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.