After backing up Ben Roethlisberger with the Pittsburgh Steelers last season, QB Byron Leftwich is happy to have an opportunity to start with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after signing a two-year, $7.5 million contract earlier this week.
Leftwich told the Tampa Tribune that he’s looking forward to competing with Luke McCown, Brian Griese and Josh Johnson for the Bucs’ starting QB job:
- “I was told from day one they want me to come in and compete and that’s the only way you want it,” Leftwich told the Times. “You don’t want anything given to you. Once you have an opportunity to compete, I can live with any scenario at that point. It’s all I can ask for. You want to go out there and know you’ve earned it.”
Leftwich has spent the past week in Tampa trying to get acclimated and learn new Bucs coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski‘s offense, he told the Tribune:
- “Right now, I’m over there working out with the guys, getting to know the guys and getting to know the system,” Leftwich said. “They have a little head start on me, so I’m trying to learn as quickly as I can because I don’t know the OTAs are coming up and I want to be ready when they come. …
- “Hopefully, now that I’m healthy and I will be on a good football team with players around me, it comes down to just playing. And I’ve always believed in my ability.”
Leftwich saw action in five games with the Steelers last season, completing 21 of 36 passes for 303 yards and two touchdowns, with no interceptions. Prior to stints with the Steelers in 2008 and the Atlanta Falcons in 2007, Leftwich was the starting QB for the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2003 to 2006.