Posted July 28, 2012 on AP on Fox
Tampa Bay's Josh Freeman trimmed his hair and lost 20 pounds during the offseason, however the young quarterback's makeover is far from complete. The fourth-year pro reported to training camp feeling good about highly visible changes to his physical appearance. Now, he's focused on making some adjustments on the field to improve his performance. Freeman was the third quarterback selected in the 2009 draft behind Matthew Stafford and Mark Sanchez. He established himself as one of the NFL's up and coming passers two years ago when the Buccaneers narrowly missed making the playoffs with a 10-6 record, then regressed while the team was stumbling to 4-12 in 2011. The Bucs finished last season on a 10-game losing streak. A year after having one of the league's best touchdowns-to-interceptions ratios with 25 TDs and only six picks, Freeman threw for 16 touchdowns vs. 22 interceptions. ''Last season a lot of things didn't go our way. Personally, a lot of things didn't go my way,'' the 24-year-old said. ''But in that, there's a lot to learn from the standpoint of trying to step out of the system, trying to make too many plays, trying to do things when in actuality, as a quarterback, the offense is going to get you there.'' Freeman's struggles were only part of the reason Tampa Bay faltered following a 4-2 start. The defense got progressively worse, yielding an NFL-high and franchise-worst 494 points and ranking 30th among 32 teams in yards allowed. ''Last year we had a lot of breakdowns in a lot of areas,'' Pro Bowl guard Davin Joseph said. ''Up front, I don't feel like we played good enough to help Josh. There are a lot of players who could have done better for Josh. We need the offense and the defense to play well for Josh to play well.'' The collapse cost former coach Raheem Morris his job. Greg Schiano replaced him in January and hired former New York Giants quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan as his offensive coordinator and Ron Turner as the team's new quarterbacks coach. The 6-foot-6, 237-pound Freeman was already pondering ways to get better before team ownership brought in Schiano. He got together with personal trainer Grant Gregory, who's also the quarterback who followed him at Kansas State, adjusted his diet and trimmed about 20 pounds off reporting weight of a year ago. It all began with a conversation with former Bucs offensive coordinator Greg Olson. ''We talked about a number of things, one of which was trying to be at your best, trying to be a pro at everything, not just football, but in your life, lifestyle habits,'' Freeman said. ''Everybody is like, `Oh did you get faster? Did you lose a little strength?' I can't say I got noticeably faster. I can't say I got noticeably stronger or weaker. But I feel good. Flexibility, throwing the ball, I feel physically great.'' Turner worked with Freeman during the offseason on the player's footwork. One of Sullivan's priorities has been improving the quarterback's decision-making in the pocket. It's only the beginning of training camp, but Freeman believes he's making strides. ''I feel like everything is starting to come together. ... Each year you constantly learn and grow,'' he said. ''That's what I've got to keep doing this year.'' The Bucs have made some moves around Freeman that could help, too. Receiver Vincent Jackson was acquired in free agency, giving Tampa Bay a legitimate deep threat for the first time in years. Pro Bowl guard Carl Nicks was added to an offensive line that figures to be better, and Schiano is counting on rookie running back Doug Martin to make a difference. ''It's not a one-man show,'' Joseph said. ''Last year was a reflection of a team that didn't do good.'' Sullivan likes what he's seen of Freeman. ''He has a bad taste in his mouth about last year and has a focus about him,'' Sullivan said. ''There's a look in his eye that's kind of similar to the look in Eli Manning's eye as far as having a bad year and hearing some criticism and wanting to put that behind him and move forward.''

Down Goes Arrelious Benn, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Receiver to Miss Four Weeks with Knee Injury

Only one day into training camp and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a man down. Not a good way to start things off. Third-year wideout Arrelious Benn has suffered another knee injury and appears likely to miss four weeks, which is basically all of training camp.'s Mike Florio reports that a league source says Benn suffered a sprained MCL today during practice...

Buccaneers’ Donald Penn out for a few weeks with a calf strain

Buccaneers’ left tackle Donald Penn has a calf strain and will miss “several weeks” of Training Camp, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Donald Penn is not an elite left tackle, but he’s a solid one and the Buccaneers can’t afford to be without him once games start for real. Right tackle Jeremy Trueblood led the league in pressures allowed in the regular season last year...

Okoye ready to earn his way onto the field

TAMPA, Fla. Defensive tackle Amobi Okoye walked off the field on his first day of Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp workouts, feeling right at home in the brutal heat and humidity. For the 2007 No. 1 pick of the Houston Texans, the uncomfortable weather was nothing new. It was hot, but I dont think its hotter than or more humid than Houston, Okoye said. Four years out there definitely...

Doug Martin Opens Camp as Starter

Rookie Doug Martin has opened training camp with the Buccaneers as the No. 1 running back, according to Stephen Holder of the Tampa Bay Times. Fantasy Spin: Martin has always been expected to beat out the disappointing LeGarrette Blount for the starting job, and remains on the right path in doing so. His bruising running style will be a great fit for head coach Greg Schianos offense...

Vincent Jackson Catching On In Tampa

Same old V-Jax Juan… According to reports out of camp, Vincent Jackson is the best player in Tampa Bay. He is routinely beating Talib on long passes and is really passing the good ‘ol eye test. Vincent Jackson has always been a polarizing figure in fantasy football as his inconsistency is just plain frustrating to owners. Don’t Sleep On Jeremy Maclin Nicks Chills On The Sidelines...

Injuries Already Mounting for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Training Camp

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers just opened their 2012 training camp and the roster has already taken some twists and turns. WR Dezmon Briscoe was released outright amid reports that the receiver had failed conditioning drills. Briscoe was claimed off waivers by the Washington Redskins. Former second-round pick, DT Brian Price was traded to the Chicago Bears in exchange for a seventh-round...

New Redskins WR eager for fresh start

The newest Washington Redskin is eager for a fresh start after his promising career in Tampa Bay became enmeshed with his messy personal life. Wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe led the Buccaneers with six touchdowns in 2011 while catching 35 passes but skipped a voluntary minicamp in April as his current and former girlfriends engaged in a series of accusations on Twitter. Briscoe was...

FNL with Vincent Jackson

Vincent Jackson has numerous offers but the one offer he doesnt have is from the University of Florida. Jackson talks about what side of the ball he might play and a Friday Night Lights.

RB LeGarrette Blount is fighting for the number one spot with rookie Doug Martin

What is the deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers backfield? To read this story please click the link below.

Barber embracing new position with Bucs

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- At 37 and entering his 16th NFL season, Ronde Barber is embracing the challenge of learning a new position with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A five-time Pro Bowl cornerback who's making the transition to safety in first-year coach Greg Schiano's system, Barber not only is receptive to the move but excited about the team's prospects of rebounding from...
NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.