New Bucs OC Sullivan says Freeman a big selling point for him

Mike Sullivan, who coached Eli Manning to his second Super Bowl MVP award earlier this month, said Wednesday the opportunity to work with another NFC quarterback was what convinced him to leave his job as New York Giants quarterbacks coach to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as new coach Greg Schiano's offensive coordinator.

"I'll be honest with you, the attraction (was) having an opportunity to work with a special talent like Josh Freeman," Sullivan said, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Sullivan, who had been on the Giants' staff since 2004 and was quarterbacks coach the past two seasons, was hired by the Bucs last Friday.

After a surprisingly successful 2010 season, Freeman and the Bucs regressed in 2011, losing their last 10 games. Freeman, who'll be entering his fourth season in 2012, saw his interception total increase from six to 22.

"I think, as everyone knows, it's a quarterback-driven league," Sullivan said. "No matter how you slice it ... you've got to have a quarterback. I think a lot of the things you look at with Josh Freeman -- the skill set that he possesses, the youth, the ability, the size, the strength -- there's an awful lot there that I'm just chomping at the bit to work with."

Also Wednesday, the Bucs announced they have hired longtime NFL assistant Jimmy Raye as a senior offensive assistant.

Raye has been in coaching for 40 seasons, 34 of them in the NFL. He has been an offensive coordinator for the Bucs, St. Louis Rams, New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs, Washington Redskins, Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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