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Tampa Bay Buccaneers backup quarterback Josh Johnson spots small flaws in his otherwise solid performance

QB Josh Johnson, center, is helped by receiver Preston Parker, left, and guard Jeremy Zuttah after a 24-yard run.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

QB Josh Johnson, center, is helped by receiver Preston Parker, left, and guard Jeremy Zuttah after a 24-yard run.

TAMPA — The Bucs have a conscientious group of quarterbacks, including backup Josh Johnson.

Johnson, who played extensively Friday in the preseason opener at Kansas City, critiqued his performance in which he was the Bucs' leading passer and rusher. He finished 7 of 12 passing for 108 yards and rushed five times for 57 yards.

Yet, what Johnson first emphasized when asked about his play wasn't his 24-yard scramble or his 116.0 quarterback rating. He pointed to his two sacks, calling them unacceptable.

"I wish I could have those back," he said. "I was just trying to let the routes develop. On the first one, I probably could have (thrown to) the back. On the second one, the guy just made a good play. I just have to make sure everything registers when I get in there.

"That comes with reps. I mean, I know where the back is. Even if I throw it at his feet, that takes away (a loss of yards). It's just something I can get better at. I just need to keep coming out and executing the game plan and get guys going."

But overall Johnson had a promising showing.

"It's a good start, and there's a lot to learn from," he said. "I try to build upon these games and get better. In our quarterback room, we're about completions. We had no turnovers. We made throws."

Two of the four drives Johnson led resulted in punts, but the other two stretched 66 and 55 yards. One drive ended with an incomplete pass on fourth down at the Chiefs' 4-yard line just before halftime.

Johnson was able to finish drives in the third quarter. He took the Bucs on a touchdown drive capped by his 3-yard touchdown pass to WR Micheal Spurlock. Johnson overcame a third and 10 situation earlier in the drive with a 15-yard strike to Spurlock. Later, he hit rookie TE Daniel Hardy with a pass that gained 16 yards to help overcome OT James Lee's holding penalty.

Johnson was most pleased with his ability to avoid mistakes. He threw no interceptions. He made mostly high-percentage throws. He didn't force balls. He pointed to his continuity in coordinator Greg Olson's offense as the reason.

"That's what we want to come out and do," Johnson said. "It was good. I think we all (the quarterbacks) made good decisions. Josh (Freeman), me and Rudy (Carpenter), we trusted in our progressions.

"That's the good thing about having the same offense even though we didn't have an offseason. We understand the reads. It's just second nature. It makes our job a lot easier."

Offensive Line STARTERS STOUT: Notice all that time Freeman had in the pocket? That was the result of a dominant night for the starting offensive line, which neutralized a Kansas City starting front that was without star pass rusher Tamba Hali and former third overall draft pick Glenn Dorsey.

"We were a little disappointed they didn't have all their main guys in there," Bucs LT Donald Penn said. "We were ready either way, and we went out there and played very well collectively. We only had one penalty out there.

"There was a lot to build from. I'm excited."

INJURIES: Undrafted G Thomas Claiborne suffered what appeared to be a broken foot against the Chiefs. If that is confirmed, it likely would derail his bid to make the team and land him on injured reserve. … The Bucs plan to place WR Raymond Webber on injured reserve with a hamstring injury. His and Claiborne's injuries could open up roster spots that the Bucs likely would fill.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers backup quarterback Josh Johnson spots small flaws in his otherwise solid performance 08/13/11 [Last modified: Saturday, August 13, 2011 11:55pm]
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