The band aid brigade that once toiled under center has been discarded for youthful exuberance. The team has decided a drastic makeover was in order at the most critical position in all of football. With the immanent release of Brian Griese on the horizon, the days of a quarterback hanging on long enough to begin collecting social security checks is a thing of the past. The position has been made over from a 1920’s Victorian into a more modern Brownstone.
The demand on the position has not changed, but the team has simplified the terminology in an effort to allow the younger players with less experience the chance to be able to use there natural abilities.
Luke McCown – The odds on favorite heading into training, will be tested not only by the scheme change but also veteran Byron Leftwich. The thinking here is that the team brought Leftwich into the fold for insurance purposes in case McCown isn’t what they envisioned him to be.
Byron Leftwich – Is the opposite of McCown when it comes to athletic ability, but tops him in the experience category. With the Bucs looking to attack down field off of play action he has the arm and poise to be able to compete, but likely will come up short in his effort to become the teams starter due to his lack of mobility.
Josh Freeman -The heir apparent to be the future of the franchise from early indications will be given a year to learn the intricacies of the position at the pro level which effectively takes him out of the running to be the starter in 2009 unless devastating injuries ravage those ahead of him.
Josh Johnson – One of the two forgotten men in the arms race, Johnson is a long shot to make the team, but many have already counted him out. The thinking here is the team wont keep four quarterbacks like last season, but Johnson has a chance to increase his stock with a solid showing to the rest of the NFL.
Brian Griese – Has been rumored to be on the way out all off-season, but with quarterbacks coach Greg Olson a believer in his abilities the team has kept him around for some unknown reason. Odds are when the team signs another draft pick Griese will be one of the first players cut.
McCown holds off the advances of Leftwich to claim the top spot heading into the season opener, but will be on a shorter leash then some think. Essentially many think the battle is between McCown & Leftwich for the starting position, but if Leftwich loses out to McCown he might be in danger of more then just the number one spot.
Depending on Leftwich’s overall showing he could be leaped by second year pro Josh Johnson and ultimately released or traded as the team has little invested in him.