Tampa Bay Buccaneers  

 

Morris will wait to name starting QB until after next game

  • By NFL.com Wire Reports
More Columns >

Raheem Morris is keeping his options open on Tampa Bay's starting quarterback. For another week, at least.

The Bucs first-year coach has been promising a decision before the third preseason game, but will not select a starter until after the team's next preseason game against the Miami Dolphins, reports NFL Network's Jason La Canfora.

Morris hinted on Sunday that he was considering putting off a decision between Byron Leftwich and Luke McCown for another week. He followed through on that by delaying a scheduled personnel meeting before later meeting with members of his staff to discuss the matter internally, according to La Canfora.

Neither player has established himself as the clear-cut No. 1, although Leftwich appeared to be the front-runner before McCown played well in Saturday night's 24-23 preseason victory at Jacksonville.

"We've still got to meet and evaluate," Morris told reporters Sunday, adding that first-round draft pick Josh Freeman and second-year pro Josh Johnson also have made it tough to settle the quarterback situation before Thursday's game against Miami.

"To be honest with you, more than one of them stepped outside of their box a little bit and kind of showed some things. ... We asked for competition and we're getting it."

McCown started the preseason opener and had little success against Tennessee's first-team defense. Leftwich followed, converting a short field into a touchdown pass and setting himself up for an opportunity to nail down the starting job against Jacksonville.

The pair essentially swapped scenarios Saturday, with Leftwich starting and leading a field goal drive in the opening quarter. McCown played most of the second quarter, taking advantage of excellent field position to throw two TD passes.

In two games, Leftwich is 12 of 26 for 124 yards, one TD and no interceptions. McCown is 10 of 17 for 70 yards with two TDs and no interceptions.

"It's tough to evaluate, but it's a decision the coaches have to make," McCown said. "Once that decision is made, then it's about everyone else being ready to play if called upon. It's about doing whatever is necessary to help this football team win games in the regular season."

Leftwich, who has 46 career starts during stints with Jacksonville, Atlanta and Pittsburgh, agreed.

"I don't know what decision they're going to make, but I've always felt if I'm healthy I can help a football team," Leftwich said. "That's always been my mindset. That hasn't changed. ... It's out of my hands. I did what I can do. We'll see."

Morris said the loser will not take automatically assume the No. 2 role. That may not be decided until after the final preseason game Sept. 4.

"There's no givens. There's going to be a first guy picked, a second guy picked, a third guy picked," the coach said.

"One time I said I'm not going to keep four quarterbacks. I don't know if that's even true anymore. We've got to go back and evaluate everything. We're going to keep the best 53 people."

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Headlines

The previous element was an advertisement.

NFL Shop

NFL News
CONTENT
15