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Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman eager, with or without lockout

DALLAS — Josh Freeman is the only one who speaks in the Bucs huddle, and now he will have the biggest voice in how his young team develops in the offseason in the likely event of a lockout.

Freeman said Friday that he's already planning workouts for his receivers and other teammates because the labor dispute could mean the end of organized team activities.

"As the quarterback, I feel like it's my job to do that," Freeman said from radio row at the Super Bowl. "I've got to get everybody organized, whether it's watching the film, going out and throwing the ball, going through the offense — we've got to be active. We've got to stay active.

"I don't know where we're going to go. We were talking about different options. What we're trying to do is just stay with it. We've got to keep everything fresh. I mean, we're a young team. We haven't gotten there. We've got to try to work and continue to get better. OTAs are a big part of that. If we don't have OTAs this year, we've got to find a way to get together and not miss a beat.

"So when we get to training camp — if we ever have training camp — you're ready to go."

A year ago, Freeman and backup Josh Johnson went to Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego for a week to work out with Saints QB Drew Brees and others. Freeman says he'd like to keep players close to home if possible.

"You don't want to go too far because then you're traveling," he said. "You want to keep things as normal and regular as possible."

Freeman, 23, said he will begin working out Monday. He says he can improve on one of the best passing performances in team history.

"You always want to improve accuracy. There's so much," he said. "When you get good, it's not a time to relax, it's a time to push forward and see what your limitations are. I'm going to keep going."

The fact that the Bucs won 10 games but still missed the playoffs will keep the team hungry, according to Freeman.

"We were right on the brink; we got a taste, but we didn't quite get in," he said. "That's something that is always going to drive us. We want to win championships. (Coach) Raheem (Morris) says it all the time. That's why we're in this business. I'm going to chase it as long as I can. If you win one, you're going to want to win two. If you win two, you're going to want to win three. That's how we feel."

PLAYOFFS OR BUST: WR Mike Williams said Bucs fans should expect their team to reach the postseason in 2011.

"If we get into the playoffs, we know we can do some damage," Williams said. "We know the team we have now and bring in a couple of draft picks, we're together. We're a young team, but we're guaranteeing the playoffs."

Williams, one of five nominees for the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year for 2010 that was won by Lions DT Ndamukong Suh, led all first-year players with 65 receptions for 964 yards and 11 touchdowns.

"I knew I could be a help to the team. Josh made it even more of a focus," Williams said. "It was all Josh who did it. I knew I could be successful to our team, but not like I was."

BROOKS TO BE HONORED: The team and the Glazer family are planning a retirement party for former Bucs LB Derrick Brooks at Raymond James Stadium. Details have not been finalized, but the event will most likely be in May, in conjunction with Brooks' charity golf tournament.

Rick Stroud can be reached at stroud@sptimes.com.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman eager, with or without lockout 02/05/11 [Last modified: Saturday, February 5, 2011 10:35pm]
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