It Would Have Been Irresponsible for the Bucs Not To Sign Byron Leftwich

Jason PlattContributor IApril 16, 2009

TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 01:  Quarterback Byron Leftwich #2 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on against the Arizona Cardinals during Super Bowl XLIII on February 1, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

The Buccaneers go into 2009 looking like a team in transition. Out with the old and in with the new seems to be the mantra at One Buc Place. 

The Bucs have made some large-scale changes like letting the face of the franchise, one of the better receivers and one of the career rushing leaders in franchise history all walk away (they actually were all shown the door). 

The quarterback who lead them to winning records each of the last two seasons was also let go. While I personally like the move, it didn't come without some concern. The primary focus in fandom has been who the replacement is going to be and the popular choice has been McCown.

I'm not saying it is a bad option, but there needs to be a solid Plan B(yron).

Our depth chart reads like a who's who of also-rans and never-were's.  Griese is past his prime and Johnson hasn't had time to develop into a pro yet (although I am hopeful that he will). 

If McCown can throw for 3,200 and 20 TD's we'll be happy, but if he isn't the answer we need someone who has been through the ringer and still has enough arm left to make all the throws and handle the pressure. 

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Many fans seem to question the pick up of Byron, and I must admit at first glance I also thought it was a questionable move. But after giving it some thought and reflecting on his performance I feel he was the best move our FO could have made. Is he the long term answer at QB for Tampa Bay? Probably not. 

Will he be good enough to keep us from getting one of the proposed Franchise QB's available in the 2010 draft? Probably. Do I have a problem with that? Not if it means my Bucs can compete week in and week out. It's not about next year, the NFL is about now.

Looks like the FO gets that.

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