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)

Former Seminole likes his situation

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Fourth-round pick Devonta Freeman said he felt like the No. 1 overall pick in the draft when he saw the opportunity awaiting him with the Falcons.

The former Florida State running back said his path to immediate playing time and a chance to be Atlanta's future starter make him believe he landed with the right team.

"I wanted to go second, third round," Freeman said. "But God had better plans for me. I feel like this plan is going to work out the best; better than guys that got picked ahead of me."

Falcons starter Steven Jackson will be 31 when the 2014 season begins. Longtime backup Jason Snelling retired. And Jacquizz Rodgers, 24, has not had 100 carries in any of his three seasons.

Coach Mike Smith said the 5-foot-8, 208-pound Freeman looks like a change-of-pace back but showed he could be a lead back during the three-day rookie minicamp that ended Sunday.

"If he can step up and be a good pass protector," Smith said, "he's got the chance to be a three-down back."

That "if" is big. Freeman knows he must earn the trust of star quarterback Matt Ryan.

"If you can block and protect that million-dollar quarterback, that's the main thing," he said. "Catching and running, I feel like that's the easy part of it. But blocking, that's something that you've got to have heart and stuff for. I take a lot of pride in that, so that's one of the things I'm going to work on the most."

BROWNS: Ex-NFL cornerback Aaron Glenn was hired as an assistant defensive backs coach.

LIONS: Coach Jim Caldwell said he anticipates star defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh will be at this week's minicamp. Suh, entering the final year of his contract, skipped a voluntary minicamp last month and has stayed away from voluntary workouts.

SAINTS: First-round pick Brandin Cooks, a receiver from Oregon State, signed. The only other first-rounders to sign are Raiders linebacker Khalil Mack (No. 5) and Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller (No. 14).

Former Seminole likes his situation 05/18/14 [Last modified: Sunday, May 18, 2014 9:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Chasing 125: Bucs hope to hit rushing goal more often


    Ever so often, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter pulls back the curtain a bit and shares some of the stats that matter to him most as a coach.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017.
  2. Bucs-Jaguars was NFL's lowest-rated ESPN game since 2005


    It is just the preseason, and it is the Jaguars, but Thursday night's Bucs-Jags preseason game earned a 1.6 rating on ESPN, which is the lowest-rated preseason game (excluding NFL Network) in 12 years, according to Sports Media Watch.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, left, talks with coach Dirk Koetter during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
  3. Roberto Aguayo, Jonathan Drouin, Tim Beckham are coming for revenge


    Forget the Three Tenors.

    Make it the Three Terrors.

    The 2017 Unfulfilled Expectations Tour is about to hit Tampa Bay.

    From left, former Bucs kicker Roberto Aguayo, ex-Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin and former Rays infielder Tim Beckham. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times; DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times; Getty Images]
  4. Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier is congratulated in the dugout after scoring on a sacrifice fly by first baseman Lucas Duda in the sixth inning of the game against the Seattle Mariners at Tropicana Field on Friday.
  5. Longest home run at Trop and Erasmo Ramirez's pitching doom Rays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kevin Kiermaier returned. The problem was, so did Erasmo Ramirez.

    Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz celebrates his Trop-record 482-foot home run in the ninth inning.