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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman talking, walking like a veteran



He only has nine starts under his belt, but you wouldn't know it talking to Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman this morning.

He was at One Buc Place -- where else has he been lately? -- putting in another day of work, both conditioning and film study. But he took a little time to update us on how his offseason is going, as well as how he plans to conduct himself as a leader this fall.

Asked about his expanded role this year, in which he'll be the starter from Day 1, Freeman said, "I’m taking it very seriously. . . This year it’s my show. It’s my team and I want to win. I want to get things done the right way. And I don’t believe you do that by sitting around at home. I want to come in and I want to work. I want to be as well prepared as I can be and get this thing going."

The results are already evident. Freeman looks very fit and says he weighs about 255 pounds. He has been working religiously in the weight room and it shows.

But the work extends to the field, too. Players can't work with coaches this time of year, per league rules, but nothing prevents them from working independently.

"We throw every day," Freeman said. "This week is a little different. We’re watching a lot of film, all the quarterbacks. We’re trying to go over all the blitzes that gave us trouble last year and different coverages. Right now, this week is a big mental week. But I’ve been out with Maurice Stovall, Sammie Stroughter, Michael Clayton. All the guys. I think Kellen (Winslow) gets back tomorrow. I’m just trying to get a lot of work with the guys who are going to be a big part of our offense this year.

"I think it definitely shows guys that I’m serious, even though I’m young. I think I have something to prove and I think that’s the attitude that the team should have."

You get the sense Freeman is going to be more demonstrative this season, something that was hard for him last year. If he plans on becoming a franchise quarterback, then he has to act like a franchise quarterback.

"It’s really hard for a rookie to be a standout leader on the team," he said. "But now that I’m in here and I got my feet wet last year, it’s definitely a big point that I’m going to step up this year – leadership."

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:58pm]


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