The Buccaneers yesterday re-signed QB Luke McCown to a 2 year contract with a gauranteed 5 million this year if he is on the roster, and 2.5 million next year assuming the same thing. In my opinion, this is a solid move for a team so far under the cap. I pined last season for Luke McCown to be the Bucs QB and with the signing of this contract, it appears he will certainly get that chance in 2009. He is a great fit for Jeff Jagodzinski’s offense with his mobility and arm strength.
The best news for me is that this almost certainly spells the end of the Jeff Garcia era in Tampa. I will now take two shots of Patron and rejoice in my office.
“Luke McCown is a talented and athletic quarterback who we have gotten to know well over the last four years,” said Head Coach Raheem Morris. “I know he is looking forward to the opportunity to be an integral part of our quarterback group this season.”
Luke McCown had an exclusive interview with the Pewter Report after signing his deal. I’ll throw some snippets up, but make sure to check it out.
Were you given the assurance that you will compete to be the starting quarterback for the Bucs next season?
“Yes. I expect to fully be in the mix to be the starter. I’m going to do everything in my power to make this my team – to be the starter and lead this team and get us back to the playoffs.”
Coach Jagodzinski ran a spread-type offense in college at Boston College. That is something you are familiar with from your days slinging the football around at Louisiana Tech.
“Yeah, no question. When I was back in college that was the thing. The more options you can get to throw to the better. Be it five receivers, or four receivers and a tight end, or backs that can catch the better. Usually that makes defenses either have to blitz you, or do they have to play extreme zones which gives me a lot of opportunities to run the ball, so in college that kind of a system was a win-win situation. I feel comfortable in any kind of a spread offense. For me it doesn’t matter what kind of offense because I think I can perform and be successful, and we just have to get to work on it.”
Pewter Report has learned that the Bucs under new head coach Raheem Morris will be going a more vertical offense in the passing attack, and a zone-blocking scheme on the ground. Is that something you are looking forward to in a change in the offense?
“Yeah, I think you have to be able to stretch the field vertically. The thing is defenses are going to do their best to force you to check the ball down. You have to at least present the ability or the option to go vertical. When you have the kind of weapons that we are going to have to throw to, and the scheme that we are going to have to run, certainly I am looking forward to it, and I think we can be really good at it.”
You were a big fan of former head coach Jon Gruden, and voiced that support plenty of times. Yet he didn’t give you the chance to start this season. What is your reaction to his leaving the organization?
“I enjoyed playing for Coach Gruden. I learned a lot of football from him. (In 2007) he did give me the opportunity to start three games, and he prepared me for those real well and allowed me to show what I can do. After my rookie season when everybody wanted to write me off (in Cleveland), we had 11 starters go on IR, he traded for me and wanted to give me a new start. For that I’ll always be grateful and thankful, that he did show that kind of confidence in me. I don’t have anything bad to say about him. I really don’t. He gave me a lot of opportunities. Last year was what it was. Maybe there were a few things I didn’t agree with, but what it boils down to is the organization – led by the Glazers – did what they think is best. I’ll take everything that I’ve ever learned under Coach Gruden and continue to apply it this year and make myself a better player.”