New Buccaneers offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski met with the media after the first day of practice during the Bucs three-day rookie mini-camp. Read the complete transcript of the press meeting here. Questions and comments from media appear in bold. What has impressed you about Josh Freeman? "I think the way he has picked up the offense so far. It has only been two practices. I think he was nervous this morning, but he really did a nice job this afternoon of picking up what we are trying to do, and teach him. What we are trying to do with these guys right now, particularly Josh, is get him to understand the terminology. How we call things. What we are looking for as far as the reads. There is a whole process when you are developing a quarterback." Freeman stands out physically. "He is a physical and imposing guy, isn't he? He's big, probably size-wise like Byron [Leftwich]. He is a big man."
He said a lot of the plays he saw today were similar to the ones at Kansas State just different terminology? "I think that a lot of the plays are universal. It is just how you package them, and how you formulate them. As far as the route-tree there is nine routes. That is what you have. Everybody has the same nine. It is just how you package them and how you group the routes together. I think when he was at Kansas State and he had James Franklin, who was at Green Bay we ran that West Coast with that terminology, the terminology here is a lot more simplistic than what you have in the pure West Coast system."
Freeman was just a junior last year; can you talk about developing an even younger quarterback than most rookies? "I think you need to be patient with the quarterback too. I really do. There are a lot of factors I think that go into developing a quarterback, and it takes time. Matt Ryan is an anomaly really to come in and do what he did. I was telling Josh today after his first pass. He came back and it wasn't what he thought it should look like. I said look Matt Ryan called us after his first practice in Atlanta, and said he threw an out route and he skipped it out there. It took three bounces, so I said ‘you're okay you got that out of your system now let's go ahead and just start to play.' It takes time to develop a quarterback. There are a lot of things that go into that."
What did Freeman's first pass do? "It didn't bounce three times. It didn't bounce three, so we got that going for us." Did he do a good job of taking what was gone over in the classroom out on the field? "I think he did. What we did was we repeated this morning's practice this afternoon, so we hear the terminology again. He is going to hear the same terminology from now until whenever. It is just a matter of getting familiar with how we say things. I think the big thing is: that is called a chair. I don't know Spanish, but what is Spanish for chair."
Silla "There you go it is the same thing it is just a different name, but it means the same thing. You know what I mean? That is a simple way to explain it. He just has to formulate what that play looks like in his mind." What did you see in Freeman during your evaluation of him prior to the draft, and if you could address some of the knocks that are on him? "I think it is always easy to talk about the negatives on a guy. I think the guy has a lot of positives. I think that what he did at Kansas State with the talent that was surrounding him he did a lot. He did a lot, and I didn't see anybody from there get drafted, offensively. That tells you right there the production that he had with the talent that was available to him. I think that we have some very, very good talent here. I think we have some playmakers on offense, and it is just matter of surrounding him with the best players possible. I think just like with any quarterback it is surrounding Josh [Freeman], or Luke [McCown] with the best players possible, or Byron [Leftwich] with the best players possible. I think it is the same for all the quarterbacks." Were his mechanics good? "I think so. I think they are. I think they are. Again I think if you were talking to the coaches in Atlanta with Matt Ryan on that first pass he threw I don't know how good his mechanics would have been right there."
So he didn't get much help from his teammates at Kansas State? "It is not that, I'm talking about the overall talent around him, I mean he didn't have those guys like Southern Cal had." How much do you have to coach out of Freeman for the NFL? "I think it is early to tell. It is one practice that we've had. Let me and [quarterbacks coach Greg Olson] work with him before making a statement like that. It wouldn't be fair. It is a process. It is a learning process. I think that today was a good start."
What do you make of the negative reaction by some to the drafting of Freeman? "I think what matters is what the people think in this building. These are the people that did, us as an organization, are the ones that spent the time and the effort on what we saw, to be honest with you. He plays for the Tampa Bay Bucs. You know what I mean, it does not matter what other people think of your draft picks. It matters what we think of our draft picks. Really that is all that should matter. You know what I mean?" Do you think that it has been unfair? "I really haven't listened to it." Has Matt Ryan's success changed the expectations of a franchise on a player, a player on himself, and especially being in the same division? "Right that is a good question. I think that those players like Matt Ryan come around every so often. I remember the first year that Peyton Manning was a quarterback I think they went 1-15. It was like is he a bust? You know what I mean? He's done an excellent job and is going to be a Hall-of-Fame quarterback, so Matt did a nice job, and I'm expecting our players to do a nice job too."
The wide receiver position seems open for Sammie Stroughter to compete for playing time. "He did a really nice job today. We brought him in, what we saw in him working in the slot position and letting him work a linebacker and get one-on-one with a nickel defensive back I thought he did a nice job. When we put him in that position today, in fact every time we had that route today in practice we had him in the slot just to see what he could do. He did what we saw on film of getting in and out of the cut. He is a tough guy too. That you can't always tell in shorts, but I think you can tell in his demeanor. I think he's going to be okay for us. Again it is just so early to tell. I like the initial of what I saw of him."
What is your opinion of the commissioner pushing to make the schedule an 18 game season? "I don't know. We got practice tomorrow I know that."