The Buccaneers seem to have more contestants for quarterback than your typical American Idol audition, but veteran Luke McCown isn’t backing down.
McCown signed a two-year deal with Tampa Bay, only to watch the team sign Byron Leftwich in free agency and draft Kansas State QB Josh Freeman in the first round. And don’t forget about Josh Johnson and Brian Griese, the other QBs on the roster.
Still, McCown believes it’s his job to lose, according to the St. Petersburg Times:
- “Absolutely,” McCown said. “This has been a long time coming for me and I’m not letting anybody take it from me. And it’s the first legitimate opportunity. Say what you want about getting three starts at the end of a season.
- “But this is my first real opportunity to be the starter, to be the guy. And I look at it as mine and you’re going to have to shoot me.”
New Bucs coach Raheem Morris has yet to select a starter, and McCown split snaps with Leftwich and Johnson on Tuesday. Freeman is unable to participate until the semester ends at Kansas State later this month, and Griese isn’t expected to attend the team’s OTAs.
Leftwich told the Times that the best quarterback will win the job:
- “As a quarterback all you can ask for is that, ‘If I’m the best quarterback on your team, will I play?’ And I’m quite sure Luke (McCown) feels that he wants that same opportunity, and Josh. To have that opportunity, it really matters to me. I wanted to make our football team as good as we can possibly make it for this year. I’m gonna help (Freeman), I remember when I was in that situation — It’s a tough situation coming in as a rookie and playing and it’s not as easy as it seems. I think sometimes you can look at what Matt Ryan and what (Joe) Flacco did last year and think it’s easy. It’s not easy, you can ask those guys. It’s possible, but it’s not easy.”