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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

No decision on Bucs QB today

23

August

Bucs coach Raheem Morris said Sunday he's still not decided who will be his starting quarterback this season.

Morris plans to meet with coaches later today but has no timetable for announcing the starting quarterback later this week. He had planned to have a starter in place prior to Thursday's preseason home opener against Miami.

"It may get extended. It may go to overtime,'' Morris said. "Initially, you set a deadline. But deadlines are always set to be broken,'' Morris said.

"We've still got to meet and evaluate that stuff today. But we'll figure it out, after we have our quarterback meeting up here and our evaluation and go through it -- myself, Mark (Dominik), (Greg Olson), Jago (Jeff Jagodzinski), Doug Williams, Dennis (Hickey) -- we'll figure it out.''

Entering Saturday's preseason game at Jacksonville, Byron Leftwich appeared to have a slight edge over Luke McCown based on his performance in the exhibition opener at Tennessee. But McCown narrowed the gap by throwing two touchdown passes while Leftwich led the team to a field goal in a 24-23 win over the Jags.

After two preseason games, McCown's numbers are better than the ones produced by Leftwich.
McCown has completed 10-of-17 passes for 70 yards (58.8) with two touchdowns and no interceptions. His passer rating is 107.2. Leftwich is 12-of-26 passing for 124 yards (46.2 percent) with one touchdown and no INTs for a passer rating of 73.2.

McCown led his team to 14 points -- all againt the Jags. Leftwich led the Bucs to 13 points.

"The decision was tough from the beginning,'' Morris said. "Like we talked about early in the OTA days, Josh Freeman decided he wanted to play. He wanted to be part of the competition, so that made it tough. You saw Josh Johnson last week and at the end of training camp say, "I want to play, too.'' You've seen Leftwich come on...then last night, Luke when he got in the game...said "don't forget about me.''

"The  decision was tough all along. With guys playing better like that, you love that. That's what we wanted. We wanted competition and we're getting it.''

For most of the off-season and training camp, Morris has indicated the battle is primarily between Leftwich and McCown. But he said Sunday that nobody should assume that the player who is not named the starter will serve as the No. 2 QB.

"There's no givens,'' Morris said. "There's going to be a first guy picked, there's going to be a second guy picked, there's going to be a third guy picked. With the way they're playing, at some point I said I wasn't going to keep four quarterbacks. Shoot, I don't even no if that's even true anymore.

"So we've got to go back and look at it. We've got to evaluate everything...We go out and say that it's a given because you lost the starting job out of the top two older guys. The younger guys played well.

"A fair statement to say (Josh Freeman) can develop faster if he's No. 2. I'm glad you're asking these questions, that means you like Josh Freeman...so I'm not going to sit here and tell you that Josh is not going to be No. 2.'' 

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:38pm]

    

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