Many will look at second year quarterback Josh Johnson’s stats and beg Raheem Morris to yank the young signal caller for first rounder Josh Freeman. What many are not willing to realize, is that if Freeman gave the Bucs a better chance at winning on game days then Johnson, he would have already been inserted into the starting lineup.
Johnson was 26-of-50 for 240 yards with 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions against a heavy all out blitz on almost every pass attempt, factor in the lackluster performance by the receivers who combined for 7 drops and the lack of pass protection and a running game – even the most novice of fans can see Johnson is being asked to shoulder the load in very unfavorable conditions with odds stacked against him actually having success.
With Johnson unwilling to make excuses for his performances or use the lack of reps through out training camp as part of the reason for the lack of chemistry with his receivers, how long before the players around him start stepping up and pulling there own weight.
Through two games Johnson is 43-of-82 for 382 yards, 3 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. When you factor in the 11 drops he would have been 54-of-82 for a completion percentage of 66%, instead his completion percentage is a mediocre 52.4%. Has he gotten help from offensive coordinator Greg Olson and his play calling, a ground game, his receivers or his offensive line, no, but he did improve from game one to game two and seems to have players gravitating towards him which would clearly indicate he is a natural leader on the field and has the tools if given an equal opportunity to mature he could become a quality starter over time with help from other players around him.
But what he’s gotten thus far, is what the team is not willing to allow Josh Freeman to experince and become shell shocked at an early stage of his development. Is it fair, no, but when you have the amount of money tied up in an investment the way the Bucs have, you tend to coddle said investment a tad bit more then a player or investment you have little invested in.