Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Davin Joseph: Bucs went from country club to business
When Tampa Bay Buccaneers guard Davin Joseph was asked Tuesday about the development of the team's makeshift offensive line last season, the veteran guard delivered a pancake block to the former regime of the Buccaneers.
“It's that change we went through, going from a country club into a place where we actually conduct football business,'' Joseph said.
The Bucs finished 7-9 last season after Greg Schiano replaced Raheem Morris as head coach and implemented a culture change that stressed discipline and details.
A first-round pick in the 2006 draft, Joseph is one of the few Bucs remaining from the 2007 club that represents Tampa Bay's last playoff entry.
“I've seen a lot of guys come in and out the door,'' he said. “There's only a few of us left.''
Joseph declared himself completely recovered from a season-ending knee injury suffered during a preseason game in August. He is eager to rejoin an offense that finished No. 9 in the NFL last year.
“Rehab's good, rehab's over with,'' said Joseph, a two-time Pro Bowl selection. “I have no limitations. Now, it's about getting in football shape. I'm where I need to be and I'm confident I'll have no issues come (offseason workouts) and minicamp. I'm really excited for the season. On offense, we're shooting for the stars. We've always had weapons, we just have to utilize them in the right way.''
With fifth-year quarterback Josh Freeman under scrutiny heading into a contract season, Joseph said Bucs fans need to look at the bigger picture.
“I'm biased,'' Joseph said. “He's my friend, my teammate and my quarterback. The thing that's going to make Josh the guy is his team. It's the defense doing what it should, special teams making plays, the offensive line blocking, receivers catching and running backs running.
“Look at the two teams in the Super Bowl (Ravens and 49ers). Those weren't the two best quarterbacks in the league – it was the two best teams. Josh's success is going to come from his team, just like any other quarterback. Peyton Manning didn't make the Super Bowl, Tom Brady didn't make it.
“I defend Josh a lot because I feel everyone wants to point to him, but it's the team, the organization, the coaches … everybody. We have everything we need to win here. We've got to come together and make Freeman the player he needs to be. We have the right quarterback to take us to the next level.''