Posted in General News

Familiarity with teammates could boost McCown in Bucs’ QB competition

by Roland Johnson on May 18, 2009

Dan Parr, of Profootballweekly.com scribes that because of the new found

McCown front runner for 09

McCown front runner for 09'

confidence level and familiarity with his teammates, Luke McCown has a slight edge in the quarterback derby being waged in Tampa.

It was well-known that Buccaneers QB Luke McCown didn’t lack confidence, and he emphasized that point at the team’s voluntary workouts Tuesday, telling reporters that the starting job was his to lose, even though he’s competing with Byron Leftwich and rookie Josh Freeman for the role. That kind of authoritative, self-assured talk is sure to sit well with new head coach Raheem Morris, who appreciates a certain swagger and confidence, having quite a bit of it himself. Leftwich is considered a serious contender for the starting job, and Freeman is more of a long shot due to his lack of experience, but something neither of McCown’s competitors will benefit from is a history with their fellow Bucs. McCown has been in Tampa for the past four seasons, and sources say he has earned the confidence of his teammates. We hear some of them felt strongly that McCown should have been the one to replace Jeff Garcia when then-head coach Jon Gruden pulled him for Brian Griese early last season. Still, McCown has only 12 games under his belt and seven career starts. His career TD-INT ratio of 9-10 is unimpressive, to say the least. Yet that confidence, wherever it comes from, and the support of the teammates he knows well could give him a slight edge in this summer’s competition. Source: Proofootballweekly.com

There is a few ways at looking at the whole one bone, five dogs statement made by Morris last week, essentially on the surface it looks to be an open competition, but when you look back to previous statements made by Doug Williams, in reference to Freeman’s abilities to start right a way, you get the sense that Freeman will only get a chance to start if  both McCown & Leftwich succumb to injuries.

In regards to Brian Griese, after missing all of the teams off-season conditioning program and OTA’s to date, he is clearly the odd player out, as the team has stated on several different occasions that they would only bring four quarterbacks to camp.

Josh Johnson is the wild card in all of this as he has been with the team since 2008, and has a working relationship with not only Morris, but also QB’s coach Greg Olson. Secertly the powers that be are hoping Johnson pushes Leftwich, while Leftwich push McCown, which would result in the team keeping Johnson should he show enough moxie and improvement in his accuracy, because the team has very little invested in Leftwich should things unfold this way  expect to see Brian Griese cut before training camp and Leftwich to be shopped to a team like the Redskins who were seriously considering Leftwich.

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