Bucs Don’t Fumble Away Ball Security MarkJanuary 1st, 2013
The Bucs completed 311 passes this season, and not one was fumbled by the receiver. This, obviously, at least ties a league record, but it was simply a stunning display of ball security.
Doug Martin touched the ball 368 times (receiving and rushing) and only coughed up the ball once, a fumble that wasn’t really a fumble on the goal line in Carolina. Martin’s protection of the ball is almost always overlooked when his great rookie season is discussed.
The “culture change” jibberish is tossed around a lot by media, fans and Bucs brass. And while things have changed in the way the Bucs do things, Joe ultimately only cares about what’s changed on the field. Ball security was a fanatic obsession of the New Schiano Order and they truly were able to change that part of the culture. Fumbles and turnoveres just don’t fly anymore.
This is one reason to keep an eye on Josh Freeman, more specifically how the Bucs push him to improve his ball security. Freeman was tied for the fifth most fumbles in the NFL this season with 10. And Freeman tied for fifth in interceptions with 17. Rest assured Schiano will demand that Freeman gets with the culture change.