More than one horse at Bucs QB?

Josh Freeman

Many envision first-round pick Josh Freeman as the Bucs' quarterback of the future. But could the future be soon? At least one media outlets is reporting that there is discussion that Freeman could start as soon as this year.

With all the national hype surrounding the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' current quarterback competition, there appears to be a horse that could win the race that many believe wasn't even in the running.

Many believe Luke McCown or Byron Leftwich to line up under center come preseason, but Rick Stroud of The St. Petersburg Times is reporting that rookie Josh Freeman could be that guy.

Originally, Freeman was expected to sit and learn the new offense, but plans could change according to Greg Olsen, the Bucs' quarterbacks coach. Olsen told Stroud that the coaching staff, general manager Mark Dominik and player personnel coordinator and Doug Williams talked recently about Freeman's development.

"We did talk last week, and when I say we, I'm talking about everyone in the building from the GM, the head coach, Doug Williams – other people were involved and we just discussed the Josh Freeman plan," Olsen told The St. Petersburg Times. "We decided we'll go through the summer, we'll go probably a week into training camp and we'll revisit it again…we may expedite what he's doing."

There is some concern about ruining Freeman's confidence if he struggles from the start. Without McCown and Leftwich claiming the starting job, anything could be possible.

Following Wednesday's afternoon practice, head coach Raheem Morris addressed Freeman's status.

"We will continue to evaluate this thing throughout training camp." Morris said. "We will continue to evaluate this throughout the season. We will continue to evaluate until Josh Freeman is ready to become our prototypical franchise quarterback."

Then Morris was asked if he would be surprised if Josh Freeman would be the Bucs' starting quarterback.

"It would be hard for me to say that I would be surprised because of all the information I had on him coming in." Morris said. "It is no secret that I was with him at Kansas State. I've seen his work ethic at Kansas State when he was a freshman and wasn't the starter. What he tried to do, what he wanted to do, how he works – things I knew about him that other people didn't. Nothing would surprise me with this kid."

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