Josh Freeman is only worried about football

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It’s setting up to be a big season for Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman.

He’s on the last year of the deal he signed as a first-round pick in 2009 and his team just swung a big trade to raise expectations for a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since Freeman arrived. On top of all that, there were some mixed messages from coach Greg Schiano early in the offseason about his commitment to Freeman.

Schiano’s since said stronger things about the quarterback and Freeman says that he “isn’t concerned” about what he calls a great relationship with the head coach. Freeman said the only thing that concerned him was taking the Bucs to the playoffs, whether or not he returns to the team in 2014.

“I give it all I got regardless,” Freeman said, via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “I love football, I love my teammates, I love winning. It doesn’t really change anything for me. Obviously I love being a Buccaneer. But at the same time, the job is to go out and find a way to win and worrying about any sort of external forces, contract, all this stuff, you can’t worry about that. It’s not going to help you play better. You’ve got to focus on the things that will help you go out on Sundays and win.”

Freeman’s had his ups and downs through his first four seasons, with last year’s strong middle — 16 touchdowns and three interceptions during a 5-1 stretch that briefly had the Bucs in the playoff hunt — surrounded by less impressive work on either side. Freeman wasn’t the reason they missed the playoffs, a terrible pass defense had plenty to do with that, but there’s no doubt they’ll need more from Freeman as well if they’re going to make the playoffs in 2013.

Should that happen, Freeman probably won’t wind up any more concerned about the other stuff than he is now.

22 responses to “Josh Freeman is only worried about football

  1. He should put the weight back on. Fat Josh was better, and wasn’t afraid to use his legs to get a first down. I’m sure he will do great this season either way as long as the most expensive O-Line in the history of the NFL stays healthy. However, I hope when contract talks continue Mark Dominick realizes there are about 20 other QBs in the league who would look above average with an elite o-line, and weapons like V-Jax, Mike Williams, and Martin.

  2. I’m still a believer in Freeman, largely because he’s shown enough potential to be really good, and you need at least that to succeed. Without a decent QB, you’re out of luck in today’s NFL, and Freeman at least CAN be a very good QB (though consistency is the huge problem). His nosedive last year pretty much coincided with Carl Nicks going out, and, with Davin Joseph going down in the preseason, the interior of that offensive line was basically a swinging door for the pass rush, and Freeman was making bad throws with people charging in his face on what seemed like every down.

    This year, presuming Nicks and Joseph are healthy, that’s a very good offensive line, and Freeman has shown he can be excellent if he’s not rushed. I’m hopeful for this year, and, based on the crazy deals Romo and Flacco got this year, I expect next year’s offseason to be really expensive for Tampa with his contract extension.

  3. Free is a stud QB, smart,big athletic with a cannon arm….he will be just fine ….what’s funny is he set franchise records last year for td,s and yards and our secondary lost at least 4 games …

  4. Always thought Freeman had the potential to be a top 10 QB. Hoping the Bucs keep him around

  5. No excuses from Josh this year. He has continuity with the offensive coordinator, barring injuries the O-line is full strength, hopefully Martin won’t have a sophmore slump, they’ve added solid depth behind VJax and Williams with the Ogletree and Steve Smith signings, and the pass defense shouldn’t be sieve-like and lose at least 5 games like last year.

  6. If a QB has up and down seasons all that proves is that he is just average. Seriously when you have weapons like Jackson and Martin there is no way you should be below .500 unless your QB is bad.

  7. QBs like Brad Johnson and Trent Dilfer won Super Bowls. Why do some people feel like Josh Freeman is incapable. Freeman is a down field Qb…give him a very solid TE and a reliable extra set of hands at Slot and he will take this team to the top. Just watch. Ogletree will fit this offense very well. Drafting a receiving TE is in the Bucs sights I’m sure. Nobody expected the Dallas Clark thing to work.

  8. Freeman has a 5000 yd 30-40 td season this year if the defense gives him more opportunities. Bucs are a legit playoff contender with Revis and the #1 run defense. Plus Bucs get back their 2 DEs, and their 2 pro bowl OGs from injury last year. They need a big NT to line up next to McCoy, and a QB for their defense (middle linebacker).

    Draft:

    2nd: Manti T’eo ILB
    3rd: Jessie Williams NT

  9. I expect a big year from Free. Great weapons around him, contract year and a great OC. If he doesn’t do it this year, he never will.

  10. Freeman could get a good contract with a holdout after the draft.

    Tampa has no replacement, and invest too much, to don’t have a solid QB this year.

    He will have all the leverage.

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