Bucs QB Competition Extended One More Game


Buccaneers Head Coach Raheem Morris suggested a few weeks ago that the QB competition between Byron Leftwich and Luke McCown would be settled after the 2nd preseason game vs the Jacksonville Jaguars.  It now appears that this Thursdays game vs the Miami Dolphins will be the final round battle for both guys.

“Both of them played so well I don’t think it was fair for me to make a decision right now,” said Morris. “So I’m going to let these guys play it out another week. We joked about it yesterday, but we’re going to have to sit in that same room doing the same thing we did next week. We wanted to get in there and give them another opportunity.”

Byron Leftwich – 12 for 26 for 124 yards, 1TD, 0INT

Luke McCown – 10 for 17 for 70 yards, 2TD, 0INT

Both guys have looked solid but unspectacular.  It is obvious that Leftwich likes to move the ball down the field a bit more and is averaging a real solid 10.3 Yards/Per Completion.  I’m a little troubled by the 46% completion percentage though.  He has a big arm and can make all the throws, but with our lack of great receivers, Leftwich is going to have to be a little more accurate with the ball if he wants to start for this team.   Luke has a much better 59% completion perecentage, a little under what I would think is ideal for our QBs.  His 7 Yards/Per Completion is obviously much less than Byron’s though.  New OC Jeff Jagodzinski is keen on moving the ball down field with the big play, and Leftwich looks a little more comortable doing that at this point.  I personally thought McCown looked spectacular vs the Jaguars this Saturday.  His release point was high and his velocity on his passes was top notch.   I still think that McCown gives us the best chance to win games at this point.


Another real nice development was the running of FB BJ Askew.  I would tend to think that he is not fighting for a roster spot, because he is a superior blocking FB, but Jagodzinski is not a FB utilizing type of guy.  With the improved health of Cadillac Williams and the development of Clifton Smith, BJ might honestly be fighting for a roster spot. Ernest Graham has shown that he can be a solid FB, especially in a system that doesn’t utilize a prototypical FB, so Ernest might see a good amount of time there.  I hope BJ makes the team because I am a huge fan, but I think Saturday was a running audition for him.  He looked solid running the ball though, running 14 times for 52 yards.


The one position where I still have no clue what the Bucs are going to do as far as final numbers is the WR position.  It is obvious they are trying to figure out if Maurice Stovall can be more than just a nice “looking” player on the football field.  He was targeted at least 8 times on Saturday and finished with 5 catches for 42 yards.

Sammie Strougther seems like a lock to make the team at this point, especially considering his great TD grab on Saturday, and the fact that we spent a draft pick on him this year.  Michael Clayton, Antonio Bryant, Sammie Stroughter seem like members of the 53 man team, so that leaves Stovall, Urrutia and Brian Clark battling for possibly as little as one roster spot.  I think the final WR corp will be Clayton,  Bryant, Stroughter, Stovall and Clark.  I’m not sure whose spot the 5th receiver takes from another position, but with the health of Clayton and Bryant in question, 5 would seem to be a neccesity at this point.