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Bucs' Freeman wants offseason work to catch on with receivers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman is back at work, and he plans to keep it that way regardless of the labor situation.

Freeman, who sparked the Bucs' run to a 10-6 record -- a seven-game improvement over 2009 -- and a near playoff berth, is working out at the team's facility, and he plans to work with his receivers beginning next month whether or not there is a lockout once the collective bargaining agreement expires March 3.

"Hopefully the CBA gets resolved," Freeman told the *Tampa Tribune* on Tuesday, "but if it doesn't, I've already been in contact with all of our receivers and everybody's excited to come (to Tampa) in March and get going.

"We're going to hit up a couple of the local high schools here and work out that way. Hopefully, they'll let us use their weight room or whatever it is we need, because we're anxious to get going."

It took Freeman and his receiving corps -- which included rookies Mike Williams and Arrelious Benn -- some time to get on the same page during the 2010 season, but once they did the results were impressive.

Freeman threw 15 of his 25 touchdown passes in the second half of the season. His second-half passer rating was 21 points higher than that of the first half as the Bucs won three of their final four games but missed the playoffs due to a three-way tiebreaker.

"We're anxious to get out there and get to work on some of the timing issues and some of the route concepts, because last year it took us a little while to get clicking on some of those things," Freeman said. "We were never really off, but we really didn't hit our stride until late in the season.

"We want to make sure that we start the season the way we finished it up last year," Freeman said. "We want to be at that level of performance a lot earlier."

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