TAMPA — It’s a question that has plagued the Buccaneers for so many years and it still exists in 2011 as we prepare to enter the season. The question may be the same, but the mood and the tone of it is less dire and not as complex.
The question is what will the Buccaneers do with the quarterback position.
Normally in the past this was in reference to who would be the starter. Brain Greise? Jeff Garcia? Brad Johnson? Shaun King? Bruce Gradkowski?
This year the question is (much to the relief of Bucs fans) what will Tampa do with the backup position. Josh Freeman is clearly the starter and will be (knock on wood) for the better part of the next two decades. But Tampa now has a descion to make as to how many backups they should keep on roster.
Raheem Morris said earlier this week that if the team ends up going with just a two man depth chart, wide receiver Micheal Spurlock would be the emergency backup. Spurlock played some quarterback during his days at Ole Miss.
This isn’t the invention of Morris however. AA new rule implemented by the NFL eliminates the third string quarterback on game days, essentially rendering the role irrelevant to have on roster. This makes Rudy Carpenter, the Bucs third string quarterback, a very nervous man.
Carpenter is currently in competition with former Tennessee Vols quarterback Jonathan Crompton for the No. 3 slot, but with the game day irrelevance of having a guy on roster, there’s no saying Tampa could decide to part ways with both guys and potentially add one to the practice squad for insurance.
Tampa currently has four quarterbacks on roster: Freeman, Josh Johnson (who is the solid No. 2), Carpenter and Crompton.
“You know, Rudy has done a nice job for us and I’m going to let him go out there and battle it and kind of play hat way, play for that and let us make those tough decisions about how we’re going to do it,” Morris said. “We’ll have to go see. Him and Crompton will have a chance to go out there and compete. I look forward to this battle. It’s nice.”
It’s a nerve racking wait and see for both Carpenter and Crompton, and it’s yet another story line to follow as we creep closer to opening day.