The Buccaneers are in the middle of a two game losing streak, and not coincidentally quarterback Josh Freeman hasn't played his best football during that stretch. While blaming Freeman entirely for the losses would be unfair, but there is no question Tampa Bay’s top signal-caller needs to get back to his midseason form if the Buccaneers have any aspirations of making the playoffs in 2012.
This week Freeman spoke of the challenges he, and the offense, have faced as of late.
“We just have to continue to work the way we’ve been working,” Freeman said. “It has been unfortunate. There have been a number of plays that we haven’t been able to capitalize on and we so we just have to continue to work and then go out on Sunday and execute.”
“There are a lot of things that factor into a play and so there’s a small margin for error. So we’re just going to continue to work. You really can’t point to one thing in particular, it’s just that overall as an offense we have to focus internally and do our job.”
Offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan said Freeman, while there is still room for improvement, has been solid for the Buccaneers this season.
Josh has made a lot of plays for this offense,” Sullivan said. “He’s continued to improve. If you look at the touchdown-to-interception ratio, that’s always going to be a big indicator. What happens on third down, what happens in our two minute scenarios – there is no question – and he would be the first to tell you that there are things he needs to improve upon.
“I think if you look at this past game against a great defense (Denver Broncos) and I knew it was going to be a great defense. Unfortunately the game got away from us to where we could not maintain that balance. You’d love to be able to have that time machine that doesn’t exist, but to go back and put us in a situation where we could have some more of our move the pocket, change the launch point type screens, those type of things.
“But I think we just need to continue to improve and work on not just the decision making but when the adversity strikes and when the tough times occur, that there is going to be a bad play and there is going to be a bad play call and a heck of a play by the defense, but whenever that happens we move past it. Easier said than done. And he’s improved in that area but we have to continue to get it done. I think he’s made great strides in his fundamentals and mechanics and the relationship he’s had with his coach, Ron Turner, has been tremendous and I think he’s heading in the right direction.”
Pewter Report asked Freeman if he is still struggling with consistency at times.
I can’t really say I’m frustrated,” Freeman said. “We played a really good team and we spent the majority of the third quarter in a coming out offense, so we had to play it extremely close to the hip. You had the one play that got intercepted, but you just have to continue to work. You can’t look at anything or try to sum it up and call anything as definite. You have to just try to push it every play and when you have the opportunity, go out and prepare and do your best to execute that one play."
Looking ahead to Sunday’s matchup with the Eagles, Freeman said despite their eight-game losing streak, Philadelphia presents a major challenge for himself and the offense.
“They were and still are a very talented defense,” Freeman said. “They have a number of guys that are just flying around and making big plays. They have a (good) D-line, both of their cornerbacks are very capable of being able to make a huge difference in games. It’s been interesting because just watching them, how they play, they’re playing good defense. Teams are having trouble doing a lot of things.
“But again, you just have to prepare for the looks you’ve seen and we know that their record may not paint the best picture of the type of team they are, the type of players they are. So we’re gearing up for a dog fight.”
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