The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, traded up in the draft to select Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman 17th overall in last April’s draft, he was the third quarterback selected in the first round. He talked about a variety of topics recently in an interview with Sporting News Today’s Dennis Dillon.
Q: Why do you think you’re a better quarterback than Matthew Stafford and Mark Sanchez?
A: They’re both great quarterbacks. That’s why they got drafted in the first round and were among the top five picks. But honestly, I know what type of player I am. Knowing myself and the type of things I bring to the table from a physical standpoint and also from a work ethic and mental standpoint, I’d bet on myself every time.
Q: How would you evaluate your performance in minicamps and OTAs?
A: I think I made a lot of plays—a lot of explosive plays. I set goals to go out every day and try to learn as much as I can, try to study as much as I can and improve as a player within the offense. I definitely think I did that. I don’t know if you can pinpoint whether it was a great camp or a bad camp. I think it went well, I learned a lot from the older guys, and I improved every day.
Q: What are your strengths right now?
A: First of all, my desire to work and get better as a quarterback and be humble and coachable. I feel like I’m a guy who still has a lot to learn at the position. Being eager to go out and want to prove myself is one of my biggest assets. You can also count my physical stuff. I can throw the ball around with anyone. I have a physical presence in the pocket, but even with my size I can still move around.
Q: What’s your actual size?
A: I was measured 6-5 and ¾ at the Combine, so I just go by 6-6 because that sounds a little bigger. Right now, I’m weighing between 250 and 255.
Q: What is your weakness or something you need to improve?
A: Like any quarterback, it’s consistency. Knowing where to go with the ball and being able to get it out really quick. There are times when you don’t have a play, and as a young quarterback I’ll try to force something, try to take a shot when there’s not a shot to be had. But I just think it’s just developing my game overall and refining my game.
Q: Greg Olson, the Bucs’ quarterbacks coach, referred to the “Josh Freeman Plan” in one story. What exactly is the “Josh Freeman Plan”?
A: I think the Josh Freeman Plan is “teach Josh as much as we can, and when he’s the best quarterback on the team, we play him.”
Q: Have any of the coaches given you any insight into what they expect from you in training camp?
A: Honestly, they just want me to relax, play my game and become the best quarterback I can be. Obviously, I put pressure on myself to be that guy, to be The Man, but ultimately it’s about winning games. They’re going to play the best player regardless, and I’m just doing what I can to be that guy.
Q: Who has been the biggest help to you so far in Tampa?
A: Everyone has been great. I’ve worked a lot with coach Olson. A lot of the receivers will come out and work with me. But I’d definitely say the biggest help has been the three other quarterbacks—Josh Johnson, Luke
McCown and Byron (Leftwich). Whenever Luke is in there getting the snaps, Byron will point stuff out and tell me different things to look at and where to go with the ball. When Byron’s out there, Luke will be doing the same things.
They’re all great guys who have been nothing but helpful, and I’ve been fortunate to have them around.
Q: What’s something about you that might surprise fans to learn?
A: I got a rap at K-State for being a player who really wasn’t into it, I guess. I think people got the wrong idea about my competitive spirit and my desire to win because there’s nothing more important to me than winning. The demeanor I bring on the field is not one that has the highest of highs or the lowest of lows. I’m going to get excited about a touchdown, but I’m not the type of guy that when something negative happens I’m going to grab my chin strap, unbutton it and let it really affect me. I’m probably the most competitive guy you’ll ever meet. I’m all about winning.
Q: How do you like to relax away from football?
A: I like going to the beach—they don’t have beaches in Kansas—and hanging out with my friends and my teammates. Just kicking back.
Source: Sporting News Today
Glad to see he’s keeping a level head about things, now lets see if there will be a lengthy holdout. Like that he thinks he is better then the two drafted ahead of him – isn’t afraid to say it either. Some might take it as a sign of cockiness, but think he has a level of confidence about him that the Bucs have been looking for, for some time out of the quarterback position.