Josh Freeman

Posts Tagged ‘luke mccown’

Dominik Officially Opens Competition At LT

July 28, 2010 at 02:37pm by Scott   •  No Comments »

Tomoko Kojima
Not that there was much choice, but Mark Dominik announced today that several guys are going to get a crack at replacing Donald Penn.

“Penn still is considered a teammate and a member of our football team and I hope there is a resolution sooner rather than later. But we’re looking forward to seeing what [Demar] Dotson, Xavier Fulton and James Lee can do. It’s an open competition.”

Think Penn is scared? They’ve got a basketball player, a virtual rookie who was injured all of last year, and Lee, who keeps hanging around somehow. That’s not exactly solid depth, but then again, Penn was also an undrafted free agent who Dominik discovered, so Penn knows as well as anyone that unknown players can crack the starting lineup if given the chance. It’s going to be a good training camp competition, and we should pay attention interviews with the defensive ends who go against them in practice, especially Greg White. They’ll be the ones that tell you which one of them has the best chance.

General manager Mark Dominik said he is unaware whether Penn intends to report to training camp on time.

Then let me be the first to tell you. It ain’t happening.

He said he hopes the contract impasse is resolved soon, but there have been no talks on an extension for Penn, who has started 44 straight games at left tackle.

Yup, 44 games for Penn compared to one game by the other three guys combined — Lee was in the game at Atlanta in 2008. Remember that game? That’s the one where Jon Gruden played Brian Griese instead of Luke McCown, which, now that I think about it, may be a large part of why Gruden got fired at the end of that season. Anyway, John Abraham (who plays right DE) sacked Griese three times that day. So, yeah…

Meanwhile, I remind you that Michael Clayton received $10.5-million guaranteed on a $26-million contract. I’m a fan of art and all, but that’s a lot to pay for a statue.

Undisclosed McCown Pick Is A 7th-Rounder

March 15, 2010 at 10:44am by Scott   •  1 Comment »

What do you do when Kevin Carter wants to snuggle you during a game? You let him fucking snuggle you no matter how uncomfortable it makes you look.
After paying him a $2.5-million signing bonus last year and then holding a “competition” that he was never intended to win, the Bucs traded Luke McCown to the Jaguars for an undisclosed pick in the 2010 draft. Mark Dominik revealed at the Pewter Report Get2gether on Saturday that the pick turns out to be a seventh-rounder.

Hey, remember when the Bucs got a bunch of cash for giving up a seventh-round pick for Jake Plummer? Well, this deal winds up reversing that. Way to go, boys.

Maybe Freeman Wasn’t Such A Bad Idea

February 01, 2010 at 10:22am by Scott   •  3 Comments »

Aww shit, where'd it go? It was here just a second ago.  Rah's gonna kill me.
Last year when we were all discussing the draft and who the Bucs would take at #19, one of my many reasons for not considering a quarterback was that the 2009 draft was weak at that position and the 2010 draft was going to be stocked full of great quarterbacks in the first and second rounds. So what do Mark Dominik and Raheem Morris do? They draft Josh Freeman and an entire live chat session simultaneously facepalms.

Enter the 2010 draft season and, well, the quarterback class doesn’t look as exceptional as it did a year ago. Rick Stroud brought this up in a recent article that seems like it was written specifically to point and laugh at me.

A year ago, the notion of using a first-round pick to draft QB Josh Freeman solicited groans from many Bucs fans.

The reasoning went something like this: too many other needs on the team; the Bucs might have a good starting quarterback in Luke McCown if he gets a chance; the 2010 quarterback class will be much better.

I know Stroud comes by here and I know he saw all these conversations. So I guess this is what I get for calling him a douchebag for almost five years? Eh, all right then. That’s a decent tradeoff. Douchebag.

Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford is coming off a serious shoulder injury. Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clausen might be the only other quarterback taken in the first round. And Texas’ Colt McCoy doesn’t look like a franchise player at the position.

Yeah, we didn’t exactly predict Bradford’s shoulder leaving the game four months before Bradford himself did. Speculation that he could be injury-prone in the NFL make him a question mark, although if he can throw when he’s scheduled to, he’ll still be taken in the top half of the first round. Clausen played in a pro style offense which is nice, but Notre Dame’s record may hurt him. Add to that the fact that he is well-known to be something of a smug cock and you have another guy who doesn’t look like a sure thing. And McCoy took a step back in 2009 by tossing fewer touchdowns, more interceptions and a worse completion percentage than last year when we started talking about all this. And notice no one is mentioning Tim Tebow. And for good reason.

So, were the Bucs smart to take Freeman in 2009? The degradation of this year’s class doesn’t make Freeman a better quarterback. It just makes him look better by comparison. But at least now they have a guy who has a few NFL starts of experience going into this year’s camp. The 2009 season was going to be a wash-out anyway with all the coaching and player changes, so it was a good move to get some of the growing pains out of the way. ALL RIGHT?! ARE YOU HAPPY NOW, MARK DOMINIK?!?

“If you don’t take a quarterback this year, you’ve got to take a quarterback next year or the following year. You’ve got to address the position. We addressed it at the beginning, and it was very unpopular at the time because this year’s class was supposed to be the quarterback class of the future. If I remember, a lot of people thought this was going to be the greatest quarterback class of all time. I don’t know if it’s held in that same regard.”

“What would you all be saying today? ‘Why didn’t you take one last year when you had the opportunity?’ ”

You can’t fool me. You didn’t know Bradford would get hurt or that McCoy would fall off a little. You just took the dude you wanted all along. So now you got him and we’re all stuck with him, so we’ll see what happens. But it’s not like this year’s class went from the class of 1983 to total shit. They are still good quarterbacks; just maybe not as elite as we once thought. The real test will come when we see how Bradford or Clausen do in their rookie seasons. If they outperform Freeman, we may have to revisit this again.

As long as we’re looking at this article, Stroud also covers Byron Leftwich‘s situation and guesses rather dogmatically that he won’t be with the team in 2010.

Speaking of quarterbacks, the Bucs want a veteran backup to help mentor Freeman. But it won’t be Byron Leftwich. Aside from Leftwich’s $2.5 million salary, the Bucs know he is not a grinder in the film room and almost a ghost in the weight room.

He is a great personality who can work on Freeman’s psyche. But the Bucs want a player who will show up at 6 a.m. to watch film, spend extra time training with Freeman and know his role. Someone exactly like McCown.

I think Stroud is trying to hurt me personally now with this McCown talk. What did I ever to do him?

REAR ENTRIES: PFW GOES ALL TMZ

October 05, 2009 at 01:33pm by Scott   •  6 Comments »

How can they say Josh Johnson is one of the worst when JaMarcus Russell is still employed?
TRADE REVIEW: Yesterday, Kellen Winslow had two catches for 21 yards for the Bucs. The player the Browns selected with the pick they received for Winslow, Mohamed Massaquoi, had ten catches for 179 yards. For the year, Winslow is ahead in catches, but Massaquoi has more yards. And yesterday was Massaquoi’s first game where he caught a pass. Just putting it out there.

SEAU TO PATRIOTS?: There are unconfirmed reports that Junior Seau is on the verge of signing with the Patriots again. There had been some hard speculation that Derrick Brooks would be on the Pats’ radar since they are thin at linebacker and seem to have a thing for older players. But it looks like they may want the 40-year old more than the 36-year old because Brooks hasn’t gotten a sniff from New England so far. I have a hard time believing that Seau is better on the field than Brooks at this stage of their respective careers, so maybe it’s a familiarity thing. But it’s looking like Brooks may have had retirement forced on him.

PFW SKEWERS MORRIS, BUCS: This isn’t going to get the kind of press it would have if the sources in the piece had gone on the record, but whoever these people are fucking butchered Raheem Morris in this Pro Football Weekly piece. The quotes are too lengthy to copy/paste here without me feeling like an ass for pulling their whole story, so here are the broad strokes:

1) Greg Olson knew Byron Leftwich sucked.
2) Olson wanted Luke McCown, but Morris, Mark Dominik and Doug Williams wanted Leftwich, so that’s how it went.
3) Josh Johnson is one of the bottom 10 worst quarterbacks in the league.
3) Morris, a former secondary coach, now has a shitty secondary.
4) “Morris is all hype.”
5) Glazers wanted the next Mike Tomlin, but Morris is not in his class.
6) Glazers misevaluated Jon Gruden.
7) “Dominik is just a puppet.”

Again, if there were a named attached to this, it would be leading every football show for the next couple days. But with anonymous sources comes anonymous stories, so this will be relegated to the gossip sections of your less-reputable news sources and shittier blogs (hi!). I don’t agree with all of it (especially the stuff about Johnson), but it’s interesting that a “veteran personnel director” feels this way.

REAR ENTRIES: We’re Number 31!

September 30, 2009 at 10:05am by Scott   •  7 Comments »

This is why Winslow hates freeze tag. Now he has to stay in that weird position until someone else tags him.
JAGUARS SIGN PETERSON: I was surprised when the Bucs released Greg Peterson with an injury settlement during training camp, especially considering the kind of hype he was getting for his pure athleticism. Now he appears to be healed up and it didn’t take long for him to land with a team. Jacksonville picked him up yesterday. Now he and Luke McCown can share the unique feeling of being thankful for being on a 1-2 team.

And, please, people. It’s pronounced like “Jag-wars”. Not “Jag-wires”. I tried to correct Jamie Dukes but he didn’t listen to me. Don’t be as ignorant as Jamie Dukes. Those are words to live by.

KELLEN WINSLOW CHAT: Kellen Winslow‘s live chat on NFL.com was boring and useless. Either the moderators completely sanitized the incoming questions before they got to him or he chose not to answer the tough or interesting ones because this was lame. I don’t expect him to answer questions like “Why does the team suck?”, but I know someone asked him about his drops and poor runs after catch and those questions were nowhere to be found. That said, here were the only reasons for reading the chat at all:

Regarding the throwback game:

Yeah, everyone is talking about it, and what they’re going to wear. It’s gonna be a little competitive, everyone will try to look as sweet as they can. There might be a few fines dished out that game, but it should be fun.

I’m wondering what players are planning to do with their throwback uniforms that will warrant fines. God, I really hope someone runs out of the tunnel that day wearing a fedora and clutching a dagger in his mouth.

In another question, Winslow names Luke McCown as one of his influences as a player, which I thought was interesting. Someone should have asked Winslow how he felt about McCown not getting the starting gig and being traded. Oh wait, someone did. Me. Leave me alone. MANCRUSHES DIE HARD!

STILL NOT THE WORST: According to ESPN.com, the Bucs are the second-worst team in the NFL. Suck it, St. Louis! And in a double-barreled shot of obviousness to your face, Pat Yasinskas tells us that Byron Leftwich‘s stock is falling.

Leftwich’s stint as a starter didn’t even last three full games. He got pulled during the game against the Giants and Josh Johnson has been selected to start against the Redskins.

Take note of the sage wisdom, fantasy football players. Yasinskas does not recommend that you start a third string quarterback on your team. Bristol has spoken!

Goodbye Luke

September 05, 2009 at 10:44pm by Scott   •  22 Comments »

I'll miss you, too, Luke.
Luke McCown was just traded to Jacksonville this evening for an undisclosed draft pick.

It is unusual for a team to carry four quarterbacks on its 53-man roster, but the Buccaneers were in that situation for a few hours after announcing their roster moves early Saturday evening. Tampa Bay brass obviously believed it had a deep stable of NFL-caliber passers, and the trade of McCown indicates the team’s belief in the potential of second-year passer Josh Johnson.

The Jaguars had an old guy in Todd Bouman and a young guy in Todd Boeckman behind David Garrard, and felt they needed to strengthen that up a little. One of those guys will get fired in the near future and McCown will probably be the backup. Thus ends the Buccaneer career of yet another quarterback I was rooting for. I need a hug.

Some of you guys out there are cheering this move, and if the Bucs got a high draft pick for McCown, that’s fine. But now take a good look at the quarterback depth chart. If Byron Leftwich goes down (and he will go down), we’re very likely kissing the season goodbye when the Josh Freeman era begins. He’s not ready for big boy football yet, especially in the middle of the season when opposing defensive players are in their rhythm and playing faster. Maybe that’s not the end of the world, and I’m all for Freeman getting into the game as long as his ego can handle it. If he can shake off some bad games and learn from them, it’s a good move. If he’s going to get down on himself, he could ruin his entire career (see: Joey Harrington). I guess Greg Olson feels Freman is past that point. And, hey, with all the great stuff happening this offseason, who am I to doubt them?

Morris May Keep Four Quarterbacks

August 31, 2009 at 10:12am by Scott   •  4 Comments »

Wasn't this a great play?  Look how happy he is.  Now cut him.
So Raheem Morris made one difficult decision and now he may not be up to another one. It sounds like he’s thinking about carrying four quarterbacks on the roster this season. Morris has already named Luke McCown as the backup. Freeman is guaranteed a roster spot. So we’re talking about keeping Josh Johnson around for yet another year, doing nothing.

“I’m going to keep the best 53 – I’ve said that from the beginning,” Morris said. “Josh Johnson has shown a lot of savvy, a lot of the poise that you want. If Freeman‘s going to be the leader of your football team, you want to have a young guy like Josh around – a guy who’s smart, savvy, can go into a game and get you through it, a guy that’s poised, athletic, makes good decisions, a guy who doesn’t need many reps to go through it, as we’ve seen here in these games.

“Is he one of my best 53? Probably.”

“Keeping the best 53″ is a lot like the shit you hear during the draft about drafting the best player available no matter what. It only makes sense to a certain degree. If every wide receiver currently on the roster was technically among the best 53, would he keep nine receivers when the standard is usually five or six? Of course not. At least I hope not. That would be lunacy because he’d be sacrificing depth at other positions. Maybe you can push the envelope a little with some positions and keep one extra guy on board if he is so exceptional that you can’t ignore it. For example, let’s say you had an athlete of Michael Vick‘s caliber (not Vick himself because I’m holding out hope that he falls into a large meat grinder and is turned into sausage). Maybe you keep him as a QB/WR/RB that can be used in select situations throughout the year just because he’s so fast or whatever. But that’s not what Johnson is. Chances are Johnson would be inactive all year long, just sitting on that roster spot wearing street clothes.

Morris takes the time to compliment a lot of Johnson’s qualities, and that’s great. I’m sure he’s a decent guy and he did make some nice moves in the preseason. But he’s only useful as a quarterback, and if Freeman really is the future, why would you want to take reps away from him and give them to a guy who, let’s be honest, doesn’t have a long future with this franchise? Keeping four quarterbacks in this case, ESPECIALLY when he is already having depth issues at linebacker and safety, makes no sense.

Sometimes you have to cut nice players. Sometimes you have to cut talented players. That’s the drawback of salary caps and roster limits, but they’re necessary to keep all teams on equal footing and make the games interesting. The tough decisions don’t end with picking who the starting quarterback is. I think Morris underestimated is preparedness to handle some of these more personal duties when he took over the position.

The Aftermath

August 30, 2009 at 02:15pm by Scott   •  9 Comments »

Leftwich tries to escape the Gooch.
It’s been a day since Raheem Morris ignored common sense and announced that Byron Leftwich would be the starting quarterback for the regular season. Since then, we’ve heard from Leftwich himself:

“I’m very excited. Very excited,” Leftwich said. “When I get home, I’ll probably scream in the livingroom and let all my emotions out. I’ve been holding them in.

But please don’t jump up and down, lest you break an ankle or something.

“When I watched the film, I wanted to make sure I was going to the right place with the ball,” Leftwich said. “I’ve never been an inaccurate passer.”

Career completion percentage: 58.6%

I know I’ll hit those passes, I’m not worried about that. The great thing about it is that I was able to get to the right place with the ball. Some of those were on my third and fourth reads that I got to, and that’s what I wanted to see. The balls that I missed? I missed them. Thank God it was preseason and not the regular season.

And there you go. It was only the audition of his life — no big deal. He’ll magically stop overthrowing everyone when the games count and everyone is going full speed.

Anyway, they also spoke with Luke McCown who said what everyone knew he would.

“Like I’ve said all along, once they name the starter, it’s about whatever is best for this team to win ball games,” he said Saturday after practice. “Byron’s the starter. And I’m going to do everything I can to help him be the best starter he can be. And at the same time, prepare and be ready to play if I’m called upon.”

“I don’t have to agree with it,,” he said. “But for as long as I’ll be a Buccaneer, I’m going to do everything I can to help this organization win.”

Isn’t he awesome? But don’t worry, Luke. You’ll be called upon. Leftwich has never played a 16 game season in his career. Just keep your arm loose, that’s all I’m saying.

I hope I’m not coming across as bitter. I mean, I am bitter, but I don’t want to come across that way. I’m not wishing bad things on Leftwich — I wish him nothing but solid blocking and touchdowns. I just don’t have much optimism about it.

Morris explained his reasons in a press conference, none of which I agree with.

“We’re going to run the ball,” Morris said. “We want to be a heavy play-action team. That kind of fits the mode of what he does, play action, throwing the ball down the field in chunks, trying to generate big plays.”

The good news is that the games will be more exciting with longer plays downfield. The bad news is that he’s not going to connect on that many of them. 48.8% completions in the preseason so far.

“We thought Leftwich was the better guy and we’re going with Leftwich right now.”

Well, you thought wrong, but that’s neither here nor there now. It’s over and I’m glad it’s over. Let’s concentrate on the best guys to keep in the final 53 and get ready for the season. That’s more than a lot of fans are doing now. As commenter Mark S. pointed out, the reader comments following all these announcements on the newspaper sites are pretty harsh. People giving away and/or tearing up their tickets are just the beginning. From Mark’s comment: “If the reason to get rid of Bruce was to win the fans back it has backfired and it is only preseason.” He hit that one out of the park.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris indicated the Bucs might keep all four quarterbacks on their 53-man roster, including Josh Johnson.

I can’t even deal with this right now. I’ll address this tomorrow after I’ve had a break.

So, Leftwich Then?

August 29, 2009 at 12:02pm by Scott   •  4 Comments »

The good news is that if Jagz has the Statue of Liberty play in his book, it should work very well.
You know those crappy 80s movies where some confused chick has to choose between two guys, one of them the underdog nice guy who isn’t popular but is clearly superior and the other is the captain of the football team and an obvious douche? Guess which one Rick Stroud is reporting Raheem Morris picked.

Raheem Morris addressed his team this morning by telling them the starting quarterback is Byron Leftwich. Leftwich, 29, outplayed veteran Luke McCown in training camp and the preseason to win the job despite a shaky outing in Thursday’s 10-6 loss to the Miami Dolphins.

Only half those words are true. By the time camp was over, Leftwich and McCown were about even in the number of good days they had. And they each had one good preseason game and one bad one, with Thursday night’s game being a total farce because of the blocking each of them were offered. And by that I mean Leftwich got some blocking and McCown got five traffic cones with jerseys on them.

If Stroud is correct on this (I’m taking a huge leap of faith here) then fine. Let’s all get behind Leftwich and let’s just get on with the season. Maybe Morris can recruit a few eight-foot tall receivers to cut down on the overthrows.

The Longest Preseason Game In The History Of Time

August 28, 2009 at 10:30am by Scott   •  1 Comment »

I guess you have to lose a spleen to get any sympathy from the home crowd.
Feel free to read the live chat transcript above for the excruciatingly long commentary on the twelve and a half hour long preseason game the bucs played last night. I’ve had an assful of this game, so I didn’t go back over it looking for specific individual performances that I might have missed live. If you watched last night, you’ll understand why. Here are the broad strokes.

The offensive line was looking really good before the rain delay. Byron Leftwich had all day to throw, so he actually completed over 50% of his passes. Jeff Faine as part of the starting offensive line had something to do with that as well.

Then the lightning came down and everyone went under cover for a half hour or so. And when they came back out, most of the offensive line left their balls in the locker room because they just fell the fuck apart. Luke McCown started the next offensive series and was bullied and buggered (thanks, Johnny) by a Miami defense that decided to constantly blitz and a Tampa Bay offensive line and running back corps that couldn’t stop them. McCown ran for some yards (and a ten yard chunk was called back on a holding penalty) and finally got something going in the third quarter when he completed several passes in a row, but the overall impression was that it was an ugly performance and mostly not his fault. The one big mistake I thought he made was the intentional grounding penalty.

After thinking about it a little more, I fully expect Leftwich to be the starter in September. Hey, at least we’ll know when to take bathroom breaks: during his wind-up.

Of all the players that fell to pieces, Davin Joseph and Jeremy Trueblood are way up at the top of the list. Joseph was called for three penalties… in one drive! And Trueblood kept letting defensive ends and linebackers around him, even before the rain delay. For a stretch there it really got ugly.

Cadillac Williams deserves to have a street named after him. It should be a fucked up street with a lot of potholes and constantly under construction, representing his knees. But it should still get the job done efficiently. Williams isn’t technically eligible for Comeback Player of the Year because he didn’t get hurt until the last game of the season, but he should get something for the comeback he’s going to make. He looked awesome — tough, strong, determined. He’s definitely passed up Derrick Ward on the depth chart and he may even start in Dallas.

Earnest Graham also looked good. Some of that is better run-blocking by the line, but a lot of it was individual effort. Both Williams and Graham broke their share of tackles.

Maurice Stovall finally broke out of his shell. He had six receptions for 73 yards and probably nailed down his spot on the roster. Again. We’ve been waiting years for that draft pick to pay off. Maybe now, finally?

The defensive line looked good all night. Five sacks, constant pressure, excellent run defense (Miami only rushed for 79 yards with a long of 8). Of the starters, Jimmy Wilkerson looked like a stud. The backups were led by Louis Holmes, who started off hot, and Kyle Moore.

Other names that stick out in my sleep-deprived brain are Tanard Jackson, Geno Hayes and, of all people, Steve Cargile. I also seem to remember Matt McCoy hustling a couple times and getting burned a couple times. Again, Gaines Adams doesn’t show up on the stat sheet. He was in on one tackle that got negated because of a penalty.

Adam Hayward was injured his ankle on one play later in the game. I haven’t heard word on the severity of it yet. He appears to be the only injury of the game.

Thanks to all who participated last night. And for those who were reading but not writing, I expect an explanation in the comments.

UPDATE: Oh, I forgot to mention Torrie Cox, who deserves mention for getting constantly burned and penalized last night. Nice knowing you, Torrie. Don’t rip an ACL on the way out the door.