The benevolence of Raheem Morris naming Byron Leftwich as the
Tampa Bay Buccaneers current placeholder until the future of the franchise Josh Freeman is prepared to assume the role has more to do with his ability to teach the young Jedi warrior the pitfalls that come with being hailed as the savior of a franchise that has never had, a proud tradition of guys lining up under center.
Leftwich was in the very same situation as Freeman is today, a young man being drafted out of Marshall in the first round back in 2003, by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Many pundits lauded the selection at the time, but then came the inconsistent play, injuries mounted and then, the boo’s started to echo louder and louder with every passing game that was played.
Eventually, Leftwich was released and toiled around the league for three years with three different teams, seemingly never to be heard from again. But his confidence and belief in his abilities, have given him one last chance at superstardom, albeit as a placeholder. His experiences will be priceless to Freeman.
Freeman a younger more athletic version of Leftwich, will be given the chance to listen and learn through observation, while holding a clipboard and pacing the sidelines until he adjust to the speed and mental side of the NFL.
Many have questioned the selection of Leftwich over Luke McCown, but the reality is his experience and ability to lead had more to do with him being named the team’s starter then his play on the field, but other then his low competition percentage due to the lack of timing with receivers everything else was there, solid line protection calls, forced the action, and never seemed to get rattled after a bad play.