Make us your home page

Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Van Pelt wants Freeman to become a more vocal leader



Alex Van Pelt said Josh Freeman has the size, arm strength and poise in the pocket to become an elite NFL quarterback.

But he believes the Freeman’s voice doesn’t just need to be heard in the Bucs’ huddle.

“I think the first thing you have to discuss is your philosophy,’’ said Van Pelt, the Bucs’ new quarterbacks coach. 

“We want him to complete 65 percent of his passes. We need him to do that and he has to get the ball to his play-makers. But what I’m talking about is to let him know exactly what we’re looking for, what we need him to do.

“You can improve accuracy by incorporating drills that put pressure on him to make decisions quickly. But he needs to be the first guy in the building. It’s the leadership aspect we need from him. He needs to be more vocal with teammates in and out of the huddle.’’

Van Pelt, 39, spent 15 seasons with the Buffalo Bills as either a quarterback or assistant coach. But he also soaked up some lessons backing up quarterbacks like Joe Montana in Kansas City and Jim Kelly in Buffalo.

“I took away some things, especially from the great ones I played behind like Montana and Kelly,’’ Van Pelt said. “It’s how important it is for the quarterback to lead the team. You’re the face of the franchise. And you have to lead not just with work ethic. But I’m very excited to get to work with Josh.’’

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:55pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours