Jets Fans have Brett Ratliff and Kellen Clemens, the Browns have Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn, and the list goes on in the NFL as far as in camp Quarterback competitions go. Add the Buccaneers to the list: Luke McCown, Josh Johnson, Brian Griese, and Player-to-be-named later. That’s all a fan base can ask for from its new regime (a healthy competition) and the man at the helm said as much will happen in preparation for the season:
"I'm trying to create the most competitive environment as I can. Between Luke (McCown), Josh (Johnson) and Brian (Griese), I'm going to let those guys fight it out to see who's going to be the player. As of right now, that's who is on our team, that's who we're talking about. We do want to add a fourth quarterback, however that may come. You've got to create as much competition as you can. Let the guy earn his spot, people will respect it more, he'll respect it more and people will look him in the eye, shake his hand and tell him, "Hey, you're the guy and they'll feel good about it, whomever that guy is. I'm just having fun doing it. I'm just running a big defensive back room, that's all I'm doing is creating competition. There just happens to be 66 of them right now rather than 15.'' – Head Coach Raheem Morris on the ensuing QB Competition this off-season per Rick Stroud of the St. Pete Times
How great is that? We’ve all alluded to wanting this. We’ve heard Mark and Raheem hint toward it, but now he’s come out and officially put his stamp on it. All
three four guys will start on the same page when camp opens and whoever rises to the top will be the guy. If they do run a true competition like Raheem suggests, I’ve got my money on Josh Johnson. He and Luke are both the same size 6’3 210-220 pounds. Luke’s been with the Bucs longer, but with an entirely new system in place all of that experience falls to the waste side. By JJ’s college numbers alone he appears to be more accurate and adept at avoiding a sack. Luke’s athletic too though and so this should prove to be a tough competition. Don’t forget Brian Griese either, all he did was win for us when he was put in ball games. It may not be pretty, but he gets the job done.
Whoever shows that killer instinct, an ability to take chances and immediately shrug off unfavorable outcomes while proving to have learned from them, will be the guy the coaching staff puts its faith in come the regular season. The one question that remains is who will be that fourth Quarterback? They’ve shown absolutely no interest in any of the available Free Agent QB’s on the market. I’m thinking the fourth guy has to come from the NFL Draft. I would venture to say he’s coming in that first or third round. They’ve already got a second day tweener on the roster in Josh Johnson, so they wouldn’t bring aboard a Rhett Bomar or Chase Daniel on Draft Day. If Mark Sanchez falls, Josh Freeman is still available (aka the Jets don’t reach for him), or Graham Harrell is there in the third round I could see the Bucs going one of those routes. We already know the fan base will get behind whoever that guy is, hopefully the coaching staff gives him more than a handful of games to show us what he’s got.