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Tampa Bay Bucs QB Josh Freeman talks with campers during his recent football camp at WCH.

By Matt Wiley

For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the season is never really over, as it takes months of off-season training to be prepared for the next NFL season.

So, even though school is out, more than 200 kids from across the Tampa Bay area came out for the annual ProCamps Josh Freeman Football Camp at Wesley Chapel High on June 19-20.

Battling the summer Florida heat and rain, the campers got pointers from several Bucs players, new and old, including wide receiver Vincent Jackson, retired linebacker Derrick Brooks, and of course, current Bucs QB Josh Freeman himself.

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“Football teaches life lessons here and there,” Freeman told the campers. “It’s all about getting out there, having fun and competing.”

The two-day camp split participants into small groups, which each worked with a different “coach,” who would teach them different fundamental football skills. After a certain amount of time, the groups rotated. Day 1, unfortunately, was rained out just as the kids were about to play their scrimmage games, but they were able to squeeze a few in during Day 2 before the rains came.

“I really liked playing the games,” said Cade Zois, 7, of Land O’ Lakes. Zois said he learned to look through his “window,” or where the eye opening in his football helmet would be, when gazing down field.

For the Bucs’ Jackson, who ran most of the first day of camp because Freeman was late due to a “personal matter,” said teaching fundamentals and community service are keys for success.

“We have a passion about our community,” said Jackson, who has his own “Jackson in Action 83” charity which helps military families. “We know what it means to give back. We were once in these kids’ shoes. They’re learning the fundamental skills (of football). It’s that kind of stuff that they’ll use in the future.”

For more information about future Josh Freeman Football ProCamps, visit Freeman. For Vincent Jackson’s Jackson In Action 83 Foundation, Inc., visit And, for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ preseason public workout schedule, as well as info about purchasing tickets to Tampa Bay Bucs pre- and regular-season games, visit

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