Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman has heard the criticisms of his team after its season-opening loss to Detroit.
Many are questioning why Tampa Bay running back LeGarrette Blount had only five carries for 15 yards and was not utilized in the second half of the 27-20 loss. The Bucs failed to sack or hit Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford, leading to criticism of the defensive line. Tampa Bay also failed to score an offensive touchdown in the first quarter and questions have swirled about its repeated slow starts.
Freeman refuses to push the panic button.
"It's kind of a Chicken Little complex," Freeman said. "Lose the first game, the sky's falling, you guys are never going to win again, you can't start, the defense can't do this or can't do that. Within the building, we know what kind of team we are.
"We know we let one get away this past weekend and we know we can go out and play better football and win games. There's no panic, so to speak, within this building, within our locker room."
Freeman praised his offensive line for its protection when Tampa Bay ran its two-minute offense against Detroit, but admits the Bucs needs to start faster.
Over the past 55 games, Tampa Bay's offense has failed to score more than seven points in the opening quarter.
"You talk about LeGarrette running the ball," Freeman said. "He's not going to get stuffed very often. He's going to fall forward and get four or five yards a pop. We have a great offensive line. I can see us coming out this week and starting fast."