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Freeman says Bucs were warned about dangerous hits by Saints

Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman said Monday that Tampa Bay players were warned by their coaches about potential "cheap shots" from the New Orleans Saints defense before the division rivals met during the past three seasons.

Freeman also said the league's investigation and findings against the Saints and their former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams came as no surprise to him.

"We just knew every time we played the Saints, they were going to take some cheap shots," Freeman said Monday, according to the Tampa Bay Times. "I mean, it was always something we acknowledged.

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" ... It is what it is. I'd just say it's not surprising."

"We were told, just kind of like watch your knees on sideline plays, everybody slowing up and one guy trying to take a shot when someone is unprepared," Freeman added. "It was unnecessary stuff."

Freeman was hit out of bounds by Saints cornerback Malcolm Jenkins in a 2010 game. The Saints received two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties on the play and Jenkins was later fined $10,000.

"I like a lot of those guys on the team," Freeman stressed. "I know a lot of Saints guys. Whether it was an extra incentive or whatever it is, I really don't know what was going on in their locker room. It was just overall feeling."

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