Make us your home page

Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Wednesday practice quotes



Today's Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice quotes, courtesy of the Bucs:

(On today’s practice)

“We had a good bye week practice. Some preparation for the Green Bay Packers. Josh Freeman will take over as the starting quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. No discredit to what Josh Johnson has done for this football team, he went out there and gave his best efforts. You know, but due to the preparation, the timing, how we want to implement our young man to our system and to our organization, and to our town, our community, we think it’s best coming off a bye, most time to prepare, the most time for him. To credit what he’s done up until this point, it’s time to see a little Josh Freeman.”

(On what he saw last game that helped make decision of starting Josh Freeman)
“Josh came out there and was able to handle it. He got it on neutral ground like we talked about. And was able to go out there and control the offense, do what they needed to do, you know just completed two balls. One on a nice slant throw to Brian Clark and another crossing route to Kellen. He knew exactly where to go with the football, didn’t get the protection on one or two of the plays but when he got out there, executed the run, got us a first down, and now we’re going into that decision. The decision started probably with his preparation, before that the 6 o’clock wakeups, the coming into the office, the being part of the game plan, being number two, all that stuff was a part of the process. Now it’s time we move in that direction as an organization.”
(On needing to get other players to perform better to help Josh Freeman)
“All the quarterbacks that have been in there have been subject to some other people not doing a great job for them as well. But now it’s time to get Josh out there, you know you’ve got to run the right routes, be in the rights spots, everybody’s got to do the right thing. You’ve got to block and protect the right way and you’ve got to get it all done together. And it’s up to the quarterback and he’s the leader of the offense. He’s got to get everybody going the right direction and that’s what he’ll do and that’s what we’re going out there planning to do and that’s what he will prepare to do and practice to do and play to do.”

(On if Josh Johnson is going to be the Number 2 quarterback)
“Josh Johnson is number two. Yes.”

(On needing to scale back playbook)
“No, not at all. That was a process of waiting, that was a process of letting him go through it, that was a process of letting him learn it, letting him call it, letting him be number two, letting come on the sidelines, letting him do all those things. You don’t scale back. You do what you’ve been doing. You get better at what you’ve been doing. You add on what you need to add on for the game weeks. You prepare for the change. You let them see the adjustments. You let him go through the adjustments mentally and now it’s time for him to go through it physically.”

(On how Josh Freeman reacted when he told him he was starting)
“Oh, he was fired up. He’s a very confident kid like we talked about when we drafted him. He’s been ready to go for a while. He’s been waiting for his opportunity patiently, but he’s used his time wisely. The preparation he’s been through in the mornings, in the evenings, coming here with Coach Olson, coming here with his quarterback unit. The extra quarterback means that we already had set up and his extra needs that he has set up. He has used his time wisely so we have to go let him play and let him see.”

(On noticing improvement from this team)

“You see a lot of improvement. We went out there this week and played a very good team in the Patriots and you saw them go out, you saw them compete. See how hard they’re playing, see these guys go out there and really play hard. You can’t really go on tape and say they’re lazy, they’re lackadaisical. They don’t have any of that. You have hard play. You’ve have consistent play. You just have plays that you have to take away from each game and that could make it a different game. They played the Patriots as hard as they can play them in that first half. Unfortunately, we threw a pick-for-six. The defense gave up 14, well really seven points because the other one was off a turnover too from the 30-yard line. So we gave up seven in the first half versus Tom Brady’s New England Patriots and that’s not bad for your defense. Of course you want to go out there and you want to make those plays from the 30 yard line and stop them and keep them out of the end zone period but that’s not going to happen all the time when you play a team like that defense. And on offense you want to move the ball more consistently, you want to not throw the picks that we did. The second one was the real dagger because that’s the one you were driving down the field on and you were making some plays and you throw your second pick in a row and give them more field position and give them an opportunity to score on you. Anytime you let a team that’s as good as the New England Patriots get ahead that always creates a problem, it always creates a problem for winning and a problem for getting better.”

(On seeing these young players learning from mistakes)

“You do, you’ve seen Elbert Mack bounce back and play a couple of pretty good games here and we’ve got to let him get some more. You’ve seen Sabby actually get better this game, you’ve seen Tanard come back to the football team and create an instant splash plays, instant big plays that he’s providing us. You’ve seen Aqib Talib getting better. The front four might have played their best game of the season. You know, I don’t know if they got the sacks or the production, we only have one sack but the pressure on Tom Brady, the constant harassment, playing the running game of the New England Patriots was probably the best I have seen it and as high of an effort I have seen from those guys.”

(On change of plans to decide to play Josh Freeman)
“The plan, bringing him in here was to let him sit behind the veteran. Hopefully the veteran gets you a bunch of wins but that didn’t happen. His development, his progression, how he’s come along is what happened. We talked about it earlier in OTA days. Everybody was talking about Luke and Byron at the time and how Josh [Freeman] started to emerge into the conversation and now we went to Leftwich and then Josh Johnson had an opportunity because he earned a right to go out there and now it’s time for him to go. He’s earned a right, he’s went into the lab, he’s done the extra studying, he’s done the extra preparation, he showed us the big time throws, he showed us the small time throws. He showed us the little things you need to do to be a quarterback in this league, now he’s got to go out there and play and now he’s got to go out there and finish it up and see what he can do.”

(On if Earnest Graham will continue to be the fullback)
“Yes. Earnest is. Earnest has been a bright spot. He has been at fullback, clearing some holes open, making some lanes out there for Cadillac and busting out some positive things. We need to get into a game where we can use that more. We almost had the ability to do that against the Patriots until you throw a pick six, you get a turnover and then it’s 14-0. You kind of get away from it a little bit. Where you had 50 yards in the first half and we come out and now we’re playing catch-up. We’ll get good enough where we can get to the games and use that more and that’s what we’re looking forward to.”

(On what Freeman brings to the offense that Johnson doesn’t)
“Josh Johnson brought the legs, his ability to move around the pocket and create longer plays. You saw him do one against Sammie this weekend, develop a long play down the field using his legs. Almost had one with Antonio Bryant, he’s done it throughout his time being in there. Josh Freeman brings a different presence. He brings a guy that is going to stand in the pocket and deliver longer throws down the football field on time and in rhythm off the play action pass and off the drop back pass. He stretches the field longer than Josh Johnson does, but they both are going to be talented. Josh Johnson did a great job breaking down some two man defenses and breaking down some people trying to cover man to man. He has the ability to run out of there on third and 15 where you might see Freeman stick some of those balls in there. We’ll just have to go out there, let him play and let him see.”

(On the structure of practice today)
“It was mostly all 7-on-7 today. We went out there 7-on-7, we had a little individual period, some one-on-one fundamental stuff. We got our fundamental core beliefs in. We went out and got some of our passing things done.”

(On Josh Freeman becoming the starting quarterback)

“Obviously it was an organizational decision at this point to go with Josh. We as an organization have been impressed with Josh from the start, since he got here. I think he had very good days early in the OTA’s and played well in the minicamps. Certainly it was discussed on him possibly playing more during training camp. That didn’t come to fruition. He has prepared very well. He’s done very well running the scout team and preparing. He’s been in the office everyday at 6:00 a.m.”

(On his performance in the few snaps he took against the Patriots)
“His performance is not where he wants it to be but he did some good things. In the first time stepping in the huddle in a live situation there were some things that were not his fault. There were some things that broke down that were out of his control. In talking to some of the veterans that were in the huddle with him, they felt very comfortable with him; they felt like he was in charge. He was confident and he felt good coming out of it. He saw the field well. He knew exactly what had happened. He felt good about it when he came out.”

(On what he knows about him now that he didn’t in May)
“I just know he is a much more confident player right now within the system. That’s what I see in him. Again, he has always had great, natural abilities as a passer and as a quarterback. As I said, probably two or three times a week the coaching staff on both sides of the ball walks into the office afterwards and kind of say, ‘wow, did you see the throw that he made today?’ He has the abilities, now it’s just a matter of him getting the confidence within in the system and to get in there and play some live snaps.”

(On the difference between working with a rookie quarterback versus a veteran quarterback)

“There are some growing pains obviously, but he is going to grow with every snap. We know that. Anytime you are playing with a young quarterback and look at the other young quarterbacks throughout the league there are growing pains. All young quarterbacks I think there is a learning curve that they need to get to speed on. We’re comfortable with Josh [Freeman] right now. We know again that he is the future of the franchise. He is excited and we’re excited.”

(On if he's fired up about being named the starter)

"This is definitely something I've been working towards and I finally get the opportunity to step out there and do something."

(On his mindset)
"My mindset right now is to prepare the best I can and go out and do what I do, which is play football and try to find a way to get a win."

(On how much he's learned while watching from the sideline the last seven weeks)
"I've learned a lot. I've had the opportunity to watch it from a different point of view and see things unfold. I feel like I've really grown as a passer and also as a leader on this team."

(On his performance in the New England game)

"It was four attempts. One was a throwaway. There were a couple things, obviously, I felt like I could have done better. It was one of those things. I got a pass out to K2 [Kellen Winslow]. I threw my first pass to Brian Clark, but I was also high on Sammie Stroughter, so it's going to be a matter of just settling down, letting the game come to me and making throws I know I can make."

(On if this move changes the way he thinks)
"No, not at all. All that matters is the Green Bay Packers right now. We have a bye week and I have a little bit more opportunity to prepare for the Packers and what they're going to bring at us. It's one week at a time."

(On if it was difficult to wait for his chance to start)
"It was definitely one of those things where I don't feel comfortable sitting on the sideline. I'm in my element when I'm out on the field. But I also had to look at it like it's an opportunity to sit back and learn a lot of things. Working with Coach [Greg] Olson, I definitely feel like I learned a lot and I feel a lot more comfortable in this offense."

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:47pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours