In a reversal, of an earlier stance Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach
Raheem Morris has not named a starter heading into Thursday nights third pre-season game against the Miami Dolphins. Morris has been steadfast that the team had to have a starter named by week three of the pre-season. However he indicated Sunday afternoon that he along with his staff is not ready just yet to announce a starter.
With veterans Byron Leftwich and Luke McCown locked in a fierce battle, seemingly with neither player truly separating from the other. This fanatic stands firmly behind Morris’ decision to let them continue to battle it out for one more pre-season contest before anointing his starter for 2009.
The biggest factor is third down; McCown is 3-of-7 (42.8 percent) in converting third downs via the pass, including a touchdown where as Leftwich, is a pedestrian 1-of-8 (12.5 percent) in converting third downs.
Through the first two pre-season games against the Titans and Jaguars respectively, Leftwich has completed 12-of-26 passes (46.1 percent) for 124 yards and one touchdown with a 73.2 QB rating & 4.77 YPA . Leftwich has also led Tampa Bay on two other scoring drives (field goals). McCown completed 10-of-17 passes (58.8 percent) for 70 yards with two touchdowns with a 107.4 QB rating & 4.12 YPA. If you are counting points in the preseason, McCown has lead the Bucs to 14, while Leftwich has lead the team to 13.
As predicated on Saturday, here at BucsCentral.com should McCown catch fire. He would make the situation extremely tough for Morris to proclaim anyone the starter, as the QB derby would be a dead even heat.
A 30 point higher QB rating, 12 point higher completion percentage, 9 fewer pass attempts and one more touchdown pass. Throw in the fact McCown has been the much more accurate quarterback and adds the ability to use more of offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski playbook with his athleticism on naked bootlegs, roll-outs and QB waggles and his wicked play action fakes which considering the team is implementing a power run game and a vertical passing attack to stretch defenses it’s obvious to this observer who the starter should be heading into week one at home against the Dallas Cowboys.