Offensively, there are no excuses. The Bucs are loaded with weapons, arguably the most talent since the Super Bowl days.
"I'm definitely really excited about the weapons," said Josh Freeman. "You talk about Vincent [Jackson]. You talk about Mike Williams. You talk about Dallas Clark as an addition. Always Legarrette Blount, you've got Doug Martin. I'm really excited about our offense."
The pressure is on Freeman for the offense to perform. The face of the franchise is entering his fourth year. It's a pivotal point in his career, but Greg Schiano doesn't want number five to feel that he alone has to carry this team.
"I think Josh is an important part to this team," said Schiano. "I don't think he has to feel the weight of the world on his shoulders. He needs to go do his job just like the right guard has got to do his job and all the way down the line."
Know your job, do your job, protect the football. That's the message Greg Schiano addressed his team with this week. There is a good reason for the that. No team in the league last year was more generous in giving their opponent the ball than the Bucs.
"Coach Schiano talks about it all the time," said Freeman. "The ball, the ball, the ball. It's all about protecting the ball.
"We treat it with reverence and we respect the ball. It is the program. Even if we are first we have to protect that ball with your life."
Keeping the ball in Freeman's hands are critical for this team just to compete in their division -- a division that possess three elite quarterbacks. Throwing for 5,000 yards is now the mark for greatness. Is Freeman on the verge of reaching that level?
"I think he can reach 6,000," said Mike Williams.
"I love Mike," Freeman laughed when told of Williams' praise.
"Hopefully we have a balanced attack and go out there and win a lot," Williams added. "But I think he's very capable of doing that."
The only number Freeman has his eye this year is reducing the high number of interceptions that hampered him a year ago.
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