Bucs Central

This Past Week In Review

Johnson goes from an after thought to the main man come this Sunday

Johnson goes from an after thought to the main man come this Sunday

Let me preface this by apologizing to the 1 or 2 readers of this site, for the lack of coverage this past week. While being sick and traveling throughout Iraq (you know, my real job) is not an excuse for not bringing you, the loyal readers, the latest happenings surrounding the team that you root for. It’s what it was and for that I apologize.

Now let’s get down to business. The Good, Bad & The Ugly was missed this past week. The good was that the score wasn’t worse then it actually was. The Giants could have embarrassed this team more if they had desired to do so. The Bad looks like the team traded away the wrong quarterback when it dealt Luke McCown to the Jaguars on cut down day. The Ugly, that’s the easiest one of them all. No need to throw any one person of group under the bus, as they all stunk the joint up in front of the home crowd.

The waffling by Raheem Morris (green behind the ears) is baffling to say the least. Twenty-four hours after letting it be known the team would make some changes and that it would not start with Gary Coleman (Byron Leftwich), Morris pulled the plug and demoted Leftwich to third string and is rolling with a player that many pundits, including the famed Pewter Report, deemed an after thought at cut down day around the league. Now the player who was supposed to be a career back up in the eyes of Morris is being given a chance to show his wares.

Something smells fishy, and no I’m not standing in a bait shop. New offensive coordinator Greg Olson  recently alluded to the fact he is is very comfortable with second year player Josh Johnson, whom he groomed all last season. Coincidentally, Johnson’s now the player taking the reins and being asked to lead the team on Sundays.

Essentially, Leftwich’s career in Tampa is done!

Morris will have no choice but to allow Johnson and rookie Josh Freeman to battle it out the rest of the season. The dilemma for Morris is if Johnson does succeed and prove capable of leading the team on the field. What happens to Freeman next year? Does Morris allow a battle to be waged in training camp or does Freeman get the job gifted wrapped by Morris, seeing as he is married to his former first round pick. The plot seems to thicken with each passing day in the hallowed halls of One Buc Place.

It’s no secret Johnson allows Olson to use more of the play book in terms of being able to move the pocket and run rollouts, qb waggles and some designed run stuff, but I question the motive or the reasoning behind such a move. Olson, who was not a proponent of McCown’s,  is also seemingly not too enamored with Freeman at this point, based on his lack of desire to speed up Freemans learning curve. It’s an indication of what he ultimately thinks about the future of the franchise. His willingness to send a player who was given scraps from Longshanks table in the way of reps throughout training camp, and who was running the scout team for the past three weeks, is a lucid sign of how he views Johnson’s abilities’ and readiness to handle the transition from scout team qb to starter.

The most perplexing thought is that a player who has really only been afforded mental reps since entering the league as a fifth rounder from a division three school, when you come right down to it, is now being asked to rally the troops into winning on game days.

Is this an ego based decision with Freeman at the forefront ,or is the decision being based on what’s best for the team at this given point and time?

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1 comment… add one
  • Lee C October 1, 2009, 12:18 pm

    I’m sure more than one or two of us read the site Roland. I’m very anxious to see J.J. in there on Sunday. Although I think that Morris pulled Leftwich a little too early, I think that this may be what the fanbase needs to keep it excited for this season. If Johnson throws up a goose egg we should be expecting black outs soon.

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