Josh Freeman Speaks

October 26th, 2010

josh freeman 0505hOnce again Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman decided to appear on “The Blitz” this morning, co-hosted by newfound Bucs fans Adam Schein and Rich Gannon, heard exclusively on Sirius NFL Radio.

Soitenly, Joe transcribed the interview. Bucs fans should expect no less.

Adam Schein: Joining us again is the hottest quarterback in the National Football League. The kid has a knack for playing his best when it matters the most. Congratulations on another fourth quarter win Josh.

Rich Gannon: Hey Josh, how is that thumb doing? It doesn’t seem like it is bothering you anymore.

Josh Freeman: I really don’t even know something’s wrong unless I push it the wrong way, then it will hurt but it’s healing really nicely.

Schein: Take us through that final drive. We read in the Tampa papers that you told your teammates in the huddle, and I quote, “We are about to win this game. We have 81 yards to go. We are going to win this game.” Did you say that?

Freeman: I’m not sure if I said it like that verbatim but that is the gist of it. The defense did a great job in the second half giving us opportunities to score points. I looked at everybody and they knew what I was going to say. I just told them, “Hey, it’s our time again. We need everybody to step up. I need you to make some plays.” Everybody responded and executed well. It was a very emotional win to come from behind.

Gannon: Where have you made the most improvement in year two from your rookie year?

Freeman: Understanding the ebbs and flows of the game. There are so many scenarios and ways to win a football game. What I have found is to play better, knowing when and when not to take a shot. Last year if we were down two possessions in the first half, I remember throwing balls up for grabs and taking unnecessary risks. You’re not going to get back in the game with one play. It’s not always about getting the big play, but getting points on the board and getting momentum and playing for the second half.

Schein: I love that quote, “It’s our time again.” You have now won seven games and five from behind in the fourth quarter. How do you play your best when it matters the most?

Freeman: It’s not just me. It’s our whole offense and the defense. They gave us the opportunity to win. It’s a mindset, a culture. We have a lot of confidence. We are young and a lot of people doubt us. We may not play our best for 3 1/2 quarters but if we have the opportunity, we will score. Why not? That’s our mindset on Sundays. We can drive down the field no matter how many penalties. It was our defense that gave us a chance to win.

Gannon: Talk about Mike Williams as an impact.

Freeman: You know, it’s not hard to get on the same page with a guy like Mike. He’s an extremely talented athlete and a good individual. His work ethic is tremendous. I remember after he was drafted I talked to him on the phone before he came down. When he got here, you could see he was hungry. He didn’t have a lot of reps with the first team but once he had, he had a feel for it. He stayed after practice. He worked on the different nuances of the game. Mike is a great guy. I have a lot of respect for him and a lot of confidence in him.

Schein: Raheem Morris says  you are the best team in the NFC. What’s your reaction to that and are the Bucs the best team in the NFC?

Freeman: A lot of people have said Raheem is talking crazy. But he is a passionate coach and he’s our coach. If he says it, we need to believe it in our hearts. We are 4-2 and it’s not going as we thought it would but we are finding a way to win games. If we play our best, we’re now 4-2, who knows? We are trying to find a way to make Raheem’s statement correct

Gannon: I thought your team changed when Raheem took over as the defensive coordinator. Talk about your defense pitching a shutout in the second half.

Freeman: The defense did a great job. But to win a game in this league, you will have to score points. But we were only getting field goals. Luckily, we have a good kicker. The Rams did a nice job in the first half. The Rams have some talent. The halftime corrections our defense made, wow. Raheem thought we played the worst half of football of the season in the first half. Our defense took it to heart and shut them down. They kept them in third and long. It was great to see such an entire team effort.

Schein: Tell us about LeGarette Blount. I think he has a bright future in Tampa Bay.

Freeman: No doubt, no doubt. He’s doing a good job. The thing in college [slugging a Boise State player and trying to charge the crowd], it’s talked about but once in a while when we give him grief about it. He wasn’t here during training camp but when he was here, he’s done nothing but work to learn the offense. It’s not always pretty when he gets the bell but he is effective. He’s a great guy. We’re fortunate enough to have all the quarterbacks next to each other in the locker room and LeGarrette Blount’s next to us. He’s a good guy. He’s a tough guy, a hard-working guy. He fits in well with us.

Gannon: You’ve already won more games than last year, and you’ve won a few on the road. Your next five games are a brutal schedule but if you have success there, you position yourself in good shape. Have you talked about being a better road team?

Freeman: For sure, but being a better team in general. Winning three games in 16, that’s really bad. We took a look at where the team was going and why were losing. Playing on the road was a big thing. I feel as comfortable on the road as well as at home, though there can be some communication issues. I think we play tighter as an offense and closer as a team when we are on the road. I feel good about where this team is headed. If we win some games where we are not supposed to, it’s setting ourselves up for the fourth quarter of the season.

Schein: Raheem has told us that the turning point of this season was last year when you became the starting quarterback. You buy that?

Freeman: I do see that. Raheem has said that before. That’s why he drafted me. He told me, “When you are on the field, I don’t care who we are playing, I feel like we can win.” It’s great to have  coach who believes in me. That is huge. He lets me play my game and find a way to win. I try to make him right.

Gannon: When you saw Sam Bradford struggle at times, did it bring back memories of you last year?

Freeman: I guess it did. Sam is a great quarterback. You look at the passes he threw, there were not really any downfield. You could tell that by the playcalling they were trying to protect him but he was playing smart. He’s taking care of the ball. I was hoping Aqib Talib would get some balls but that didn’t happen. I told him after the game to keep working, that it only gets easier. It’s just a level of comfort that only comes with experience.

Schein: The Cincinnati game, was that your best NFL experience? I thought it was surreal.

Freeman: I don’t know. Every win we have had, there are a number of memories. It’s hard to rate them. But going on the road to Cincinnati, they played a great football game and caught us off guard with their blitz package. I got beat up that game. But winning that game, it was all worth it. Seeing Mike Williams step up and make plays and seeing Michael Spurlock make plays, for me, experiencing winning with my teammates, that is my goal. It’s hard to rate wins. The feeling is insane coming from behind. It’s a great feeling.

Gannon: You had an early bye. Where are the areas where you can be better offensively?

Freeman: All around. We leave too many yards on the field. We don’t capitalize enough. Really, it just comes down to making plays that are there for us to make. The Saints game, I overshot guys that should have been TDs.  That falls on me. If the offense is not playing well, that’s my fault. I have to convert on third down to keep these guys going. We play our best football when we are realized and we are more relaxed when we are prepared. I feel every week I’ve gotten better with that.

25 Responses to “Josh Freeman Speaks”

  1. Cannon Says:

    Freeman – “I was hoping Aqib Talib would get some balls but that didn’t happen”

  2. BigMacAttack Says:

    Josh is a true leader. What a believer I have become. Raheem was so totally right about Freeman. I can’t think of anyone I would rather have at QB. Manning & Brady are better but not for long.

    There is a new Captain Comeback in the NFL.

  3. JDouble Says:

    As soon as he has a 4 Ints game, everyone will jump off the bandwagon and call him a bust. Good to see him getting some love for now though. #5 will be by next jersey for sure.

  4. Buckeyebob Says:

    Now we know why Mark & his staff was so high on him.

  5. Number 41 Says:

    Hard to believe that he’s actually YOUNGER than Sam Bradford. Intangibles on this kid are simply off the charts. Can’t believe I actually hated this pick on draft day.

  6. Pete Dutcher Says:

    JDouble, you are proably right, but that’s the fans fault…not Josh’s, right? I wish I could afford to buy his jersey…but right now I can’t even pay my light bill. :(

  7. Aldo Says:

    i remember april 09 when majority (including myself) were dissapointed about picking him (i was in a low way but sure i was) in the NFL Draft, now i guess that was the best thing we can do and thats a HUGE win for rah and dom, no matter the lots of mistakes made on and off the field, number 5 is likely the best thing the bucs have done over the last 5 years, i just hope to see josh improving and we are gonna see him in pro bowl level sooner than later!!!

  8. JimBuc Says:

    “Buckeyebob Says:

    October 26th, 2010 at 4:46 pm
    Now we know why Mark & his staff was so high on him.”

    ACTUALLY, why Morris was so high on him. Morris is the reason we have Freeman

  9. Gatorbuc15 Says:

    Very true JimBuc.

  10. sunrisejeff Says:

    This kid really just seems like he “gets it” Proud to wear my orange #5 jersey.

  11. Teddy Says:

    Am I alone in having forgotten all about the broken thumb?

  12. Patrick Says:

    I just voted Freeman and Mike Williams into the Pro Bowl. Same with all the other Bucs. Go to NFL.com and do the same!!!

  13. FIRE GREG OLSON! Says:

    @Teddy,

    You’re not alone. I had worried about it for weeks and now, I totally forgot about it. Wow. What a testament to what Freeman has done.

    Mark Dominik (with the help of Raheem’s involvement in taking Freeman) has done a tremendous job. Our rebuild won’t take nearly as long as the Rams, Raiders, Lions, Browns (expansion, not really a rebuild). Not only has he done a great job of finally bringing us a franchise QB, finding late round gems and being a waiver wire thief, but he’s done it with spending less than virtually everyone in the league.

    Hope Jer-ray Jones got his kicks from Dez Bryant’s garbage-time TD’s last night. Keep stockpiling skill position players and ignoring your inability to protect your QB. Dallas will be interesting once Jones becomes as senile as Al Davis…

  14. Buc You Says:

    Not a whole lot of comments lately… I will say this, when Raheem wins, it leaves everyone pretty much speechless.

    Decipher that how you wish.

  15. JimBuc Says:

    Buc You — it only leaves a certain element speechless

  16. Jorge Says:

    Gimme a helmet! I love this kid, he’s got a ways to go…But damn its going to be fun around here watching him grow… This KID gets in the huddle and COMMANDS it…I first saw it last year when antonio bryant got testy and Freeman got in his face and put him in his place! I was taken back and impressed…He’s got “IT”…Good job Rah!

  17. BamBamBuc Says:

    Steve White made some good points in his weekly Good, Bad & Ugly article. As much as I love Josh Freeman and think he’ll be a tremendous talent for years to come…. Steve points out there are 12 players in their first or second year that are contributing regularly and we’re still winning these games. That’s a lot of young guys playing and making rookie (or 2nd year) mistakes, and they’re overcoming and winning.

    He lists: McCoy, M. Williams, Grimm, Biggers, Moore, Miller, Benn, Stroughter, Lorig, Blount, Freeman, and this week we added Larsen to the group. He then adds our punter and didn’t even include Price who was out last week. Lewis did pretty well the week before as well.

    This is an incredibly young group of guys, and there’s no telling where that youth and enthusiasm will take this team. It may not happen this year (although the way Free is playing, it wouldn’t completely surprise me), but watch this group in years to come. We even added Purvis to the roster this week. Desmon Briscoe is on the practice squad, and has a lot of potential as well.

    If they can get it together and continue to get better each week, they could be pretty strong by the end of the year. But, even more importantly, they’ll grow up to be those veterans we want and if the team can keep adding solid young players to fight for those jobs, we could have some great depth as well in years to come. I like what I’m seeing, even through all the negativity we were getting last off season and pre-season.

  18. Pete Dutcher Says:

    @BamBamBuc
    Saving me a lot of typing here! I agree with everything you said. You beat me to the punch. You sure you are not my split personality???

  19. Dave Says:

    Bam Bam and Pete. I agree. They have a lot of young guys and are making ALOT of mistakes.

    The DTs will take another year or even two to reach their potential.
    They still need a DE, a Safety, and some more O-Line help.

    IMO, MLB needs to be upgraded desparately.

    All these holes and all this youth and still winning. That only bodes well for the future

  20. Capt.Tim Says:

    Bambam, Dave, and Pete- totally in agreement. So many players showing talent already is amazing. Still wanna see Briscoe, Lumpkin, Watson,Hardman, and more of Benn. These kids are looking great! The fact that we are winning with this bunch is even more amazing! Can’t help but wonder how great of a head coach we might have! If he can win with the all kid team, what could he do with a really talented team of Vets ?

  21. admin Says:

    Joe here –

    Capt. Tim – Your first comment here was deleted for hate speech. Wasn’t relevant to any comment here.

  22. Joe Says:

    Still wanna see Briscoe, Lumpkin, Watson,Hardman, and more of Benn. These kids are looking great!

    Why???

    Feel free to document how many times you’ve seen any of the above on an NFL field in the regular season outside of Benn.

    And you claim they look great. What, in speedos?

  23. BigMacAttack Says:

    I’d like to see Rachel Watson in a Speedo after jumping out of 40 degree pool.

    Yea Baby!!! That’s what I’m talking about!

  24. BamBamBuc Says:

    Capt Tim,

    These young guys will be that talented team of vets in a couple years. If Morris is still around then, we’ll see what he can do then, but if he’s still around, then he must be doing a pretty good job. Only time will tell.

    As much as I’m enjoying the wins this year, I still don’t think there’s enough to make any serious run late in the season, so that enjoyment is tempered by reality. Again, I’m more excited to see what this team looks like when those players are 2nd and 3rd year guys instead of rookie and 2nd year guys.

    Looking forward to a west coast win against the Cardinals this week. Go Bucs!!!

  25. gitarlvr Says:

    At the beginning of the year for me it was about hoping just to see improvement that would lead to the playoffs in a year or two. However, after winning four of the first six games and having only 4 games remaining against elite teams(Baltimore, Atlanta twice and N.O.), I would be a little disappointed in anything less than 9-7 and a real shot at the playoffs. They aren’t the best team in the NFC but they could definitely be better than Arizona, Detroit, San Fran, Seattle, Washington, and Carolina. If they beat those very beatable teams they are 10-6 and and in the playoffs. Now a middle of the pack team like Tampa rarely beats all the teams they should but usually pulls out an upset or two against one of the big boys at some point. The point is at 4-2 six games in with the schedule they have if they don’t regress then they should be in the playoff hunt at the end. Maybe you think the 4-2 is smoke and mirrors, but if Blount continues to have similar success to last Sunday it wont be any more.

 
 

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