BUCCANEERS QUARTERBACK JOSH FREEMAN
POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE
September 22, 2013
Q: Last week you said your offense was better than scoring seven points and today was only three. What's going on out there is it dropped balls, penalties, more of the same?
JF: It was really not making the plays that we really needed to. When you're playing against a team with the defense and offense like New England you've got to make some of the plays and find a way to get on the board and match them and their scoring drive.
Q: It looked like early on you were getting some good matchups – some man-to-man and things like that. Did they do anything to try to take that away?
JF: They did a little bit of combo coverage there towards the end. We lost Vincent [Jackson] for the remainder of the game early in the third quarter. They played man, they played a little bit of two-man and did a good job of anticipating some of our routes.
Q: You guy got off to a hot start in the first two drives, but came away with just three points. How deflating was that and can that effect on the psychology of the team and the confidence level?
JF: I can't say that it affects any sort of confidence or confidence level. We just know that when we get down there we have to make plays and find a way to go to the guy that's going to be open with the ball and that guy has got to make the catch. I thought our [offensive line] did a tremendous job today whether it was in the run game or the pass game. We've just got to find a way on the outside to make plays and score some touchdowns.
Q: How frustrating is it to see balls get in players hands and they don't put the catch away?
JF: You've just got to move on. Drops are part of the game. If I throw a bad pass you've got to move onto the next one, so that's kind of how we look at it. It's a collective effort – a collective effort to find a way to get in the end, just score some touchdowns at the end of those drives.
Q: How hard has it been trying to get other guys involved? Vincent [Jackson] was out but your playing with Tim Wright and Eric Page, Kevin Ogletree is still relatively new. Is that a factor at all at this point as far as the passing game?
JF: Today we did a little shuffling. We shuffled some guys around, but the bottom line is that the guys that know the offense are expected to play at a high level and some guys were able to make some plays, but the chemistry was a little bit different.
Q: This is the third straight week your completion percentage was under 50 percent. That's very unlike what you have done in your career in the first four years. Can you point a finger at something? What doesn't seem right, what seems off for you?
JF: We are taking a lot of shots and when you're throwing the ball downfield that many times, a lot of the times the back gets eaten up in protection, it's a shot play, they cover it and you've just got to launch it and get it out of bounds. I'm going to have to go back and evaluate today and all of our pass attempts – which ones were throwaways. We have to find a way to complete more passes – complete them on third down and in the red zone.
Q: Are you happy with the play calling or is that something that needs to be addressed as well?
JF: I thought we had a good plan. Like I said, it was tough in the second half with Vincent going down. You saw in the first half we were able to sustain some drives, we just couldn't come away with it in the red zone.
Q: Is there any way you guys could say, 'Let's do this and change it,' during the game?
JF: We had a number of conversations on the sideline. Like I said, a lot of our game plan was around Vincent Jackson and in the second half, I thought Eric Page stepped up and made some big plays, [Kevin] Ogletree made some big plays; out of the backfield, both of our backs. We just have to collectively come together and execute at a higher level.
Q: At 0-3, is there any feeling that the season is starting to slip away from you?
JF: No, not at all. Rough start obviously but we played three quality football teams and we just have to continue to work. We know what we have; we know what kind of players we have: offense, defense, special teams. We know it's just a matter of time before we come in on Sunday, put it all together and get this thing cranked out.
Q: You were on an 0-3 team your rookie year. How different is this 0-3 compared to 2009?
JF: It's completely different- obviously different faces, different coach. But this is the NFL. Nobody worries about the nuances on Sunday. All that matters is wins and losses and we have to find a way to start winning.
Q: Is this the toughest stretch you've been through, when you just can't seem to get it going?
JF: It's interesting, I haven't really looked at that comparison. It has been trouble scoring. You go back to the tape and you wonder why and it's just the little things: guys just focusing in, me included, locking in and finding a way to make the plays that allowed us to be an explosive offense last year.
Q: Is it tough not having a dynamic tight end to go to? Is that a piece that's missing?
JF: I don't really look at things from a personnel standpoint. The guys that we have are capable of going out and executing. I know Timmy Wright is a tremendous athlete. Different teams have different makeups. I wouldn't trade Mike [Williams] and Vince [Jackson] for the world and Kevin [Ogletree] is coming on strong. We just have to get back and work and find a way to come out and get the job done next week.