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Bucs 2010 Quarterbacks Preview

THE STARTER:

Josh Freeman enters his first season as “the man” and has been putting in the hard work in the weight room and in film study so he can be “the man” in the huddle and in crunch time. We Bucs fans eagerly await his performance in the preseason games because, thus far, there have still been some minor issues in camp, plus quarterback will be a focal position if we are going to move on from 3-13. His tendency to stare down receivers is somewhat offset by his crackling rapport with rookie receiver Mike Williams which has been burgeoning since mini-camps.

THE BACK-UP:

Josh Johnson, in his third season, provides neither the certainty of competitiveness if Freeman is hurt nor the ability to come in and secure the ball if Freeman somehow falls apart and becomes the weak link on an offense ready to win playoff games which is a highly unlikely scenario. Josh’s strengths, off the bench, are mostly his ability to run (6.7 ypc) and throw on the run. His appearances in games last season left something to be desired but are far from enough games to make a final judgment for someone so young and raw. While he doesn’t figure to move his start total up from four, he might get on the field in some Wildcat-style plays.

THE SCREW-UP?:

I love Johnson, but he doesn’t have the bare essentials a number 2 should have in game experience, accuracy and a veteran’s eye for defense. That fact makes keeping Rudy Carpenter and his fluttering arm even more crazy.

I am not trying to harp too hard on Rudy Carpenter but something weird happened in the NFL not long ago. Many coaches have switched to either carrying 2 QB’s or keeping a 3rd one as an emergency QB. The ones who have cut down to 2 QB’s do so with a steady back-up, one who they believe they can win with. The ones with three QB’s, generally aren’t so settled after #1 or, in fact, aren’t completely settled at #1 or anticipate potential injuries. Rudy, given his size, would be a decent developmental #3 if the #2 situation was in great shape.

ANALYSIS: Freeman looks fine and the rookie receivers shouldn’t hold him back, either. As it is, Josh Johnson needs someone to push him and it’s unfortunate if there is still bad blood between the Bucs and Jeff Garcia, who’s been working out. It’s also unfortunate to think that so many teams’ #3’s seem to be developing their recognition skills, pocket presence and accuracy and yet, the Bucs have Rudy Carpenter. There has to be someone, a Brett Basanez, a Tyler Palko, a Brian St. Pierre, a Chris Leak from the CFL, to bring in and push Carpenter. Is there really no room for a 4th QB for a week or two to push Carpenter forward or push him off the roster?


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