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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL veteran Polian impressed with Bucs' Schiano, Freeman

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Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 11:03 PM
TAMPA -

Former NFL executive Bill Polian, who helped build the Bills, Panthers and Colts into NFL winners, visited Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp Monday and said the influence of new head coach Greg Schiano is already apparent.

"I was always impressed with what Schiano did with Butch Davis at the University of Miami and he also did a very good job at Rutgers," said Polian, who is touring NFL camps as an analyst on SIRIUS Radio. "He not only recruited well at Rutgers, but he built a program that was nothing before he got there.

"His teams played sound, fundamental football and you can see that out here this morning. His teams run the ball, they're physical, they play good defense and they don't beat themselves. That's how you win in any league. You'll see results immediately in terms of less penalties and turnovers."

According to Polian, quarterback Josh Freeman's struggles in 2011 shouldn't prompt Buc fans to question his credentials as a franchise quarterback.

"I like Josh Freeman and I think (quarterbacks coach) Ron Turner will be good for him," Polian said. "He's got a ways to go yet, but that's understandable. It takes quarterbacks time to develop in this league. People want him to come in and play at Peyton Manning's level right away. Well Peyton in his fourth season (23 interceptions) had a terrible year. A step back isn't unusual, in fact it's the norm for young quarterbacks. Look at Eli Manning two years ago.

"Freeman's still going through the growth process and I wouldn't think of writing him off."

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