Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman sees running backs as key to his passing game
By Stephen F. Holder, Times Staff Writer
In Print: Sunday, June 10, 2012
You might not expect a conversation with an NFL quarterback hoping for a bounce-back season to be dominated by talk of his team's running backs.
But as the Bucs' Josh Freeman took a brief break from instructing 200 kids at his football camp Saturday morning at Wesley Chapel High School, he enthusiastically shared his optimism about the members of Tampa Bay's backfield.
"(Rookies) Doug Martin and Michael Smith, those guys are so talented," Freeman said. "You want to get the ball in their hands, get it to them in space and let them make some moves and make something happen. … Obviously LeGarrette (Blount) is having good (practices). And one guy, Mossis Madu, that guy is shredding it right now. He is doing an awesome job. Our backfield is going to be great. I'm excited."
The 2012 Bucs, if coach Greg Schiano has anything to say about it, will sport a run-first offense. But does that sit well with Freeman, who makes his living by throwing footballs, not just handing them off?
Actually, it seems Freeman bought in long ago. After all, he attempted 551 passes in 2011, third-most in franchise history, and the result was a 4-12 finish. Huge scoreboard deficits were responsible for the unusually high number of passes, but whatever the reason, it wasn't fruitful.
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