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Josh Johnson is your new Bucs starting quarterback

The Byron Leftwich era in Tampa has apparently lasted all of three games.

Josh Johnson will start for the Bucs this week in a matchup of struggling teams against the Redskins. 

Leftwich won’t even be the team’s backup; first-round pick Josh Freeman will move into that role, with Leftwich moving to the No. 3 spot.

The move is surprising on a number of levels, primarily because of Morris’ words from Sunday night.  Morris said Leftwich would remain the starter.

“I can’t sit here and tell you that this game can be blamed on any one
man,” Morris said. “Five first downs, 0-of-9 on third down, 28 yards rushing. If I
take Byron Leftwich out of the game, I might as well take everyone else out with him.”

Well, Morris should be planning to make some other moves then. 

The change is more surprising because Leftwich was decent — not great — while throwing for 572 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions in his first two starts.

We’re curious what — or who — changed Morris’ mind about the direction of the quarterback position after his press conference.

Josh Johnson is certainly a more mobile quarterback, and the Bucs likely want to see what he can do in order to see what type of future he has with the team. 

“He gives you the dynamic that you all know about,” Morris said about Johnson.  “He creates a better chance to break out of the pocket and make a play with his feet.”

Still, it’s rather early in the season to be looking towards the future.  The Bucs brass must believe Johnson gives them a chance to win now.  If not, it’s only a matter of time until we see Freeman take the reigns.

Leftwich, meanwhile, may not get another chance in Tampa. He’s due a $3.5 million roster bonus next March, a sum that makes it very likely the former top-ten pick will join his fifth team in as many seasons.

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38 Responses to “Josh Johnson is your new Bucs starting quarterback”
  1. KILLER FIN says: Sep 28, 2009 12:38 PM

    start Freeman, what do you have to lose???

  2. mustbechris says: Sep 28, 2009 12:39 PM

    No, really, hiring young head coaches who have never been coordinators because their price tags are cheaper than established coaches and rebuilding your team from scratch with them at the helm is a good idea and it won’t set your team back further due to incompetence and lack of a plan going forward. Every team should follow this model; it’s been very successful historically.

  3. Dustin Chandler says: Sep 28, 2009 12:41 PM

    why not just start Freeman and get it over with?

  4. florio's_mom says: Sep 28, 2009 12:43 PM

    The Bucs thought they could pull out a whiz kid like the Steelers and the Broncos.
    But ultimately they epic failed.
    It looks like a fight to the 1st pick between the Bucs, the Browns and the Rams.

  5. Zaggs says: Sep 28, 2009 12:45 PM

    Amazing what 22 yards passing on 7 completions will do for ya. Though its not like any other part of the Bucs team played well on Sunday either. Are they going to have a new starting running back as well?
    Though I wonder how Derrick Ward felt as he saw Ahmad Bradshaw carving up the Bucs D for over 100 yards.

  6. YoMama says: Sep 28, 2009 12:46 PM

    Maybe they could do an even trade for Luke McCown.

  7. homercles82 says: Sep 28, 2009 12:48 PM

    Johnson’s stat line against the Skins next week – 250 yards 2 tds

  8. Gibbon Randolph says: Sep 28, 2009 12:50 PM


  9. Tampa_Native says: Sep 28, 2009 12:50 PM

    Best move since the off-season began.

  10. KingMiedus says: Sep 28, 2009 12:53 PM

    Leftwich was far from decent. Sure his box score looked decent, but I was at the Bills game and he was throwing ducks all over the place. His overall numbers have only been good because they’ve had him pass so much.

  11. The Centurion says: Sep 28, 2009 12:54 PM

    I think the Buccs looked awful as a unit, Leftwich was pretty productive in the first 2 games. Ive got some serious questions about this Raheem Morris guy. Never been a head coach, wasnt even a coordinator, and he seems to have idea what he is doing.

  12. Abe Froeman says: Sep 28, 2009 12:59 PM

    Sounds like the owner put his foot down on his young coach.
    Dance puppet, dance.

  13. Buccaneer says: Sep 28, 2009 1:01 PM

    I sat through many games in cream sickle orange days and I can’t recall ever feeling as bad about the Bucs as I did yesterday.
    As far as Josh Johnson goes – at least there will be an interesting story line to next weeks game… great.

  14. summerfart says: Sep 28, 2009 1:01 PM

    Zaggs was right. Forget Leftwich, he has been done for a while now. D-Ward was the one who tried to sneak on the plane back to NY before Tom Coughlin caughted him, spanked him, and then called Raheem Morris to come get him.

  15. jan van flac says: Sep 28, 2009 1:03 PM

    “It looks like a fight to the 1st pick between the Bucs, the Browns and the Rams.”
    don’t forget the Chiefs.
    so much for parity…there are some god awful teams this year.

  16. Rex Grossman says: Sep 28, 2009 1:04 PM

    Time to finally give up on Leftwich. Was pulling for the guy but I guess he just don’t got it.

  17. Seeryer says: Sep 28, 2009 1:12 PM

    “The change is more surprising because Leftwich was decent — not great — while throwing for 572 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions in his first two starts.”
    Byron Leftwhich is too slow and too inconsistent to start at QB in this league. He can throw for alot of yards in games in which his team has no chance to win. However, he can’t make plays against an up tempo attacking defense. His feet are too goofy and his delivery is too long. It becomes glaringly obvious when the tape is played the next morning. It only took Raheem 3 weeks to realize what it took the Jags 4 years: Byron is a scrub, always has been, always will be. Pete Prisco is fuming somewhere right now. He love hims some Byron.

  18. wplus says: Sep 28, 2009 1:13 PM

    Sounds like a meddling voice from ownership – which now explains the abrupt firing of Jon Chucky and the replacement of a very young and thus far, over matched coach. Leftwich is not good, but why not play Freeman – if you concede you are going to be terrible this year?

  19. wplus says: Sep 28, 2009 1:14 PM

    Sounds like a meddling voice from ownership – which now explains the abrupt firing of Jon Chucky and the replacement of a very young and thus far, over matched coach. Leftwich is not good, but why not play Freeman – if you concede you are going to be terrible this year?

  20. Okey says: Sep 28, 2009 1:21 PM

    HaHaHa! Leftwich is finally in the position he is qualified to be in….. 3rd string.
    As for JJ, it is about time the fans get a chance to see if this guy is NFL quality or just another piece of the equation that needs to be sent packing by the start of next season.
    Keep using the rest of this tanked season to evaluate the players AND coaches to see who deserves to stay and who truly needs to be sent packing right out of town!

  21. thunderdog says: Sep 28, 2009 1:22 PM

    It doesn’t matter that Josh Johnson is more mobile. The Redskins have no pass rush anyway.

  22. PimP JuicE MaN says: Sep 28, 2009 1:23 PM

    Leftwich meet Sandwich ………………………………
    and they lived happily ever after ………………..
    green frogs R always GREEN ………….

  23. TFBuckFutter says: Sep 28, 2009 1:27 PM

    Maybe they should have kept Jagodzkinski for three games and cut Leftwich at the end of preseason.

  24. jliskiew says: Sep 28, 2009 1:41 PM

    To me this is a smart move because they either need Johnson to be the long term back up, or would like to be able to trade him.
    Making him their starter before eventually putting Freeman in gives them a chance to evaluate what the have, and put him on display for the rest of the league as well.

  25. mrlaloosh says: Sep 28, 2009 2:14 PM

    ~RADIO~ Leftwich has never been a competent NFL QB. He’s a 3rd string emergency QB at best.
    Who is JOSH JOHNSON? never heard of him.
    Why not start you #1 pick OB Freeman? What have you got to lose? He’s can’t possibly be worse than ~Radio~!
    Morris is already a failed experiment. The Glazers a VERY wealthy. Go get a Billick, Cower, Shanahan, Holmgren etc…..

  26. bucco bruce says: Sep 28, 2009 2:27 PM

    This gives the Bucs their best shot at a “W” this year, the other against Carolina at home in 3 weeks.
    Byron, “The Human Windmill” needs to sit on the bench. Hopefully, we’ve seen the last of him.

  27. magsdad1 says: Sep 28, 2009 2:33 PM

    Hey, don’t forget Oakland in that suckfest for the #1 pick.
    Has there been a year where there were more horrific teams out there?
    Some years, you just don’t have it. But these teams (and Miami is in danger of joining) are just unbelievable. I mean, these are PROFESSIONAL football teams????

  28. florio's_mom says: Sep 28, 2009 2:51 PM

    All of those team are in a pit. Even if they turn around now they will still most likely miss the play offs.
    The raiders and chiefs can’t get past past the broncos or the chargers.
    The rams are no chance for the 49s.
    And there is no way in heck the Bucs can compete with the Saints and The falcons.
    Maybe those teams will lose on purpose for the rest of the year.
    The race for Tim Tebow begins. hahaha

  29. Krow says: Sep 28, 2009 2:51 PM

    They need a professional QB who goes through the progressions… not some guy who scrambles around. Let’s take a look at running QBs who won Superbowls… it’s a short list.

  30. SimAlex2000 says: Sep 28, 2009 2:56 PM

    any jake plummer sightings?

  31. TFBuckFutter says: Sep 28, 2009 3:01 PM

    “SimAlex2000 says:
    September 28, 2009 2:56 PM
    any jake plummer sightings?”
    I read about one a couple months ago. But it turned out to be a hoax….just a couple dudes put a gorilla costume in a freezer.

  32. nato2424 says: Sep 28, 2009 3:56 PM

    plummer is truely the only thing that could save this franchise. talk about moving in the wrong direction.

  33. m2002m says: Sep 28, 2009 4:35 PM

    Florio’s Mom:
    “But ultimately they epic failed.”
    You’re a loser.

  34. Bubba Maximus says: Sep 28, 2009 4:43 PM

    According to “Coach” Morris, Josh Freeman was the best QB in the 2009 draft.
    It’s obvious that the Bucs aren’t going anywhere, so why not put Freeman in there and see what he can do?
    I mean, if Stafford can step in for the 0-16 Lions and do a fair-to-good job, why isn’t “Coach” Morris willing to start “the best QB in the draft”?
    In the meantime, I want to hear from all of the Buc fans who were so happy to see Gruden fired.
    Rule No. 1 of coaching changes: don’t make one unless you’re going to hire a better coach.
    With Rah-Rah, the Bucs thought they were getting the next Mike Tomlin, but they got stuck with the next Lilly Tomlin.

  35. Hovenaut says: Sep 28, 2009 4:52 PM

    Wow, who saw this coming. It’s like the Redskins just lost to Stafford and Detroit or someth…….oh yeah.

  36. Pier588 says: Sep 28, 2009 5:57 PM

    The Bucs real starting QB is on the J-ville bench. Lefty should never have been brought in let alone make the team.
    The Glazers are now back to the ways of Hugh Culverhouse. Here come the blackouts and loads of free tickets if you’re willing to pay the parking fee.
    They may get their biggest home gate in London.

  37. DJ says: Sep 28, 2009 7:03 PM

    My God! Take a deep breath and relax. We are 3 games into a season of 16. Every year there are teams performing above and below expectations early in the year. This is early not 1/4 of the season. In reality if the bucs continue to play at the current level are they actually any worse than last season. I think not much anyway. They were not going to compete for a division title or a playoff spot this year anyway. Get real would ya! The Bucs were pretty lame last year also. Why did the coach get fired in the first place.

  38. Buccaneer says: Sep 29, 2009 2:12 AM

    They are playing like a team thats 30mil under the cap.
    The top 5 teams (bucs, chiefs, bears, packers and browns) in terms of cap space are a collective 4/11 wins and losses.
    You get what you pay for!

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