Saturday, November 18, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman rides ups and downs

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TAMPA — Bucs QB Josh Freeman has experienced a roller coaster season where the highs have been high (four consecutive wins, 11 touchdowns, two INTs) and the lows have been low (four consecutive losses, four touchdowns, five interceptions). However, he says his confidence is unwavering.

"My confidence has been where it's been really the entire season," Freeman said. "I've got a lot of confidence in myself, I've got a lot of confidence in my coaches and my teammates and it doesn't really change, regardless. I feel like there are so many different things that people allow to affect their confidence and their thought process. The way I look at it, if I focus on getting just one tenth of one percent better every day, just work my butt off to continue to improve, then I've not got reason to worry. I don't worry, 'When are we going to make a mistake?' It's kind of, 'Oh, I made a mistake.' It's not really ever doubting my abilities and ever doubting my teammates."

It's the fourth straight season — his third as a starting quarterback — which has ended for Freeman without a trip to the postseason. That's disappointing, Freeman said, but it has been a year of learning with the new Bucs coaching staff.

"Every year, every team has the same goal until you get to this point and they say there's no chance to win it," Freeman said. "You want to get into the tournament, into the playoff, and secondly you want to go all the way. That's what you play for. If you don't believe you can do it, you're never going to do it.

"I have a lot of confidence in the team and I believe this season has been a learning seasons. You hate to say it because that's not what we want to be at all. We've had success and we're doing everything we can to be good this Sunday."

RAMS GAME BLACKED OUT: For the eighth time in 10 games this season (including preseason), the Bucs will be subject to a local television blackout.

The team failed to sell at least 85 percent of the general tickets for Sunday's Bucs-Rams game before the 1 p.m. deadline Thursday.

PRO BOWL BOUND?: Ronde Barber, in his 16th season, led all NFC free safeties in fan voting for the Pro Bowl in Hawaii. The fan voting counts as one third of the process with coaches and players also casting ballots.

"You know how much I like and care about our team, so hopefully they'll get recognized," coach Greg Schiano said. "But I believe your play talks for yourself and I've always believed that. Maybe sometimes, over the years, different teams I've coached, maybe they haven't gotten the all-star recognition because I don't stump like maybe some guys do. But I think it'll come out in the wash as things get better.

"If we're 11-5 going to the playoffs, there's going to be a lot more guys considered for the Pro Bowl than when you're 6-8 right now."

INJURIES: DE Aaron Morgan did not practice Thursday but road the bicycle.

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