Bucs Central

Josh Johnson Named Week Four Starter

According to ESPN, head coach Raheem Morris has decided to promote 2nd year QB Josh Johnson as the starter in Week 4 vs. Washington. Former starter Byron Leftwich has actually been moved all the way down to 3rd string, as rookie Josh Freeman will be backing up Johnson.

Johnson came in midway through the 4th quarter of the abysmal 24-0 loss to the New York Football Giants and underneath him the stagnant offense showed a little signs of life. Johnson completed 4 out of 10 completions for 36 yards (which is more than Leftwich had the entire game). Johnson also added 15 rushing yards on a scramble, however he failed to score on four attempts in the red zone.

I think this is a sign of desperation from Morris. It is way too soon to give up on Leftwich. He had a great first two games and the whole offense looked atrocious on Sunday. Surely, no one can place the blame entirely on his shoulders. He deserves one more week.

My question is this: What if Johnson gets out there and doesn’t do any better (or, dare I say it, even worse)? What then? It’s only week 3 and you bench your starter after one bad game?

I think there are a lot of areas that need improvement. Most noticeably the offensive line. We were only able to run the ball a measly ten times on Sunday. That is not a typo. Ten times. What has happened to our three headed running attack we heard so much about during the preseason?

I understand that we are getting behind in games early and this takes us out of our game plan, but seriously, running only ten times for 28 yards (and fifteen of those belonged to Johnson)? This organization is already in a tailspin. I hope that Johnson succeeds because the only thing to do if he doesn’t is to start the rookie. I don’t think that’s very fair to Freeman. He will be expected to work a miracle. He will disappoint the fans, the coaches, but most importantly himself. His confidence will be shattered and he will never have the chance to develop like the plan intended. I just think it is too early in the season to be pulling out all the stops.

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4 comments… add one
  • Paul Mueller September 28, 2009, 12:07 pm

    You make a good point about the running game. Especially since everyone seemed so excited to see Derrick Ward start against his old team. They needed to mix it up a bit. However, Johnson looked good for the short time he was in there. The receivers simply dropped too many good passes.

    Sure, he wasn’t playing against the Giants’ starting defense because the game was so far out of hand, but with the exception of one play where he rushed a pass on the goal line to Jerramy Stevens, he made good decisions. He also adds a mobile dimension that Leftwich doesn’t bring. I don’t think it’s too early to give up on Leftwich. As a matter of fact, I don’t think he ever should have been the starter in the first place. There’s nowhere to go but up from here.

    How long till draft day?

  • Lee C September 28, 2009, 1:04 pm

    I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree about Leftwich. Everyone is so high on Johnson but it is primarily sight unseen in my book. He could very well get out there and impress me, but he could also get out there and look like a 2nd year QB from a Division II school who has never faced a first string NFL defense before.

    I’m just saying everyone should be careful what they wish for. It’s hard to believe, but the odds are in the favor that Johnson makes Leftwich look like a pro-bowler.

    He is more mobile, that’s for sure. I just don’t think a mobile QB is that great of a thing. Seneca Wallace, Marcus Tuiasasopo, Michael Vick, Pat White, etc are all mobile qbs, but they are not very good ones.

    I just feel sorry for the kid, because too much is expected of him. We could witness the birth of a legend on Sunday, but it is more likely that we will see a guy whose own head coach has labelled him as “his Jason Garrett”.

  • tristan September 29, 2009, 9:28 am

    I thought Josh Johnson looked great! I thought the receivers did everything they could to make him look bad. They dropped easy balls! The man is good on his feet, with wilkl serve us well the way our O line is playing, he had proven to be an accurate passer through his whole carreer. The guy can find the endzone look at his college stats. I know I know…less competition right. Defenses nwill have top attack with a new dynamic,,,hes mobile that will open up the middle for our tight ends! If you have LB’s watching the flats for the scamble…whos covering our tall fast tight ends! If we get our recivers going stretching the D and defenses have to plan for ten yard scamble potential….well..shit is going to hit the fan and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds. He has been the best QB on the team all year! Iv’e said it all along. Heys Glazers go get some D with all that money… Free agents thet are still out there! Get some pressure on the QB! You guts should have paid Haynesworth! It would free up Adams if they have to double Haynes..so he can use his speed! You blew that out your ass! Put Black at Left end he is a hybrid like Simione Rice was. Pay another line backer, Ruud can’t be everywhere! Crowel! We needed you, I’m truly sorry to see you got hurt! Filp, drink some milk, it will strenghtin your bones,,glassman. Bucs… I love you guys! You are a better team than this, NY is good and I expected to loose…Im sorry but I did. You are not the team that played last sunday. You don’t drop balls like that…our lines are better than we played. Josh Johnson..I beleive in you. Dynamic player who can do it all are the future of this league, Iv’e read about how smart you are! Do it. Do it for all the Bucs fans who will never give up on htis franchise…do it for people like me in Omaha Ne. Who will leave his house every sunday and pay to watch you guys play. All alone…the only Bucs fan in the bar. Telling everyone to kiss my ass cause I know the Bucs can do it. GET”EM BOYS!

  • Lee C September 29, 2009, 11:27 am

    It’s good to see someone with such enthusiasm Tristan. I look forward to seeing J.J. get in there and mix it up as well. I hope you and Paul are right about him. We’ll see on Sunday. Go Bucs!

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