Bucs Central

State of the Buccaneers: Quarterbacks


Future of the franchise could get a quality mentor this offseason

In the coming days, Bucs Central will address the different areas of the Buccaneers offense, defense and special teams by taking a look back on the 2009 campaign and looking forward to the 2010 offseason and beyond. From potential cap casualties, re-signings, free agent signings to draft picks, that could have quite a huge impact on the upcoming season and seasons outside of just 2010.

The carousel of quarterbacks the team paraded under center wasn’t able to get the job done in ’09, the whole handling of the quarterback situation during OTAs and training camp was comical at best. But the brief glimpses Josh Freeman showed have the franchise believing that his future is bright. Whether he can fulfill such lofty expectations remains to be seen. Byron Leftwich was never going to be the long term solution and failed miserably in the short term. Second year pro Josh Johnson was given a look, but was overwhelmed and looked like a deer caught in the headlights.

2009 Roster

Byron Leftwich — F
Leftwich just didn’t get the job done and went downhill quickly after the season opener. Things began to unravel and his lack of conditioning really showed during the fourth quarter of his three starts.

Josh Johnson — D-
Johnson struggled to settle in the pocket and keep his eyes down field and more often then not tucked the football and ran earlier then he should have. Johnson still has a long way to go in his development and after last season’s performance. It will be interesting to see if the team still views him as a long term project, still worth investing in.

Josh Freeman — C-
In nine starts Freeman threw 10 touchdowns to 18 interceptions an almost 1:2 ratio. While he completed a higher percentage of passes then either quarterback drafted ahead of him, he was wildly inconsistent from game to game.

Rudy Carpenter — Inc
Carpenter, a late season addition to the roster after the team placed Leftwich on I.R. was regulated to 3rd string emergency quarterback on games days down the stretch. While the Bucs are high on Carpenter, it remains too be seen how serious they are about his future with the team.

2009 Summary

Statistically speaking, the Bucs quarterbacks were horrendous at capitalizing on opportunities’ and engineering drives that resulted in the team netting points out of the passing game.

Off-Season Goal

Finding a free agent, veteran quarterback who is willing to compete and tutor Josh Freeman is needed. Preferably, a heady player who has the ability to breakdown the intricacies’ of what opposing defenses are doing on film and can become a confidante. It will be paramount for general manager Mark Dominik and head coach Raheem Morris to find a player that Freeman can lean on in times of diereses.

Best Case Scenario

The Bucs land free agent Chad Pennington to help navigate Freeman through what some feel could be choppy waters during his sophomore season. The second option would be that of Charlie Batch who is coming off a wrist injury. Worst case scenario is the Bucs stand pat, pay Leftwich his bonus and go into 2010 with Leftwich mentoring Freeman for one more season.

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