Bucs have had leaders before but none like Josh
When you think of team leaders from recent Buccaneer teams, then you instinctly think of the defensive side of the ball.
Warren Sapp being the loud variety, Derrick Brooks the quieter one and back into the 1990s, Hardy Nickerson as the completely-off-his-head type. But all truly inspirational.
But how about offensive leaders? Naturally you are only going to consider quarterbacks in this category so how many out and out real leaders have the Bucs had behind center over the years?
Doug Williams would be one name that many fans would immediately pluck from the air but is that really true? Doug had to put up with a lot in his five-year career from racism to Hugh Culverhouse but he delivered on the field when it mattered.
I will always bow to the opinions of the likes of Dave Reavis and Steve Wilson who blocked for him during those years and they always relate to Doug being a leader in the huddle if not off the field and in the media.
Steve DeBerg was more of a leader than Vinny Testaverde ever was, Chris Chandler and Jeff Garcia were only ever in it for themselves and Craig Erickson simply wanted to spend time having a few beers with his linemen during his time as the starter.
So then we come to Trent Dilfer who so wanted to be a team leader and did everything he could to assume that mantle. He spoke to the media, worked out for hours and did some great stuff off the field to promote the franchise. His only problem was that he couldn't do it on the field when it mattered and so never had his team-mates behind him.
And then in 2009, the Buccaneers drafted Josh Freeman. Given half a season to watch and then half a season in the fire, he came back in 2010 with a sophomore season for the ages and recognition around the NFL as the next great thing. And he did not let it rest there.
It was Freeman who organised the off-season workouts, it was Josh who knew all the protection schemes and the receiver routes, and it was No.5 who led the team on the field to a 10-6 season.
And everyone I talk to behind the scenes at One Buc Place and in the Tampa media speaks so highly of his maturity and attitude and how his feet are seriously fixed to the ground.
The Buccaners have been looking for a leader behind center for 35 years. It looks right now as if they really have one who we can all admire and appreciate.
You've been great, enjoy a Flock of Seagulls.