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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs coach Morris still not ready to name a starting QB



Byron Leftwich outplayed Luke McCown again in Thursday night's 10-6 loss to the Miami Dolphins.

But he missed seven receivers and a good chance to stake a final claim to the Bucs starting quarterback job.

Instead, coach Raheem Morris was not willing to make a decision following Thursday's game, although one is likely to come by the weekend.

Leftwich finished 9-of-17 for 100 yards, converting 4-of-8 third down situations and staking the Bucs to a 6-0 lead on a pair of Mike Nugent field goals. His favorite target was 6-foot-5 receiver Maurice Stovall, who caught six for 73 yards.

McCown went 5-of-11 passing for 38 yards, was sacked twice and called for intentional grounding.

"You always want somebody just to take a position,'' Morris said. "You always want somebody to come out and be your demanding leader. But this situation hasn't been that they've both been so bad that they haven't taken it. It's that they both played well at different times. It's not fair to judge them based on that. So I don't want to make it seem like both guys played themselves out of the role. They really had different spurts, different times when they both played decent, they both played well enough to win and they both played winning football. We've got to go back and look at it.

"So we're looking at it in a good spectrum as opposed to the worst case scenario spectrum you could be looking at.''

"Obviously, you want somebody to jump up and take it. Did they tonight? We'll have to go look at the tape and find out if they did.''

On the preseason, Leftwich is 21-of-43 for 224 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions for a passer rating of 72.2. McCown 15-of-28 for 108 with two touchdowns and no INTs, rating 86.6.

The Bucs plan to meet as a staff today and will discuss the quarterback quandry, among other decisions.

"We'll give you an update and when we're ready to make a decision on the Q, we'll get back at you,'' Morris said. "But right now, we've got to go back and look at the tape. You've got to grade those guys, you've got to look at it close you've got to make that thing happen.''

"You saw some mistakes by both of those guys...we missed some wideouts, that was easy to see. We missed some receivers out there, so we've got to go back and look at the tape and see what's going on.''

Leftwich outplayed McCown in the preseason opener at Tennessee, throwing a TD pass to Brian Clark. But McCown rebounded with a better performance at Jacksonville, tossing a pair of touchdown passes.

"In the first one, Leftwich had a bunch of success,'' Morris said. "In the second one, Leftwich started off with a little success, we got a couple penalties that killed some drive for him. Luke came out on fire (at Jacksonville), really lit it up, really got this thing interesting. He really got us all talking about it.

"Then you come out tonight, we miss a couple big plays there, big throws that we could've had downfield that could've turned this whole night around. So you've got to say it was positive. There was no critical error tonight as far as an interception being run back for a touchdown...there were no turnovers that absolutely would destroy you down the stretch.''

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:39pm]


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