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Josh Freeman plans his own minicamps

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Seattle Seahawks Getty Images

If the owners do what everyone expects them to do and lock the players out next month, there will be no offseason activities until a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is reached. But one player says he’s already preparing to organize his own offseason work.

Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman says he thinks he and his teammates have made great progress, and he’s not going to let a lockout derail that progress. Instead, he expects to organize minicamps himself if NFL teams aren’t having official minicamps.

“Hopefully the CBA gets resolved,” Freeman told the Tampa Tribune, “but if it doesn’t, I’ve already been in contact with all of our receivers and everybody’s excited to come [to Tampa] in March and get going. We’re going to hit up a couple of the local high schools here and work out that way. Hopefully, they’ll let us use their weight room or whatever it is we need, because we’re anxious to get going.”

That kind of initiative is a big part of why Freeman is developing into one of the game’s elite quarterbacks, and it’s the kind of thing that every fan would want to hear his team’s quarterback say.

At the same time, it points to one of the reasons that many people think the players will cave in before the owners: Football players love playing football so much that they’re going to keep working even when they don’t have to, they’re not getting paid, and their bosses are actively fighting their union.

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40 Responses to “Josh Freeman plans his own minicamps”
  1. rpiotr01 says: Feb 15, 2011 9:53 AM

    I heard him speak on some ESPN show the week of the Super Bowl, and I have to say, I was extremely impressed with this guy. He was articulate and came off as having a real passion for the game.

    One can never tell how a career will go so early on, but in my estimation he’s already the second best QB in the NFC south. I’d take him over Ryan.

  2. tcostant says: Feb 15, 2011 9:54 AM

    Joe Gibbs woud be proud of this kid, this is just the kind of think that helped the Redskins win two strike Super Bowls…

  3. gbfanforever says: Feb 15, 2011 9:56 AM

    The lions are getting better but they sure must be kicking themselves for taking Stafford when Freeman was available. It was a mistake every team, including tampa, likely would have made but the lions would have contended for a playoff spot last season.

  4. bigbigodnarb says: Feb 15, 2011 10:02 AM

    Yet, somehow, fans will largely side with the owners. I guess if fans are getting screwed by their bosses, they want players to get a similarly unfair deal.

  5. Richard Dickson says: Feb 15, 2011 10:07 AM

    LOVE this kid. He’s got his head screwed on right and you really get the feeling his teammates would run through walls for him. And that HAIR…

  6. lleesman725 says: Feb 15, 2011 10:16 AM

    Freeman is living proof a good quarterback can carry a team. Inexperienced offense and mediocre at best defense. Team goes 10-6.
    While I’m not sure the Bucs will have the same record or better next year, I guarantee Freeman will improve because of his passion for the game.
    If he has the same kind of season this coming year as the last, sign this guy to a big extension. Not like the Bucs don’t have the Cap Room!

  7. jkearse2005 says: Feb 15, 2011 10:19 AM

    Wow, instead of going out and getting arrested like the rest of the clowns in the nfl, this guys taking initiative and preparing for next season. What a class act and this should be a good example for the rest of league. I now like the bucs a little more.

  8. mattsffrd says: Feb 15, 2011 10:36 AM

    good for him…too bad the rest of the players in the NFL don’t have his kind of common sense and passion for the game.

  9. neverend1 says: Feb 15, 2011 10:42 AM

    “developing into one of the games elite quarterbacks”

    Sigh, that term gets so loose around here. Yea, flacco is an elite qb. sam bradford is “developing” into an elite qb. Shaub is an elite qb. cassell is an elite qb. Vick is an elite qb.. etc. etc.

    Stats aren’t everything. Being an elite qb is more than just stats. Before I consider freeman anything close to an elite QB he needs to improve his ability to read defenses and make pre-snap reads. He certainly has the work ethic to do it tho, he has a bright future

  10. hollywood26 says: Feb 15, 2011 10:43 AM

    @jkearse2005,

    So you are saying that he should be like the 80% of players with no criminal record????

    Studies have shown 20% of players in the league have a record. That’s less than a 1/3 yet I continue to hear about the supposed thugs in the NFL. Perhaps you just hear about it more so it seems like more?

  11. dempsey63 says: Feb 15, 2011 10:53 AM

    Josh Freeman is a leader and a winner. What a phenomenal gesture! His teammates will reveal a lot about themselves by how they respond to his invitation.

  12. armchairgm9 says: Feb 15, 2011 10:56 AM

    This is why the Bucs love him. He’s Tebow with a better arm, accuracy, and less publicity. Great kid.

  13. shallowfan says: Feb 15, 2011 10:58 AM

    “Studies have shown 20% of players in the league have a record. That’s less than a 1/3…”

    I love it…Yes it is less than 1/3…that is 1/5 to be exact.

  14. adamrugg says: Feb 15, 2011 11:09 AM

    @neverend1

    You’re right that “elite” is thrown around too often. You’re also right that stats aren’t everything. If anything, though, that can make a stronger case for Freeman. He doesn’t shy away from tense and important moments, he is extremely resourceful when the play break downs, and he exudes a ton of leadership and calm for the team. You’re right that he needs to improve in reading defenses and making pre-snap reads and the fact is that he SUBSTANTIALLY improved in this over the course of the year. Remember, he’s still younger than Sam Bradford and Mark Sanchez. So I think its fair to say that his statistical output + his subjective qualities + his continuing and consistant improvement in weaker areas = a developing “elite” QB. Now, he may not ever get there, but based on his progressing so far, he’s at least on track.

  15. odessabucs says: Feb 15, 2011 11:10 AM

    Josh Freeman was going to be the Buc’s pick no matter what. Raheem knew him at Kan State when he was there for a year as D Coordinator. He’s a
    playbook worm and film junkie and is one of the first in the building every morning. That coupled with his physical attributes and skills and attitude bode well for a bright future.

  16. shecklesmckenzie says: Feb 15, 2011 11:17 AM

    As a Falcons fan, I wish this guy played in a different division. He is a lot like Matt Ryan in terms of prep and intelligence. But, he is bigger and has a stronger arm. Best young QB in the league, hands down.

  17. beckzhere says: Feb 15, 2011 11:18 AM

    3rd best QB in the NFC South. NO WAY I’d take him over Matty Ice. But I would certainly take him over Clausen.

  18. heyooooh says: Feb 15, 2011 11:44 AM

    As a Bears fan I wish I heard Cutler saying something like this.

    (Disclaimer: I am not one of those fans that feels he quit in the NFC Championship game).

  19. JSpicoli says: Feb 15, 2011 11:55 AM

    JFreeman is one of my favorite young players in the NFL. He is talented and well grounded.

  20. buccaboo says: Feb 15, 2011 12:02 PM

    GO JOSH GO!

  21. hobartbaker says: Feb 15, 2011 12:13 PM

    Main concern is that having gone through one training camp on the Brett Favre plan, the players may be reluctant to return to the old way.

  22. martinmayhew4president says: Feb 15, 2011 12:24 PM

    As a LIONS fan, I think the GLASS CANNON was the correct pick for us. Freeman is a beast though. All the draft/scout pundits said he would need time to develop as a NFL QB. He did it on the field, not on the sideline.

  23. nfl4ever says: Feb 15, 2011 12:38 PM

    Love this kid (and I can’t stand the Bucs as a whole). It will be fun watching his career for the next 10-12 years.

    I once heard/read Raheem Morris say that they had Freeman rated ahead of Stafford and Sanchez on their draft board, at first I though it was just talk but after two years, maybe it’s safe to say they just outsmarted the rest of the league.

  24. mikefromla says: Feb 15, 2011 12:40 PM

    “The lions are getting better but they sure must be kicking themselves for taking Stafford when Freeman was available”

    Let’s not get carried away here. The Bucs benefited heavily from their tour of the rotten NFC West last season and LOST to the Lions who were starting a back-up QB, knocking them out of playoff contention.

  25. brutus9448 says: Feb 15, 2011 12:45 PM

    he can practice all he wants. Tampa caught some teams by surprise last year.
    They’ll be no better than 8-8 this year. Guaranteed

  26. blountforce says: Feb 15, 2011 1:00 PM

    Looks like those around the country are starting to see what most of us in Tampa already know. Freeman is the best young QB in the league not named Aaron Rodgers(and that includes the fraud known as “Matty Ice”).

    Though his size, arm-strength, and quickness have been on display for all to see, its articles like this that illustrate the intangibles he brings to the table.

    As one who’s longed for our very own “franchise” qb, this Buc fan couldn’t be prouder of him.

    Take notice, NFL!!!

  27. blountforce says: Feb 15, 2011 1:02 PM

    Let’s not get carried away here. The Bucs benefited heavily from their tour of the rotten NFC West last season and LOST to the Lions who were starting a back-up QB, knocking them out of playoff contention.
    ———————————————

    Mikefromla, lets not forget the Bucs lost that game on a bogus PI call by the officials….one they later informed that it was the incorrect call.

    Freeman threw 25 tds, 6 ints….. with rookie WRs. I don’t care who the opponents were, that’s impressive.

  28. klunge says: Feb 15, 2011 1:20 PM

    hollywood26 says:
    Feb 15, 2011 10:43 AM

    Studies have shown 20% of players in the league have a record. That’s less than a 1/3 yet I continue to hear about the supposed thugs in the NFL. Perhaps you just hear about it more so it seems like more?
    ———————————————-
    So you’re insinuating that any player w/o a criminal record hasn’t done or doesn’t do anything criminal, thuggish, wild or just stupid. Don’t be naive, many more would likely have records if they weren’t wealthy star athletes.
    But back to the topic, Freeman seems like a good kid, who as the poster you are debating with pointed out, seems to have better work ethic than a great deal of the league’s veterans. That was the point.

  29. 7370355q says: Feb 15, 2011 1:22 PM

    not to knock freeman b/c i like him, but i’m sure many qbs will be doing this in the event of a lockout

  30. 13xworldchamps says: Feb 15, 2011 1:40 PM

    let’s not get too ahead of ourselves here, they played the NFC west and a last place schedule…..This year they won’t sneak up on anyone…..gotta like this kid though…..great attitude and all the physical tools

  31. falconsfan says: Feb 15, 2011 1:41 PM

    blountforce,
    I’d love to hear your expert analysis on why Matt Ryan is a fraud. Up to this point he’s 5-1 against the Bucs. Not to mention 3 winning seasons in a row to start his career, something that no Falcons QB has ever done. Freeman is great and from a fans point of view I only think great teams in the NFC South will help the odds of the Division in winning another Super Bowl sooner than later. (See how I said that without calling any of the QB’s a fraud, even Jimmy?)

  32. shallowfan says: Feb 15, 2011 1:56 PM

    “3rd best QB in the NFC South. NO WAY I’d take him over Matty Ice. But I would certainly take him over Clausen.”

    What? I take him over Ryan any day.

    “As a LIONS fan, I think the GLASS CANNON was the correct pick for us.”

    Why? He is impressive, but be can’t stay on the field? Do you really think that is going to change?

    “Let’s not get carried away here. The Bucs benefited heavily from their tour of the rotten NFC West last season and LOST to the Lions who were starting a back-up QB, knocking them out of playoff contention.”

    (what blountforce said) and…

    Didn’t NO and ATL play those teams too? I think NO even lost to Arizona…and NO got crushed by Seattle in the playoffs (who tampa crushed the week prior) Why do you think the Bucs benefited heavily from the schedule and not the rest of the NFC South when I think only one win separated each team in the south (except for CAR, they are a disaster)?

  33. baboushka says: Feb 15, 2011 2:23 PM

    Now that’s what real leadership is! And when your QB does it, it’s even more impressive. The future looks abundantly bright for The Bucs if they can keep Josh healthy and rebuild that great defense. As a Bear and Patriot fan, I’m officially jealous! Great move Josh!

  34. falconsfan says: Feb 15, 2011 3:16 PM

    Let’s see how the Bucs do against the Cowboys, Colts, Texans, Bears, Packers, Saints x2 and Falcons x2 before getting too excited about the turn around. I think the Bucs are easily looking at 9-7 at best, possibly 6-10 at worst. The Bucs are up and coming but any team that has a section called “Period of Struggle 2003-2008″ (include 2009) on their Wikipedia page has to have more than 1 winning season to change the tide.

  35. lgbarn says: Feb 15, 2011 3:56 PM

    falconsfan – you could say the same thing about the Falcons. They “escaped” 2 games with Tampa this year. Besides, your highlighting our struggles says nothing about your own struggles since your team has been in existence. Except for the Superbowl year (you lost), you have not done anything to brag about. For the first time in your history, you have back to back winning seasons. And…I’m pretty sure the Bucs have more divisional titles and Superbowls than the dirtybirds.

  36. boneyardbuc says: Feb 15, 2011 5:44 PM

    falconsfan says: Feb 15, 2011 1:41 PM

    blountforce,
    I’d love to hear your expert analysis on why Matt Ryan is a fraud.

    ======================================

    See second round of playoffs, GB vs. ATL

    Oh, and before you go bragging about “losing to the Super Bowl Champs”, Josh Freeman beat a healthier GB team in his first NFL start in 09.

  37. legendkiller13 says: Feb 15, 2011 6:21 PM

    As far as losing to the Lions…. Great game but like the Lions earlier in the year the refs SCREWED them. Taking a TD off the board late in the 4th quarter of that game, which the league sent an apology letter for in the following weeks saying they blew the call… No excuses though Bucs shouldn’t have even let the Lions be that close to begin with but what can you expect playing with a bunch of 2nd and 3rd string players on defense during a playoff run…

  38. blountforce says: Feb 15, 2011 6:46 PM

    Falconsfan,
    Freeman beat the Packers in his first start of his career, with Rodgers under center. I look forward to some epic battles over the coming yrs featuring the 2 youngest teams in the league.

    If not for a Talib injury and a fluke KO return, your Falcons take a loss at Ray Jay.

    As for “Matty Ice”, he the dink n dunk king that does nuthing but lock on to Roddy White. And to quote Peter King after that one and done AT HOME in the playoffs:

    “Matty Ice, time to retire the name”

    Those are his words, not mine. I love ‘em though!!!

  39. bucforever says: Feb 15, 2011 7:17 PM

    When Freeman was first drafted ,Tampa fans were all “JOSH WHO?”. Well now everybody knows who! Smart pick on Coach Morris’s part. It just saved his job and has given us Buc fans real hope for the future. Kep up the great wok Josh. GO BUCS! Damn I’m gonna miss football this season!

  40. Richard Dickson says: Feb 19, 2011 11:06 AM

    Two games on the schedule are determined by the previous years’ finish. There are no “last place schedules” anymore.

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