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Squeaky voice gets the first down

Quarterback Josh Freeman used a game of hoarse to help his team make a critical fourth down conversion in last Sunday's 34-24 win over the Chargers.

Trailing 21-17 in the third quarter, the Bucs faced a fourth-and-1 situation at midfield. Freeman had strained his voice during the previous two weeks during practice barking his cadence over ear-splitting, piped in crowd noise. When he got to the line of scrimmage Sunday for a quarterback sneak, his voice cracked and squeaked as he began to call signals.

"It was funny, because we'd been working so much on communication on offense,'' Freeman said. "The fourth-and-1, my voice kind of cracked a little bit and I got a few chuckles out of the offensive line, but we converted and that's all that matters.''

Freeman may have gotten a few more laughs from the Chargers defensive line before he gained 4-yards on the play to pick up the first down. On the next play, he connected with receiver Vincent Jackson for 31 yards before receiver Tiquan Underwood caught a 15-yard touchdown pass to give the Bucs a 24-21 lead.