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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Freeman looks, then plays the part of franchise QB

Quarterback Josh Freeman stood out.

Physically, at 6-foot-5, 250-pounds, the Bucs' No. 1 pick from Kansas State towered over every teammate at the Bucs rookie minicamp Friday.

"He's an impressive looking guy now,'' said coach Raheem Morris. "When you look at him, you can mistake him for everything. He's just a athletic, big, giant human that's walking the planet and I'm glad he's on our team.''

Freeman Freeman, 21, got off to a slow start. His first pass was a worm killer that bounced near the feet of a receiver, according to offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski.

"His first pass wasn't what he thought it should look like,'' Jagodzinski said. "I told him, "Look, Matt Ryan called us after his first practice in Atlanta and they threw an out-route and he skipped it out there and it took three bounces. I said, "You're okay. You've got that out of your system. Now, let's go ahead and just start to play.''

Freeman did just that and showed improvement from the morning walk-through to the afternoon workout, where he made several plays. Receiver Sammy Stroughter, a seventh-round pick from Oregon State, said Freeman had a real presence on the field and in the huddle.

"You can tell it all from his eyes,'' Stroughter said. "You can tell it all from his eyes. He comes in there and he'll look at you. He has that 'it,' that some people have. When you see somebody just going in there looking fierce, it reassures everybody.''

Freeman flew home to Kansas City Monday and returned to Tampa Thursday night. He said he has spent most of his time trying to immerse himself into the Bucs' playbook. He said he was glad just to get back on the football field with a team after months of individual workouts.

"It felt great,'' Freeman said of his first day. "It felt great going out there with an offensive line, taking snaps from center, throwing to receivers, reacting when you have to read. You're not out there with a couple guys running routes against air. You have to make reads and stuff.

"I'm not going to say I was nervous. I just wanted to come out and do well, obviously. I'd say most of the pressure came from myself wanting to cpme out and perform and be able to spit it out in the huddle and then go make it happen.''

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:32pm]


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