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.