After spending the 2013 season on injured reserve, Bucs Pro Bowl guard Davin Joseph is healthy and ready to see the Bucs' offense have an even better 2013 season. Joseph said quarterback Josh Freeman can lead the Bucs to the playoffs and beyond.
One of the biggest debates this offseason among fans, media members and even some inside the walls at One Buccaneer Place is, can Josh Freeman be a quarterback that can lead Tampa Bay to the Super Bowl?
One player who has no doubt is Pro Bowl right guard Davin Joseph. The undisputed leader on the offensive line told the media on Tuesday he is a Freeman believer.
“I’m biased, he’s my friend, teammate, he’s my quarterback,” Joseph said. “But the thing that’s going to make Josh ‘the guy’ is his team. His team is going to make him the guy. So it’s his defense doing what defense is supposed to do, special teams making plays, offensive line blocking, receivers catching, running backs running. It’s everything that’s going to make Josh the guy.”
Freeman’s struggles with consistency have been well documented, but Joseph pointed out that even if Freeman were a league-leader, it wouldn’t necessarily guarantee a Lombardi Trophy.
“You look at the two teams in the Super Bowl, were not the two best quarterbacks in the league,” Joseph said. “It was the two best teams in the league. So Josh’s success is going to come from his team, just like every other quarterback. Even though you had the best quarterback in Peyton Manning he didn’t even make it to the Super Bowl. Tom Brady didn’t make it to the Super Bowl. It’s just about the best team.
“We have weapons, and have always had weapons. We just have to utilize them the right way. We have to come together and make (Josh) Freeman the player he needs to be. Upfront we need to do our job. We have the right quarterback to take us to the next level.”
Joseph, who on Tuesday noted his rehab is over and her is 100 percent and ready to go, said despite the team’s offensive success last season (ninth rated, 363.8 yards per game avg.) the players have to have the desire to improve.
“One thing we have to do is we can’t count our chickens before they hatch,” Joseph said. “We have to put in the work. Just because everything looks good on paper doesn’t mean it is going to turn out that way on Sunday. Take a step back and start from Day 1 on how to get ready for a football season and not think that we can skip pages and just jump ahead. We have to do things the right way."
The former first-round selection from Oklahoma told the media that despite being hit with injuries on the offensive line (Joseph and Carl Nicks), he wasn’t surprised that the running game still was able to have success.
“It is the guys in the offseason, the work they put in inside the film room, all the work they put in on the field,” Joseph said. “It’s it that whole change we went through going from a country club to a place where we actually conduct football business now. It is that change that really prepared those guys to be able to fill those spots. And they did a great job last year and now we have formed a lot of depth on the offensive line and it is good having that.”
Tampa Bay’s elder statesman on the offensive line said the 2013 season started Monday with the player's first day back at One Buccaneer Place, and no one can assume they are guaranteed anything.
“Last year was last year, everybody has to earn their keep here,” Joseph said. “So from me to Freeman, to Vincent Jackson or whoever it is – everybody has to earn their spot. So I look forward to some of the competition we bring here as the offseason continues and I look forward to highly competitive camp and it will make our team a lot better.”
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