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)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman's numbers go beyond TDs

Josh Freeman’s deal runs through 2013. Is an extension in the offing?


Josh Freeman’s deal runs through 2013. Is an extension in the offing?


You can't always protect the quarterback. At some point this season, Josh Freeman will feel the pressure bearing down on him from all angles.

The odd thing is the heat will be applied by the Bucs.

The quarterback needs a bounceback season after throwing 22 interceptions and 16 touchdowns in 2011. What's more, because Freeman is signed through only 2013, coach Greg Schiano, who didn't draft him, must help decide if the Bucs should offer him a substantial contract extension.

"Those are really organizational decisions, but I think the world of Josh," Schiano said. "I think he's going to have a great year and just continue to get better and better. I think the guys coaching him, (quarterbacks coach) Ron Turner and (offensive coordinator) Mike Sullivan, do a tremendous job with all our quarterbacks.

"The thing I'm most impressed with in Josh, from the day I got here, is his thirst to just drink up all the knowledge these guys have. That's real cool for a head coach to see. And then I really enjoy all aspects of our relationship in that it's got a lot of different levels to it. I enjoy coaching the guy."

Sullivan, who helped straighten out the Giants' Eli Manning as his quarterbacks coach the past two seasons, says Freeman is eager to erase the stain of 2011.

"I think there is a resolve. There is a determination he has to put himself in a position to be the type of player he wants to be and lead us to the wins to get to where we want to go," Sullivan said.

An increasingly restless fan base will not allow Freeman any excuses for not being the quarterback who threw 25 touchdowns and only six interceptions in 2010, his first full season as a starter.

The focus of the offseason was to buttress Freeman with additions such as WR Vincent Jackson, RB Doug Martin, TE Dallas Clark and G Carl Nicks. But with Drew Brees (Saints), Matt Ryan (Falcons) and Cam Newton (Panthers), Freeman might have the longest climb in the NFC South.

"I expect to do well every week," Freeman said. "That's the mentality.

"I'm really excited about getting out there point-blank."

Five others to watch in 2012

Doug Martin: The running back will be a tired man on Mondays. Coach Greg Schiano believes Martin has as much talent as Ravens (and ex-Rutgers) running back Ray Rice as well as feeding the hot hand. Schiano has no ceiling when it comes to touches for the 5-foot-9, 215-pounder.

Vincent Jackson: The receiver has never had more than 60 receptions in a season and must prove he's comfortable working the middle of the field. Jackson might be targeted that many times over the first five games.

Lavonte David: The linebacker could be the defensive MVP. Sure, he's a rookie, and it takes more than one player to transform the worst defense in club history. But David is a heat-seeking missile who will make a ton of plays.

Gerald McCoy: The defensive tackle will change some opinions if he stays healthy for 16 games. If not, the Bucs might cut the cord.

Aqib Talib: This should be the cornerback's best season. He's a free agent afterward, and all of the legal drama is behind him.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman's numbers go beyond TDs 09/07/12 [Last modified: Friday, September 7, 2012 8:37pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Thursday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    The Rays still talk about having a shot to make the playoffs. But recognizing and correcting mistakes will help them next year, such as Mallex Smith trying to steal third in the first. "Those are the little things we've got to find how to eliminate real quick," manager Kevin Cash said.

  2. Bucs probe how to fix deep-ball chances missed vs. Bears


    TAMPA — It was only minutes after the Bucs had demolished the Bears 29-7 Sunday when quarterback Jameis Winston tried one final time to connect with receiver DeSean Jackson.

    QB Jameis Winston says he’s focused on the deep-ball chances to DeSean Jackson he missed in the opener: “We left a lot out there.”
  3. Rays journal: Ugly first inning dooms Andriese, Rays against Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Rays manager Kevin Cash said before Thursday's game that RHP Matt Andriese was among the pitchers who would most benefit from a strong finish to the season.

    Matt Andriese has a tough first: hits to four of first five batters, leading to three runs, the only ones he gives up in six innings
  4. USF journal: Record night for QB Quinton Flowers


    TAMPA — They've pulled it off with offensive fizz and defensive flatness, and vice versa. They've achieved it on North Dale Mabry and neutral sites. They've attained it sloppily and convincingly.

    Bulls wide receiver Tyre McCants finds a holes in the Temple defense for a 24-yard reception during the first half at Raymond James Stadium.
  5. Joey Knight's takeaways from Thursday's USF-Temple game


    Even when they do catch a break, the Bulls' beleaguered special teams can't hold on to it. After having four kicks blocked in their first three games, USF managed a positive special teams play in the first quarter when Kano Dillon got a piece of an Alex Starzyk punt. But redshirt freshman Craig Watts fumbled the …