BY: John Mamola /

Needless to say that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers did not get off to the start they had wished in their 18-17 loss on Sunday to the New York Jets.  Between malfunctions with the headset inside Josh Freeman’s helmet to missed snap which ended up in a safety for the Jets, things could have been better to say the least.  Questions surrounding how prepared the Buccaneers actually were surfaced again on Tuesday as NFL Hall Of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton joined WDAE’s “The Sports Page” program.

Tarkenton focused primarily on the play of Buccaneers’ quarterback Josh Freeman saying that the fifth year starter needs to take some chances on his own in situations like the one on Sunday.

“Josh Freeman has got to take responsibility himself” said Tarkenton.  “He’s got to understand the game, he’s got to make the play.   He’s got to get in the game plan.  He’s got to understand everything that he’s doing and say to his coach that I’m not comfortable with that throw.”

Tarkenton said Freeman needs to more vocal in the actual play calling of the Buccaneers offense in game.  “If you’re not comfortable with it, change the play.  Tell your coaches.”

Tarkenton credited Freeman for getting the Buccaneers into a position to win the game late in the fourth quarter but said there is plenty of room for improvement.

“I’d like to see Josh Freeman do the things he can do” said Tarkenton.  “I saw him do some really good things, then I saw him do things he can’t do.   I’d like to see him use his feet more, buy some time and get out of the pocket some and run for a first down.”

“Josh Freeman should be a lot better than he is.”

You can catch Fran Tarkenton every Tuesday at 8:00am on 620AM / 95.3FM WDAE.