During the fourth quarter of Sunday's loss at Philadelphia, coach Raheem Morris and some of his assistants considered doing something that is inevitable: playing rookie QB Josh Freeman.
Though the game was out of hand, they decided against it, mainly because the Eagles hadn't strayed from their barrage of blitzes for which Freeman wasn't fully prepared. But the team's 21-year-old No. 1 draft pick is closer to being ready to take his place under center if and when the Bucs decide his time has come.
"He could play right now," offensive coordinator Greg Olson said Wednesday. "He's getting reps, we're sharing reps in practice right now between he and Josh Johnson.
"It's just a matter of him getting comfortable with (blitzes). So, if he had to play, yeah, he would play. He's our No. 2 quarterback right now. It's just a matter of him getting reps during the week."
Morris said: "Josh Freeman's development is really going well. Josh Johnson, however, has been here for a year. He's been here for the 6 o'clock meetings in the morning for a year; he's been with Greg Olson for a year; he's been through these protections for a year. … He's been through all that. Freeman's going through that process."