Jeff Faine may not be a Buccaneer anymore, but he still has opinions on the team. In a pretty interesting interview with JP Peterson on 620 WDAE the center talked about all things Buccaneers, but especially Josh Freeman. Faine was Freeman's center for the first three years of the quarterback's career and saw him develop from a third-string quarterback as a rookie to the inconsistent starter he is today.
"He's a guy that's a true competitor," said Faine. "Very, very competitive. Wants to push his teammates, push himself, push everybody around in the organization to be better. I loved how I saw him mature the way he did. And obviously it wasn't a completely smooth ride, we had some trials and tribulations to deal with during that period. But he stayed the course and continued to work, continued to try and get better as a team, to try and educate himself on the game and become a better quarterback and become a better player and become a better leader."
As for the Bucs themselves, Faine believes they fell short of their goal in 2012, something that should be pretty obvious: a losing record after investing heavily in free agency and the draft simply wasn't what they wanted to do. But the outlook for 2013 is rosy, in Faine's eyes.
"I'm excited to see what he's going to do this year. I think that the Bucs have done a fantastic job of really assembling a great supporting cast around him, and that obviously includes the defensive side I think as well. So the pieces are there. The question there is he has to go out and do it, he has to go out and prove it and that's what the contract year is about. He's laying it all on the line."
"They fell short of what their standards were. A lot of people around the league thought that they may have achieved, but I guarantee you there's not one person in that locker room that believed they overachieved, they believe that they fell short."
Faine talked about Aaron Hernandez, Gerald McCoy ("He can be one of those guys that can become unblockable") and Adrian Clayborn ("he's going to run right over you"), Michael Bennett ("it was a big mistake letting Michael Bennett get out of there"), so make sure to listen to the whole interview.