Leftwich: "The best (QB) will win"
Bucs quarterback Byron Leftwich, who signed as a free agent in the offseason, said he wasn't caught off guard by the team drafting Josh Freeman in the first round, and is ready to join the crowded quarterback competion.
"It's a competition," Leftwich said. "It is what it is. It’s a competition. Everybody wants to be the guy, we understand there's only gonna be one guy. We're just gonna work, work, work, and whoever wins.. the best man will win."
When Leftwich was asking for his reaction to the Bucs drafting Freeman, he smiled, and joked, "before - or after the 'smokescreen' comment?" (he was referring to Freeman's chat on NFL.com after the draft saying that the Bucs told him signing Leftwich was a "smokescreen" so teams wouldn't think they'd want a quarterback).
Leftwich seemed to play that off, saying he "knew it was a possibility" the Bucs would pick a QB, and then said he planned to help Freeman "as much as I can."
"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."
Leftwich said it was a bit "crazy" in the offseason with free agency, but he was intrigued by the Bucs and what offensive weapons they have, and said he was assured there would be a "true competition" at quarterback.
- JOE SMITH