Quarterback Josh Freeman said before the start of the season, his lofty goals were to hit the mid-20's in touchdown passes and limit his interceptions to five.
"I ended up having six,'' Freeman said. "You set lofty goals and you were that close.''
Freeman finished with 25 touchdowns and six interceptions, a performance that ranks ninth all-time in touchdown/interception ratio.
“It was a good season,'' general manager Mark Dominik said. "It’s kind of a weird moment upstairs because you’re seeing the coaches, you’re walking around talking to the players and kind of being around the staff and you feel good and you feel lousy. Everybody should be happy the Bucs didn’t make it in because who’s playing better than our quarterback? And that’s how you win a championship.
"But it’s the beginning, it’s a great step to where we’re going to be.''
Dominik said Freeman's performance solidified him as one of the NFL's "franchise quarterbacks."
“A lot of people thought Josh Freeman was a good player, but we truly believed he was a franchise quarterback just from what we saw last year,'' Dominik said. "Again, he was 3-6 as a starter but we had two games we lost on defense after we went ahead. The point is, we were an 0-7 football team and as soon as he became the quarterback, we became competitive. And that’s what franchise quarterbacks do.
“My big point is that he is a franchise quarterback. There’s no reason to talk about him being on the verge or that this guy is coming. He is a franchise quarterback. You don’t have those kinds of numbers unless you are. That’s really phenomenal. I mean, it’s phenomenal. When you’re on the top 10 lists (of touchdown/interception ratio) all time and you’re 22 years old.''
"The kid is a great quarterback. He really is. We want to continue to build around him.''