Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Josh Freeman depends on Tampa Bay Buccaneer WRs to develop quickly

Bucs rookie receiver Mike Williams, at left with veteran Michael Clayton, was consistent during offseason workouts.


Bucs rookie receiver Mike Williams, at left with veteran Michael Clayton, was consistent during offseason workouts.

TAMPA — So, you think you're curious to see how the Buccaneers' hodgepodge at receiver shakes out?

Imagine the angst of QB Josh Freeman.

His development and improvement this season quite literally lie in the hands of the men he'll be throwing to, many of whom remain unproven or inexperienced.

So, yeah, Freeman's a bit anxious to see what the Bucs have at receiver.

"One of the reasons I'm really excited about this training camp is because I'm going to get a chance to see (guys like) Mike Williams when it's hot, when his legs are tired, when the stakes are high, when everybody's pushing," Freeman said.

There were some promising moments from this young group during offseason workouts, with fourth-round draft choice Williams, in particular, showing the most consistency. Even a veteran afterthought such as Reggie Brown impressed coaches with his work ethic and precise route-running. Meanwhile, Micheal Spurlock did his best to convince the staff that he is more than a return specialist, and he made a pretty convincing argument. Second-round pick Arrelious Benn had his moments, too.

But Freeman, though just 22, is wise enough to know that none of those things will matter once the dog days of training camp start. The pads will go on and the pressure will be turned up.

At that point, the Bucs will really start to learn who these guys are.

"You have the guys that we had all during the offseason working, and trust me, we were out here working," Freeman said. " … But at the same time, it's going to be the guys who can do it the best for us on Sundays."

McCoy's contract: The Rams were scheduled to sit down with the representatives for No. 1 overall pick Sam Bradford on Friday, presumably to begin contract talks.

Which is good news for Bucs fans.

Tampa Bay DT Gerald McCoy, the third overall pick, remains unsigned. But keep in mind that he is represented by the same firm as Bradford. That's important because draft pick negotiations have, in part, become a waiting game. Agents stall while players chosen in the same vicinity of the draft sign their deals, giving the agents a better sense of whether their own clients' contracts are competitive.

In the case of Bradford and McCoy, the agents will be privy to the parameters of the respective contract talks, theoretically making the need to wait around less of an issue.

If McCoy's camp knows what Bradford is likely to sign for, and it certainly will, there might be less of a need to wait for final numbers.

That said, as of a few days ago, nothing substantive had happened between the Bucs and McCoy's reps, so there's still a good chance these contract talks could go down to the wire.

And the deal signed by No. 2 overall pick Ndamukong Suh with Detroit could affect McCoy's negotiations (he has different representation). Finally, there's nothing particularly easy about negotiating a deal that should exceed $50 million based on the contract given to last year's No. 3 pick, Kansas City DL Tyson Jackson — five years, $57 million.

But McCoy has said he wants very much to be in camp on the first day, so perhaps that will be a factor. Expect talks between McCoy and the Bucs to heat up this week.

The Bucs anticipate signing second-round picks Brian Price and Benn soon.

Bucs bits: Coach Raheem Morris, hanging out at Freeman's youth football camp last week, said he anticipates recently signed Keydrick Vincent competing at left guard with Jeremy Zuttah. That position had no real competition last year as Zuttah was thrust into the starting role after Arron Sears' personal issues forced his hiatus from football, one that ultimately could result in his career ending. … Morris added that TE Kellen Winslow, the club's leading receiver last season, should be in great shape for training camp despite his offseason knee surgery. The procedure was a minor arthroscopic process, but Winslow's long history of knee problems always creates some anxiety.

Stephen F. Holder can be reached at

Josh Freeman depends on Tampa Bay Buccaneer WRs to develop quickly 07/17/10 [Last modified: Sunday, July 18, 2010 11:07am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. The homer that almost was hurts Rays in Tuesday's loss



  2. Former Buc Mike Glennon says right things about Bears QB situation


    Mike Glennon's go-to line about being recognized around town since becoming a Bear worked as well as ever, producing laughs.

    Quarterback Mike Glennon, shown last season with the Bucs before signing in the offseason with the Bears, is showing good humor about a looming competition in Chicago. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  3. Tampa Bay Super Bowls: A brief history and some predictions for 2021


    At last, Tampa will host a Super Bowl again. It used to be that the Cigar City would host one a decade, but by the time February 2021 rolls around, it will have been 12 years since the epic showdown between the Steelers and Cardinals. Because it has been awhile, let's revisit those past Super Bowls while also peering …

    Santonio Holmes hauls in the game-winning touchdown in the Steelers' 27-23 Super Bowl XLIII victory over the Cardinals in 2009, the last time Tampa hosted a Super Bowl. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]
  4. Rays bats go silent in second straight loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Sure, Alex Cobb was to blame for the Rays' 4-0 loss on Tuesday.

    Derek Norris strikes out with the bases loaded as the Rays blow a golden opportunity in the seventh inning.
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Angels game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb made mistakes on back-to-back pitches to the first two Angels hitters Tuesday, allowing homers to Cameron Maybin and Mike Trout, but otherwise gave the Rays another solid outing, working into the eighth and scattering seven hits.