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Yahoo Team Report-(Bucs)


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INSIDE SLANT

Change has been the only constant for Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman.

Entering his fifth season, Freeman has played for two head coaches, in three offensive systems under three offensive coordinators and four quarterback coaches.

It's no surprise that nine of the top 12 passers in the NFL last season had been with the same head coach and/or in the same system for at least five years. The exceptions were Peyton Manning, who brought his own offense to Denver from Indianapolis, and rookies Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson.

In his first season under offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan, Freeman set team season records in 2012 for passing yards (4,065) and touchdowns (27) while throwing 17 interceptions. But the second year under Sullivan promises to be an even better one for Freeman and the Bucs offense.

"I think our comfort level is so much higher, and really, I speak for the entire offense," Freeman said. "It's just the communication ... it's all functioning at a higher level.

"That comes with experience. I think this offseason, guys put in a lot of work, everybody all around, making sure by the time we get to the season there are no more of those plays of indecision. Everybody is going to be on the same page and we're not going to hinder ourselves."

Bucs coach Greg Schiano says it's hard to quantify how much the changing supporting cast, systems and terminology have affected Freeman's development.

"It's all relative, right?" he said. "If you could've been in the same system all five years, it certainly would've helped. How much it hurts? I can't quantify that. It helps to stay in the same system, particularly if it is a good system. I think he's been in some good systems where the downside is a lack of continuity. The upside is he learned a lot of football.

"All those things added up, I think really help you do better. I feel much more comfortable doing the job the second year 'round in the NFL and I'm sure Josh feels more comfortable in our offense. You can stand there and just listen to he and Sully and he and (quarterbacks coach) John (McNulty) communicate. Where we are today is a lot further along than where we were this time last year for sure."

In some ways, Freeman said he has benefited from the fundamentals taught to him by an array of coaches and from working in various systems.

"At the end of the day, it comes down to football," Freeman said. "You're going to have different plays, different reads, but really you can't choose what path you're going to take. But no matter what it is, you have to make the most of it.

"I feel I'm in a great situation right now. Sully is excellent. He's as good as I've been around calling plays and throughout the week, preparation. I've been blessed. I've had a lot of just fundamentalists from a football standpoint. It's not, 'all right, do this, this and this.' It's why we're going to do this, this is why you've got to make this read, this is why the ball should go here. So I've been blessed in that way and I've just got to continue to work hard and get better."

Freeman is entering the final year of his contract and is scheduled to become a free agent next March. Does he feel any added pressure?

"You've got to look at every year as a critical year," Freeman said. "The lifespan of an NFL player is short. I'm blessed to have had the opportunity to be the quarterback of the Buccaneers this long and I love my guys, I love my teammates, I love the setup we have down here and I think everything is set up for us to go out and play well as an offense this year.

"I wouldn't say there's any added pressure. You're doing something you love to do and it's a lot of fun. And you love the people you work with. The pressure kind of comes from within, wanting to compete and wanting to take it to the next level of your personal game."

Buccaneers cornerback Darrelle Revis is running, cutting and feeling better about his recovery from a torn ACL in his left knee.

But the Bucs, who traded two high draft picks to the Jets in exchange for the Pro Bowl cornerback, haven't cleared Revis to practice with just over a month before the start of training camp.

That doesn't bother Revis or Bucs coach Greg Schiano, who only wants him to be healthy by the time Tampa Bay visits the Jets at Metlife Stadium for the first game of the regular season.

"I'm confident," Revis said following the Bucs' OTA workout Tuesday. "I'm cutting. (Bucs trainer Todd Toriscelli) might tell me to slow down a little bit, but I'm going full tilt and I'm cutting because I'm feeling good. Cutting and running and doing what I have to do."

Will Revis be confident in his knee and comfortable in the Bucs' defense without actually playing in a football game?

"I think I'm getting comfortable now," Revis said. "I'm in the walk-throughs, I'm in the meetings. The defense is easy. I'm a veteran and some of the things we did in New York, coach Schiano does down here, too. I'm fine with that. I think the biggest thing is making sure I'm 100 percent when I step out there with the guys, my teammates, and we go out there and play some great football."

Revis said he has heard a lot of stories from other players around the NFL who have suffered ACL injuries, but has not talked to Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who made a remarkable recovery from a similar injury last season and led the league in rushing.

"I heard a million ACL stories from people around the league and non-football players," Revis said. "You hear them all. You hear the tragedies and everybody says it's a pain, and it's a long process. It's usually six months to a year and some people recover faster and some people don't. It takes time."

Schiano reiterated the goal has always been for Revis to be well enough to start the first game of the regular season.

"That's the goal is to be out there Week 1 and play," Revis said. "If there's anything other than that, we'll have to see when the time comes. But yeah, we've got to have the goal set and coach has the same goals, too, for me to be out there from Day One."

NOTES AND QUOTES


  • The Buccaneers acquired tackle/guard Gabe Carimi from the Bears for a sixth-round pick in the 2014 draft. A first-round pick in 2011, Carimi started 14 games last season, but despite the team having a new coaching staff had not attended offseason workouts.
    Carimi's line coach in college at Wisconsin, Bob Bostad, is currently Tampa Bay's offensive line coach.

  • The Bucs spent the early part of practice working on punt-block drills, focusing on details all the way down to having players shout "me, me, me" before they pick up a loose ball, calling it like an infielder on a pop fly.
    Schiano watched the drill from one knee just behind the punter, working on the technique of not only blocking with hands together but scooping up the loose ball.
    "We have to make sure we execute in every way possible," linebacker Dekoda Watson said. "The 'me, me, me' is just making sure you're telling everybody it's going to be me picking up the ball. We don't want a big cluster of everybody trying to grab it and the ball being kicked around where nobody recovers it. It's just telling everybody I'm getting the ball."

  • The Bucs signed free-agent wide receiver Carlton Mitchell, who played at Gaither High School and the University of South Florida in Tampa.
    "I grew up watching this team. I've lived here since third grade," Mitchell said, wearing a white No. 12 jersey at his first practice. "I'm just here to work hard, learn the playbook, do what I'm told."
    Mitchell spent two seasons with the Browns before being sidelined by a calf injury last year. He signed with the Cowboys as a free agent, but was released last week, and was back home in Tampa when the Bucs called.
    "I was about to go out for a workout, and they said, 'How far are you from the facility?' I said '15-20.' They said 'I'll see you at 1:45,' and it was 1:20," said Mitchell, who trained with Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman during the last NFL lockout. "I'm excited. It's a blessing. Things didn't work out in Dallas, obviously, but I'm going to do what I can here."

Quote To Note:

"When we first arrived, I wasn't sure how good of physical condition he was in. But from that day until now he's made a marked change in his body, his cardiovascular condition, he's bigger, he's stronger and he certainly understands the defense much better. So again, another guy that I'm excited about. I think he can have a promising career here and it's so important you get some consistency at middle linebacker."

—Schiano on Bucs MLB Mason Foster.

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I have been so impressed with the way Revis is coming on! Not only is he a monster in his rehab, he's taken every player in the secondary under his wing and is mentoring them all. Every week, I'm starting to get a better feeling in my Gut, that he's gonna be back in a BIG WAY.

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Guest Masbinacci

I have been so impressed with the way Revis is coming on! Not only is he a monster in his rehab, he's taken every player in the secondary under his wing and is mentoring them all. Every week, I'm starting to get a better feeling in my Gut, that he's gonna be back in a BIG WAY.

Paying him more then a lot of QBs... He better be impressive

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I have been so impressed with the way Revis is coming on! Not only is he a monster in his rehab, he's taken every player in the secondary under his wing and is mentoring them all. Every week, I'm starting to get a better feeling in my Gut, that he's gonna be back in a BIG WAY.

Between him and Goldson, theres a lot they can help with

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Between him and Goldson, theres a lot they can help with

No ****! But I'm really starting to feel like this defense will start making some noise. Hopefully those 4th quarter collapses we had last season are a thing of the past.

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No ****! But I'm really starting to feel like this defense will start making some noise. Hopefully those 4th quarter collapses we had last season are a thing of the past.

They should make some noise. With muscle hamster controlling the clock, that D should be well energized going into the 4th Q. All Freeman has to be do is not turn over the ball.

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Yep, things change when pads get put on lol

Even with pads on it sounds & looks good, but it's all about continuity and coming together, and that's coaching. Which is one of the big reason for the falcons recent regular season success, and possibly their playoff woes.

If the players do their part, do we have the coaching? You have it in New Orleans, they have it Atlanta, and we all have our personal beliefs about Carolina, but the jury's still out at this point on Schiano.

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I have been so impressed with the way Revis is coming on! Not only is he a monster in his rehab, he's taken every player in the secondary under his wing and is mentoring them all. Every week, I'm starting to get a better feeling in my Gut, that he's gonna be back in a BIG WAY.

REVIS IS TOP SHELVE, ONE OF THE BEST AT HIS CRAFT. HE CAN ONLY BRING BIG TIME STUFF TO THE BUCK "D".
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REVIS IS TOP SHELVE, ONE OF THE BEST AT HIS CRAFT. HE CAN ONLY BRING BIG TIME STUFF TO THE BUCK "D".

If healthy he will post a major prob for teams. Since it will allow them to double up the others. Not to mention the D line and pressure.

Bucs could be a force this year and have no real reason not to be.

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If healthy he will post a major prob for teams. Since it will allow them to double up the others. Not to mention the D line and pressure.

Bucs could be a force this year and have no real reason not to be.

THE BUCS ONCE HAD ONE OF THE GREATEST DEFENSES THAT I HAVE EVER SEEN. AND I'VE SEEN SOME GOOD ONES. THAT BUC "D" DIDN'T JUST STOP YOU .... THEY PUNISHED YOU.
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THE BUCS ONCE HAD ONE OF THE GREATEST DEFENSES THAT I HAVE EVER SEEN. AND I'VE SEEN SOME GOOD ONES. THAT BUC "D" DIDN'T JUST STOP YOU .... THEY PUNISHED YOU.

True, but how often do you find players like Sapp, Brooks, Lynch & Barber on the same defense. It's a shame Dungy pissed away several years with the likes of Mike Shula coaching offense trying to get an offense together.

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True, but how often do you find players like Sapp, Brooks, Lynch & Barber on the same defense. It's a shame Dungy pissed away several years with the likes of Mike Shula coaching offense trying to get an offense together.

A LOT OF TIMES ... THE BUCS DIDN'T NEED NO OFFENSE, THE DEFENSE WAS KNOCKING THE BALL LOOSE AND SCORING, OR INTERCEPTING AND SCORING. IF THE BUCS HAD YOU 10-0 IN THE FIRST QUARTER .... IT MAY STILL BE 10-0 AT THE END.
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