Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs want Freeman to show urgency

TAMPA

Everybody agrees the time is now for QB Josh Freeman if his career is going to continue with the Bucs. But coaches would like to see him demonstrate a greater sense of urgency in games from start to finish.

What does that mean for the laid-back Freeman? Showing more fire while keeping his cool.

"He's been very demonstrative," quarterbacks coach John McNulty said during last week's minicamp. "He's been very authoritative out there on the field. I think your attitude and your performance as a quarterback will bring the other guys along. I don't think he has to turn around and get on guys.

"I think it's his urgency, his inflection, his demeanor. Everything has been high energy and positive and going at a fast pace. Guys don't have a choice but to go along with him."

McNulty is Freeman's fourth quarterbacks coach in his five seasons. Though he has emphasized mechanics and footwork, McNulty said more important factors are Freeman understanding the offense, reading defenses and anticipating throws.

"A guy who has played that many years, a lot of times it comes down to footwork," McNulty said. "And those things usually have to do with being sure with where you're going with the ball and what you're doing and getting your body, your feet and your eyes to where you're going with the ball. He can throw it as well as anyone in the league."

Detractors of Freeman, who is entering the final season of his contract, will never be convinced he can lead a team to a Super Bowl title.

Can you imagine a quarterback who completes fewer than 60 percent of his passes but averages more than 7 yards per attempt and throws 12 more touchdown passes than interceptions hoisting the Lombardi Trophy? Not good enough, right? Freeman-like numbers. Except they belong to Super Bowl-winning quarterback Joe Flacco of the Ravens in 2012.

Flacco passed for fewer yards (3,817 to 4,065), averaged fewer yards per attempt (7.19 to 7.29) and threw fewer touchdown passes than Freeman (22 to 27) while completing 59.7 percent of his attempts (to Freeman's 54.8).

TOES ON THE LINE: Something has been missing from workouts in coach Greg Schiano's second season: bellyaches.

"There's no complaining," DT Gerald McCoy said. "There was a lot of complaining last year, but that was to be expected. Change is never easy, and there are always some growing pains that we went through. But we know how things work around here now, and now it's just ritual. We do things over and over the same way to create a habit. And eventually it becomes ritual."

REVIS IMPACT: When CB Darrelle Revis practices, he will raise the level of the receivers. "It's a challenge," Vincent Jackson said. "When you're going against looks that are as hard as it's going to be on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (as) you're going to see on Sunday, that's an advantage."

Rick Stroud can be reached at stroud @tampabay.com and heard from 6 to 9 a.m. weekdays on WDAE-620.

Comments
NFL draft: How the Bucs can grab hold of the NFC South

NFL draft: How the Bucs can grab hold of the NFC South

TAMPA — From the department of the weird, also known as Bucs marketing genius — also known as if it bombs, we can blame Ed Glazer — the Bucs will use a … parrot to announce their fourth-round pick in the NFL Draft, which kicks...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Q&A with Bucs tackle Donovan Smith: On bowling, charity work, team expectations

Q&A with Bucs tackle Donovan Smith: On bowling, charity work, team expectations

Bucs tackle Donovan Smith has a big season ahead, going into a contract year as part of a reshuffled offensive line. Still only 24, he has started all 48 games in his three NFL seasons, and has made it a priority in the offseason to be more active in...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Bucs draft scenarios: Would this guy be their lucky pick at No. 7?

Bucs draft scenarios: Would this guy be their lucky pick at No. 7?

TAMPA – This is the Rubiks Cube of NFL drafts. It can be twisted and turned it in any direction. Not many know how everything will line up.For the Bucs, the puzzle is simple.  Since they have the No. 7 overall pick, they need four quarterb...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Mock draft consensus: Who the experts have Bucs taking at No. 7

Mock draft consensus: Who the experts have Bucs taking at No. 7

We've linked to a lot of mock drafts over the last four months.We went back and assembled mocks from 40 different NFL writers we've linked to — this isn't the most recent for some of these who are in Mock 9.0 mode, but it's meant as an unscient...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Who will the Bucs take with the No. 7 pick?

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Who will the Bucs take with the No. 7 pick?

Rick Stroud answers your NFL draft questions in this mailbag segment, including who the Bucs might take with the seventh overall pick, which running backs they might be looking at, whether Taven Bryan could slip to them in the second r...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Five options if the Bucs want to trade down from No. 7

Five options if the Bucs want to trade down from No. 7

For months, NFL fans have wondered what the Bucs might do with the No. 7 pick in Thursday's draft, producing a wide range of answers, each with passionate support from some of their fans.But as draft nears, and as the interest level in a talented gro...
Published: 04/24/18
Could Washington DT Vita Vea be the Bucs’ real target at No. 7 in the draft?

Could Washington DT Vita Vea be the Bucs’ real target at No. 7 in the draft?

Vita VeaPosition: Defensive tackleSchool: WashingtonHeight/weight: 6-4, 347Draft projection: Round 1Why Vita Vea makes sense for the Bucs: Vea's combination of size and quick feet is rare. He ran a 5.1 40-yard dash and bench pressed 225 pounds 40 tim...
Published: 04/24/18
Important questions and answers about Bucs’ draft parrot

Important questions and answers about Bucs’ draft parrot

The final days leading up to the NFL draft can be a busy time, but rarely do you call someone you trust from a team and say: "What can you tell me about the parrot?"Yes, the Bucs will have a parrot — specifically a Catalina macaw named Zsa Zsa ...
Published: 04/24/18
Ex-Bucs QB Jeff Garcia doesn’t care about NFL draft: ‘I have a life’

Ex-Bucs QB Jeff Garcia doesn’t care about NFL draft: ‘I have a life’

So much of the attention Monday surrounding the Bucs' announcing who'd be announcing their late-round draft picks was, of course, that a parrot would be delivering the name of the fourth-round pick to the pirate ship at Raymond James Stadium.But late...
Published: 04/24/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Breaking down the NFL draft with Sam Farmer

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Breaking down the NFL draft with Sam Farmer

On today's Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast, Rick Stroud breaks down the NFL draft with the Los Angeles Times' Sam Farmer.Farmer coordinates a mock draft with beat writers around the league, and it's usually one of the most accurate prognostications...
Published: 04/24/18