Tampa Bay's Freeman is talking the talk

Josh Freeman met with the Tampa Bay media Thursday morning. Much like he did when I met with him over at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports back in late February, Freeman is saying all the right things.

He also is saying he’s doing all the right things. He’s spent much of the offseason at One Buccaneer Place, even before there were any official workouts. He’s been watching film, lifting weights and getting familiar with new quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt.

That’s all very good and it’s always a nice thing when a rookie quarterback heads into his second year because he gets to spend a whole offseason with the team. Freeman’s talking like a leader and that’s a positive.

I know some of you think coach Raheem Morris made a mistake (like that would be a first?) at the owners meetings last week when he said he expects Freeman to elevate the players around him. The thinking from some of you was that Morris was putting too much pressure on Freeman.

I’ll disagree with that school of thought. First off, isn’t a franchise quarterback supposed to elevate the people around him? Second, Freeman’s a man now and he gets paid a lot of money to deal with pressure. Third, and most importantly, look at Tampa Bay’s roster right now – who else is there that’s capable of elevating others? Who else is capable of being a leader?

Nobody really. This is Freeman’s team and it’s his time to start stepping up. Yes, there still will be some growing pains along the way and it would be nice if the Bucs can give him a respectable receiver or two. But, basically, Freeman is saying – and appears to be doing – exactly what the Bucs expected when they drafted him.