Josh Freeman ready to be a "lean, mean fighting machine?"
As it was in the beginning is now and shall be for at least the next two seasons "All About Five" for your Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
That was Raheem Morris' mantra from the first day the name of Josh Freeman was called out at the 2009 NFL draft. It was that way in 2010, it was that way in 2011 and that is how it shall be this season.
The Bucs can defend better, they can run better, but in the end, it will still be all about Five. It will be about Josh Freeman, it will be about how well he can rid himself from the stink of 2011 and how well he'll perform this season.
Just a side note. Freeman is still very young. He turned 24 in January, and by comparison, Andrew Luck will be 23 in September and Robert Griffin III turned 22 this past February.
It became the talk of the town this week that Freeman is apparently taking this new regime of Greg Schiano's very seriously. He went ahead and gave up the junk food, the donuts and the rest of the stuff that 20-somethings thrive on, mainly, well, because they can.
Mark Dominik was quick to tell NFL.com our guy, Josh, that would be No. 5, has dropped some serious baby fat. The guy who was hovering in the 250-260 pound neighborhood is less than 240. If that's not attention to detail, what is?
The next move for Freeman might be served best if he brought his favorite chair into the video room and basically spent the next four months there with Mike Sullivan. You'll recall Sullivan is the next offensive coordinator, former quarterback coach for the Giants and Eli Manning and Simon Sez.
If you want to be like Eli, well, you might want to study game video like Eli, who studies game video like Peyton, who studies game video like no one else on the face of the earth.
Now that Freeman has graduated from Weight Watchers, that's got to be a good example for the rest of the gang over there in the halls of New Buccaneer Place. Dropping the blubber scores a big Greg Schiano check mark in the "I want discipline" category. It shows desire and a little more "want to" and that "want to" commodity basically went extinct at One Law and Order Place last season.
We'll take you back in time a moment and remind everyone that Schiano gave a glimpse of things to come when he said, "Hiring Mike Sullivan kind of gives you a hint about what we want to look like but I believe in running the football and I believe in taking shots downfield."
That being said, Freeman received some nice gifts in the form of Vincent Jackson, arguably the best receiver available in free agency. He received big daddy Carl Nicks on the offensive line and he's got some other toys as well—running back Doug Martin and another little speedster, Mike Smith.
That's enough to make you want to shed a couple pounds, isn't it?
More than that, it shows us that Freeman understands the new "Sheriff" and understands the new culture.
If all goes well, Freeman will show up at Schiano's No. 1 deputy.