By Tom Krasniqi
The quarterback usually stands tall in the pocket with his eyes trained down the field. The trick is making the right decision and delivering the football on target with precision and accuracy. Josh Freeman has done that at times. There have also been times where he hasn’t.
On Wednesday, Freeman stepped up to the podium to address the media for the first time since Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton said during a WDAE interview that Freeman was “God awful.” Freeman stood tall at the podium. He surveyed the assembled media. And then he shook off the latest distraction.
Freeman claims he didn’t hear about Tarkenton’s comments until the media brought it up. “Obviously, he’s Fran Tarkenton. His career speaks for himself, he’s a Hall of Famer,” Freeman said. “But at the same time, everybody is entitled to their own opinion. The important thing is the people that are in this building—coaches, teammates – they’ve got faith. They know what I am as a player.”
According to Freeman, the most important thing right now is to get the offense going in the right direction before the season opener on September 8th against the Jets. Freeman has played sparingly in the preseason to this point. He saw just two series last week against the Patriots with subpar results. Freeman was sacked three times and says the team keeps things basic during exhibition play. “It’s the preseason. It may not count, but to us it still matters,” Freeman pointed out. “I know in New England [last week] on the sideline, everyone was a bit frustrated.”
Freeman referred to preseason games as “glorified practices.” On Saturday against Miami, Freeman expects to see the majority of the snaps. “We want to come out and have a fast start. That’s a main goal,” Freeman said. “We have the ability to for sure but it’s just a matter of guys locking in, focusing and ultimately doing their job. And that means me doing my job as well.” Freeman says even though the starting offense hasn’t seen much playing time during the preseason, the starting unit puts in a great deal of work on the practice field.
In terms of how to deal with distractions, Freeman says he tunes in out. In fact, he says shuts himself off from the rest of the world when he’s away from One Buc Place. “I really just don’t pay attention to anything outside of my [world]. Obviously, there’s some huge things going in the world that I need to be aware of….For the most part, I got my friends and family. That’s really the focal point. I focus on me and I focus on the things that I can control and I really don’t pay much mind to anything else,” Freeman said.
That might be the best way for Freeman to deal with it. The quarterback position is one that comes with high scrutiny and he realizes that. Now, it’s time for Freeman to stand tall in the pocket and deliver the kind of season we all know he’s capable of.
News & Notes:
- WR Mike Williams also weighed in on Tarkenton’s critical comments regarding Freeman: “Everybody has their opinion. I think [Freeman] is awesome. I think he’s one of the best in this league. That’s my opinion.”
- Bucs signed former Bills kicker Rian Lindell. LB Joe Holland was released. Lindell is ready to play on Saturday and should see some action. Lawrence Tynes is still nursing a toe injury so it appears Lindell will battle Derek Dimke for the job.
- CB Darrelle Revis took part in team drills again on Wednesday. Schiano said “he did a little more today”. When asked if Revis would play on Saturday, Schiano wouldn’t rule it out but said “I don’t need to see it.”
- With LG Carl Nicks out indefinitely, center Jeremy Zuttah could be asked to switch over to guard again just like last year with Ted Larsen at the center position. Zuttah says he hasn’t taken any reps at guard and would prefer to remain at center. He added that if the Bucs asked him to move over to guard, he would. Consummate team player.
- The Bucs will travel to Miami on Saturday night to take on the Dolphins in the 3rd preseason game. You can catch the game on 620 WDAE and 95.3FM with the pre-game show beginning at 5pm.
- For the latest Bucs news, keep it locked all day long on 620 WDAE and 95.3FM, your home of the Bucs and the best Bucs coverage. Don’t forget to check out the Bucs blog at 620wdae.com for the latest news and audio clips.