Buccaneers former third string running back to starter Earnest Graham talked with media after a conditioning session Wednesday at One Buc Place were he publicly endorsed QB Luke McCown.
“There’s nothing he can’t do on the football field,” Graham said of McCown. “He’s a great athlete and he’s a very, very intelligent guy. He just needs to play – like anyone else. He’ll have mistakes, but that’s part of playing. And once he gets through that, he’ll do great.”
“Letting Luke have a chance is a great decision,” said Graham, the University of Florida product who spent three years playing special teams before finally getting a chance to run with the regular offense. “I think he probably should have been playing a long time ago. With the exception of Michael Vick and Vince Young, I don’t think there’s another athlete as good as Luke McCown at quarterback. He can do anything.”
Luke McCown who only has a handful of starts in his six year career with both the Browns & Bucs, but after taking a back seat as a vocal leader in the past, he has really been outspoken about his desire and opportunity to be the Bucs starting quarterback in 2009.
“I want the Bucs to succeed,” McCown, 27, said Wednesday. “I couldn’t (be upset). Mark (Dominik) wants to be the best GM he can be. Raheem (Morris) wants to be the best head coach he can be. They have to do their jobs, and their jobs are to put together the best team they can put together. If they feel like that’s another option, I can’t blame them for that. I wouldn’t agree with it. But I can’t blame them for that.”
“I have an opportunity to prove that I’m the franchise guy that they’re looking for. I want to be the quarterback here for the next seven, eight, nine years. I’m going to do my very best to prove that. … It’s not personal. It’s a business and you have to understand that.”
One, has got to be liking the new business like approach McCown has taken this off-season when discussion have risen about him being the leader in 2009 or whether it was reports that surfaced about the team trying to swing a trade for Broncos QB Jay Culter, which is the exact opposite of what Culter has been singing to the media.
While McCown doesnt have the stats or the games played in like Culter or even the lofty draft status, he has a much better disposition when dealing with off the field distractions as well as the respect of his teams that seems to be disappearing for Culter.
The question will always hang over McCown like a 500 pound gorilla sitting on his shoulders, but one way or another McCown has a golden opportunity sitting in front of him that he will either take by the horns or flame out on a grand stage.
This fan is betting on McCown surprising a bunch of nay sayers this coming season.