Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman is continuing to receive criticism from anyone that is asked about him. The latest comes from Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson who hints that New York will be planning on getting to Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman.
According to the veteran, Freeman shows on film that if he is pressured enough, he makes mistakes on his own.
This seems to be the common theme for Freeman since the start of offseason programs. Those outside of the organization quickly discredit his abilities and skills. But speaking to the media Thursday, Freeman says that the words are not used for any kind of motivation.
“No it really isn’t,” Freeman said. “My preparation isn’t really adjusted. I’m no more motivated by the Jets saying something than someone in the media saying something. It comes from within. The work we do, the coaches, you know you have to hold it tight because you can’t let someone else saying something change the way you about your business. Otherwise you are going to change and you are going to be off base from that regard.
“You have to have emotion but people can say what they want, but Sunday is the proving ground. You have to go out and do it and whatever anyone says, it is not going to affect how I go about my business and how I play on Sunday, either way.”
Many are saying that success for this year hinders on the play from the Bucs signal caller. After this past preseason, some are concluding that he is not the answer due to the lack of reps.
When asked if he had anything to prove to those outside the organization, Freeman emphasized that it is about him and the Buccaneers.
“Not so much to anyone outside of this building,” Freeman said. “Honestly. First and foremost being accountable to myself, as far as my production on the field, what I do in person. I am going to give it everything I got. That’s first and foremost how I look at things. Then people in this building — coaches, teammates, going out and playing a brand of football that will allow these playmakers to make enough plays. This line being in a situation where we can continue to run the football and get Doug (Martin) yards. But I would not say there is not any added pressure. I’m not feeling anything from exterior motivation from that standpoint. It is all about us.”
One of the coaches the Freeman is referring to is offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan. Speaking to the media Wednesday, Sullivan expressed that he knows what he's getting out of his starting quarterback.
“I've seen what he's done in games last year, seen what he's done throughout the spring and the summer and training camp and, with a lot of cumulative reps, how he's developed and continued to grow and do a lot of good things,” Sullivan said. “So I share coach's [Head Coach Greg Schiano]'s confidence in him, and [I'm] excited for him to get this opportunity to go out against a great opponent and see what he's made of.”
The work that Freeman has seen this offseason has been geared to improving. After setting Buccaneers team records in several passing categories last season, there is still room for getting better.
So how does he plan on improving off of last year? Freeman says that a better overall understanding of things will help his progression.
“Just general understanding of the offense. Also defenses,” Freeman said. “When you know yourself and your offense you know your guys, you understand the defense, things in the pocket slow down that much more. You understand you have an outlet you can kick it out to, or if there is really not a great outlet, the back is eating up protection I have to throw the ball away. Things that always registered but not always in a boom-boom-boom sort of manner. It has been, am I going to have Vincent (Jackson), pressure, pressure… But I feel like the work we put in this offseason and the training camp we have had, we have seen a lot of different looks and different things that have really helped to prepare me moving into the season.”
Freeman will have the opportunity to prove his words beginning this Sunday in New York.