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Mike Martz on Josh Freeman

Posted Sep 11, 2012 by Ira Kaufman

Updated Sep 11, 2012 at 01:14 PM


TAMPA—The architect of the Greatest Show on Turf says Josh Freeman is in good hands.

Mike Martz, who orchestrated a St. Louis Rams attack that ravaged NFL defenses a decade ago, worked Sunday’s Bucs-Panthers opener as a Fox analyst. Before Tampa Bay’s 16-10 triumph, Martz said he is sold on Freeman as a franchise quarterback for the Buccaneers.

“The best thing that happened to Josh is having Ron Turner as his quarterback coach,’’ Martz said. “When things get kind of heated, young quarterbacks tend to revert back to survival tactics. Their footwork goes south and they panic. Ron is as good as there is at getting a quarterback grounded in fundamentals and he’ll end up having a huge impact on Josh. I think Freeman’s going to be a terrific player in this league.’‘

According to Martz, new Bucs head coach Greg Schiano was determined to surround Freeman with more firepower in the offseason.

“Coach Schiano said they had to get more weapons on offense, and the Bucs did that,’’ Martz said. “Now Freeman knows he’s got playmakers he can get the ball to.’‘

Although Schiano wasn’t hired to replace Raheem Morris until Jan. 26, Martz is impressed with the staff Tampa Bay assembled.

“They are just outstanding,’’ he said. “When you have as young a team as the Bucs have had the past few years, the first thing that happens is a lot of turnovers, penalties and poor tackling. Raheem is probably a heck of a coach, but the environment in Tampa needed a guy like Greg Schiano. Looking back, Raheem Morris was a young coach with a young football team.’‘

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