Johnson to replace Letwich as Bucs’ starter

Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris said on Monday that Josh Johnson will replace Byron Leftwich as the team’s starting quarterback.

From the St. Petersburg Times:

“He provides us more options,” Morris said of Johnson. “We evaluated this morning, looked at the tape, and made the decision today. He gives you the dynamic that you all know about. He creates a better chance to break out of the pocket and make a play with his feet.”

By going with Johnson, the Bucs seem to be looking for a spark without sacrificing the future development of Freeman, their prized first-round draft pick.

Of Leftwich, Morris added: “I hate to make this about Byron…He missed a few throws, he didn’t give us the accuracy we wanted.” But at the same time, Morris said, Leftwich “didn’t jump offsides on the second play of the game” and “he didn’t drop passes. So it’s not all about Byron. But that position is usually — just like the head coach — the guy who gets the blame. I talked to Byron this morning and he lookedme right in the face and said, ‘Hey, I knew I had to get some wins early.’ And we’re moving on.’

Unless Johnson can play defense for the Bucs, I don’t see this change making much of a difference. He has some raw talent, but Tampa’s receiving corps is banged up and it would be unfair to think that Johnson will enter the starting lineup and rescue a sinking team.

As for Leftwich, this has to be his final opportunity to be a full-time starter. He’s proven countless times that he’s too inconsistent to hold onto a starting job for a full season (or even half a season) and he’s too mistake prone. He’s much better in a limited role and would be a better back up than starter. (See last year in Pittsburgh as an example.)

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