Sunday, October 25, 2009

Tampa Bay Bucs: Quarterback?

OK, so I haven't posted much about sports lately. I figure my time is better spent providing content unlikely to occur elsewhere.

That said, I have some opinions about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their situation at quarterback.

1) I've never been impressed with Byron Leftwich. Wished him well while he was in Jacksonville. The guy had a good arm but seemed limited in what he could accomplish by limited mobility plus a slow release.

2) I thought Luke McCown offered the Bucs the best chance to win, headed into the season. McCown was traded to Jacksonville prior to the season.

3) I do not yet see what the Bucs see in Josh Freeman.

4) I liked the draft of Josh Johnson last year, but figured Johnson would move on in favor of keeping McCown, Leftwich and Freeman.

The Bucs named Leftwich as the starter, to my mild surprise. I considered the possibility that race had something to do with the decision. Wrong idea, I think. McCown never showed much more than Leftwich has shown but had less game experience. Plus Leftwich can throw the deep ball, which has remained an open question for McCown.

So the Bucs entered the season with Leftwich starting.

5) Leftwich played pretty well in the first game of the season. That game showed us the good side of his game. The next two games showed off his weaknesses as his lack of mobility combined with his slow windup to hamper the Bucs offense. The Bucs switched to the highly mobile Josh Johnson.

Johnson apparently practiced little with the starting offense. It may be argued that elevating him to the starting position would cause the team to question the judgment of the coaching staff--perhaps not the case if the second-year QB out of San Diego had been considered in the running for the starting role at some point in the preseason.

6) Johnson has displayed good mobility and an accurate arm. His decision making, unfortunately, has hurt the Bucs too often.

During the latest loss to the Patriots, Josh Freeman got his first regular season playing time.

I still don't see what Bucs' coaches see.

To me, Josh Johnson offers the Bucs the best chance to win right now. And I do not see why his upside is any less than Josh Freeman's. Hopefully, the fact that the coaching staff apparently disagrees with me confirms that my assessment is wrong. Otherwise, we have a coaching staff that has trouble evaluating talent at the game's key position.


Reason to hope I'm wrong(!):

Sammy Stroughter has been a very pleasant surprise at wide receiver. He seems like the type of player Jon Gruden thought he was drafting when the Bucs picked up wideout Dexter Jackson with a second round pick last year.

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