Morris Says Freeman Could Start for Buccaneers

Tom EdringtonSenior Writer IJune 13, 2009

TAMPA - MAY 01:  Quarterback Josh Freeman #5 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers throws a pass during the Buccaneers Rookie Minicamp at One Buccaneer Place on May 1, 2009 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)

Raheem Morris is in love. We know that.

He's totally, absolutely smitten with Josh Freeman, that 6-5, 230-pound hunk of young quarterbacking blood who was drafted 17th in the first round by the Buccaneers.

Just when you thought it was Byron Leftwich vs. Luke McCown for the starting position, Morris has pulled a Lee Corso and tells us "not so fast my friends...."

Morris and GM Mark Dominik visited the friendly confines of a Tampa Chamber of Commerce luncheon this past week. They took their wonder boy, Freeman, with them along with veteran tackle Chris Hovan.

Morris dropped a bomb of sorts on the lunch munchers and told them that Freeman could end up as the starters when his guys face America's team in week one of the NFL regular season.

"I'm not ruling out the guy sitting here," Morris said. Talk about getting peoples' attention.

Morris went on to say that the Buccaneers want to have the same feeling for Freeman that Indianapolis has for Peyton Manning.

Talk about expectations.

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As if that wasn't enough, Morris guffawed at a suggestion that the Buccaneers are in a "rebuilding" mode. "I'm not interested. We believe in forcing our will on opponents."

Before he does that, Raheem will have to try and force his will at the team's mandatory mini-camp this coming week.

And while he's at it, if Freeman is going to compete for the starting quarterback job, perhaps Morris will let him start taking reps with the first team.

Now that would get some attention.

Don't count on it yet.