Tampa BayWatch – My Thoughts on the Bucs

Posts Tagged ‘Josh Johnson

The Race for 53: QB’s

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In the build up to Training Camp and preseason I’m going to take a look at some of the battles for roster spots. First up and possibly the most controversial, whose going to line up under centre in week 1 ?

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Is it his Team ?

The QB position for the Bucs has always been one for debate, and this year it seems even more muddled than normal. The Bucs have 5 QB’s on the roster, including new first round pick Josh Freeman, Brian Greise, Luke McCown, Byron Leftwich and Josh Johnson. Early in pre-season it seemed that the spot belonged to McCown after he was given the big contract extension. When Garcia was let go in Free Agency it seemed even more clear that this was McCowns team. Then, in the weeks leading up to the draft the position got really muddled. Byron Leftwich was signed from the Steelers in FA and the Freeman to the Bucs draft rumours started to gain some traction.

Looking back over the media stories covering McCowns new contract there’s not a great deal that really says ‘Luke is our man and its’ his team’. Raheem was quoted on Buccaneers.com saying

“I know he is looking forward to the opportunity to be an integral part of our quarterback group this season.”

For me that doesn’t sound like a ringing endorsement for your new QB, and it looks like there will be a battle royale in Training Camp for the spot. So despite the big contract was the team ever McCowns or is he just baby sitting until Freeman is ready ? This is where training camp will give a real insight into whose team it is and how quickly Freeman is coming along.

I don’t think that the Bucs will take 5 QB’s into camp and Greise will be the first to be let go. Greise does have the veteran nous but for me he just doesn’t suit the Bucs new scheme and with Leftwich being brought in we no longer need Greises’ veteran skills. Leftwich can provide the veteran nous and seems more suited to the new Jagodzinski style than Greise. Leftwich stepped in well during Roethlisbergers injuries and should be the #2 but who will he be backing up ?

Josh Johnson was definitely a project type pick and was a Gruden pick. Whether he’s got the ability or the team feel he can contribute will dictate whether he stays. Johnson was a draftniks dream sleeper pick, small college player with outstanding stats but never tested at the top levels of college ball. In the new Morris led era I just can’t see Johnson making the roster and expect him to be cut after camp. So that leaves Freeman.

Or His Team

Or His Team ?

Certainly there is a lot of hopes pinned on Freeman, but unless he has a Flacco-esque training camp he’ll be handling a clipboard come week 1. McCown has a lot on his shoulders; the pressure of Freeman and on paper the first 7 games look brutal. If the Bucs struggle there will be a clamour to get Freeman on the field.  If we do need a replacement QB it could be a tough call. It’s hard to judge how a player will react in the heat of the NFL, some say just throw them in (Joe Flacco), others it’s better to learn (Aaron Rodgers). If Freeman is ready all well and good but if not keep him on the sidelines learning rather than taking a beating and let Leftwich run the offence.

The season is still a long way off but this is one area of the team that I’ll be watching with interest.

My 3 for the roster are McCown, Leftwich and Freeman.

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Written by UK Bucs Fan

May 10, 2009 at 12:56 pm

Draft Day 1: Bucs choose Freeman

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With the 17th pick of this years draft the Bucs chose to continue to retool the offense and selected KSU QB Josh Freeman. The Bucs had the 19th pick overall and traded with the Browns to get Freeman. There’s no doubt Freeman has the size and the tools to be a prototypical NFL QB but was it really the best use of the pick. Considering we already have a QB roster of Leftwich, McCown, Johnson and Greise and what appear to be gaping holes on the D-Line should we really have spent the pick on the defense ? There did seem to be no value at pick 19 for the Bucs and I felt a trade down was far more likely than a trade up. However the Bucs wanted their man and gave up a 6th round pick to get him.

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It’s clear that the Bucs seem to be starting on a long term rebuilding plan for the franchise and they see Freeman as a key cornerstone of this rebuilding process. Raheem Morris probably has more of an insight than most into Freeman as they are both alumni of KSU, Morris clearly likes his man and was willing to put his neck on the line to get him. It seems a risky pick to me but if Freeman turns into the next Joe Flacco then i’ll be a happy fan.

The priority for day 2 should be a DT or DE then WR or LB. There seems to be plenty of depth at the DE position and only a few at DT so these guys maybe off the board when it comes to pick 17 in the 3rd round.

Written by UK Bucs Fan

April 26, 2009 at 11:51 am

08 Draft Review: Rounds 4-7

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Day II of the Draft dawned and the Bucs looked to build on their Day 1 choices. The lower rounds of the draft are always a crap shoot as to how those picks pan out. Recent history shows that the Bucs struggle to find the hidden gems in the lower rounds, although there have been exceptions, Tanard Jackson was a 4th round selection last year. The Bucs through some trading had managed to stockpile a few more picks and looked to add depth across their roster.

Round IV:

The first day two pick for the Bucs was Dre Moore, a DT from Maryland. Moore has been a somewhat of a late bloomer and has only lived up to his potential in the final games of the NCAA season and through the Senior Bowl and Combine. Moore certainly has the physical tools to be a force inside but needs to find a consistent level to his game. Certainly a gamble, if he continues his level of play he could be a force to be reckoned with.

Round V:

Who would of thought it, the Bucs need another QB 🙂 Certainly Josh Johnson is an intriguing pick. A Div 1A phenom with mind boggling stats, he threw for nearly 3000 yards, 43 TD’s and 1 INT last season. Like Gradkowski of a few seasons before Johnson is certainly a developmental pick and needs time to add a bit more bulk and work on some of his technical flaws. He has a tendency to throw slightly off his back foot and deep passes can go astray, to lead the Bucs offence with speedsters such as Dexter Jackson he’s going to need to sort this one out. I think Johnson is a lock for the 53 and i’ll be keeping a close eye on his progress come mini camps.

Round VI:

The Bucs bolstered the LB core with a prototypical Tampa 2 style LB in Geno Hayes. Reliant on speed Hayes is a good open field player but lacks the physical tools to stand up inside and to make tackles and get through the trash to the ball. With his speed he could be a useful ST player.

Round VII:

The final pick of the 08 draft was Cory Boyd a RB out of South Carolina. Another intreguing pick in the later rounds Boyd is a physical runner who also has good skills out of the backfield. I think he’ll be pushing for a spot on the team and vying with Kenneth Darby for that 4th RB spot

Written by UK Bucs Fan

May 9, 2008 at 11:51 am

Draft 08: Bucs follow up with T/OG,DT,QB,LB,RB

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So day 2 of the 08 Draft starts and Bucs look to build on their picks from Day 1

Jeremy Zuttah – T/OG – Rutgers.

With their first pick of the second day the Bucs picked OT/G Jeremy Zuttah from Rutgers. Zuttah anchored the right side of the Rutgers line and he didn’t allow any sacks over his last two seasons, as the line ranked second in the nation in 2007 and led the NCAA ranks in 2006 for fewest sacks allowed. So if the reports are to believed Zuttah projects better inside at G or even C. This versatility will provide nice cover for Joseph and Trueblood, and will hopefully push Trueblood for the starting RT position.

Dre Moore – DT – Maryland.

I like this pickup in the 4th round. Moore was rated the 5th best DT by Mike Mayock and should provide a big body on the interior of the D Line. He’s come throught late in his career and have decent Senior Bowls and Combine.

Josh Johnson – QB – San Diego

Yet another QB to add to the roster ! Sounds like Johnson has the stills to be a Gruden type QB, he’s got excellent athleticism and is a scrambler.

There’s some glowing praise on NFL.com and it could appear that the Bucs have found a potential sleeper in the lower ends of the draft

One of the game’s best-kept secrets, at least where the national media is concerned, Johnson has greatly impressed professional scouts that have actually seen him perform. Many will agree that he is one of the most exciting athletes to watch with the ball in his hands, bringing back memories of Michael Vick and Vince Young during their collegiate days.

That’s high praise indeed, only time will tell whether he’s the next VY or the next Ryan Leaf

Geno Hayes – ILB – FSU

Prototypical Tampa 2 linebacker, with the current depth of LB’s at Tampa it could be a struggle for him to make camp, certainly worth a training camp spot. Has good speed and because of his smallish frame would be more suited to an OLB role in the NFL. Has good open field pursuit skills and one thing the Bucs love, he’s got a great tackle technique.

Written by UK Bucs Fan

April 27, 2008 at 3:11 pm