Mike Sullivan talks about debut
Mike Sullivan called his first regular-season game as offensive coordinator against the Panthers today, and he wasn’t necessarily taking bows afterward. But he was praising his offense’s ability to avoid turnovers, especially after the Bucs’ minuns-16 turnover ratio in 2011 – worst in the NFL.

Zero turnovers, “that’s a great number,” Sullivan said. “It’s all about the ball. And our defense did a phenomenal job. It was a situation where we’d have a long drive and then try to go over the (overhead) pictures and, oh, we’re up again. It’s a good problem to have. It was a great team win.”

Part of the reason for the lack of turnovers: Josh Freeman, who played soundly if not spectacularly. Freeman finished 16 of 24 for 138 yards and one touchdown but started 8 for 9. “He did a great job,” Sullivan said. “He had a great feel for what we wanted to do. And his decision making was what we were looking for.”

Sullivan said the offense kept its composure even when success didn’t come as easily as it did in the first half, when the Bucs were moving the ball with ease. That was something that left an impression on him.

“Even when things started to waver a little bit, when maybe a ball was dropped or something, they had enough determination to stay the course,” Sullivan said.

About the writer
Stephen F Holder has been writing additional Buccaneer features and daily blog reports on the team for several seasons now for The Tampa Bay Times.