Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris pleased with practices of new starting quarterback Josh Johnson

TAMPA — Raheem Morris has had less than a week to assess Josh Johnson in his new role as starting quarterback, but the Bucs' coach likes everything he has seen from the second-year pro in practice.

"It was great," Morris said. "You want the quarterback to have control of the huddle. You want him to have control of the offense. And he went out there and did that. And it was not a shock.

"He went out there and executed his plays. He was hard on himself. He was conscientious of working the pocket. And he practiced like a pro. That's all you can really ask from anybody."

Johnson began training camp as the fourth-team quarterback but Monday was tapped to replace Byron Leftwich as the starter for Sunday's road game against the Redskins. The work began in earnest after the team's day off Tuesday.

"He had a really great day Wednesday," Morris said. "We came back on Thursday and didn't practice as well as we did Wednesday … but he was decent. And (Friday) he cleaned up a lot of things and got a perfect red zone period in there, and he fared pretty well. Now it's time to go out to the game and actually play."

PORTIS FACTOR: RB Clinton Portis, the man who powers the Redskins' rushing attack, has earned Morris' utmost respect: "His speed, his elite ability once he gets out in the open, that's what makes him different. And he can lower his pads. He's not a scatback. He'll run the ball hard, he'll run in between the tackles, and he'll go (the distance) on you."

But the Bucs might catch a break. Portis, who rushed for 1,487 yards last season, is questionable with a calf injury sustained Sunday in a 19-14 loss to Detroit. It prevented him from practicing this week. Coach Jim Zorn said Portis has a 50-50 chance of playing Sunday and would be a game-time decision.

"I'm leaning to play him because he's a force," Zorn said.

WARD STATUS: The Bucs are up in the air about RB Derrick Ward, who missed his third straight practice with a knee injury and is listed as questionable.

Ward said he didn't know whether he would travel with the team to Washington; the decision will be made by the training and coaching staffs. "I'm feeling better," he said. "It's just a wait-and-see thing right now. … It's not up to me."

Ward said he woke up Monday with a sore knee but isn't certain how he sustained the injury.

OTHER INJURIES: DE Gaines Adams returned to practice after missing two workouts with a groin injury.

"I'm making progress," said Adams, who is listed as questionable "I'm just listening to the trainers and hearing them out. It's the early part of the season, and you don't want to take a chance of hurting yourself worse."

Other questionable players are Leftwich (hip), FB B.J Askew (hamstring) and WR Antonio Bryant (knee). Out are C Jeff Faine (triceps) and DE Kyle Moore (knee).

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris pleased with practices of new starting quarterback Josh Johnson 10/02/09 [Last modified: Saturday, October 3, 2009 6:40am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays vs. Mariners, 7:10 Friday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Mariners

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Austin Pruitt (50) in the dugout during the ninth inning of the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays on Opening Day at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, April 2, 2017. The Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 7-3.
  2. Rays waste repeated opportunities in 5-3 loss to Blue Jays

    The Heater

    TORONTO — Rays manager Kevin Cash made a case for urgency before Thursday's game, in both actions and words, making significant changes to the structure of the lineup and sincere comments about time running short.

    Trevor Plouffe of the Rays reacts as he pops out with the bases loaded in the sixth inning. [Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images]
  3. Confederate statue: Why Bucs, Lightning, Rays took a stand


    They didn't want another Charlottesville.

    Marc Rodriguez, a member of the "Florida Fight for $15" organization, stands in protest along with other activists demanding the Confederate  monument be removed from the old Hillsborough County Courthouse in Tampa. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  4. Kevin Cash: 'We've got to turn it around. ... Time is of the essence'


    The question to manager Kevin Cash was about a rematch with the Mariners this weekend at the Trop, but he made clear this afternoon that with his Rays losing nine of their last 12 that they have to treat every game as essential.

    "We've got to start playing good baseball games whether we match up well against that team or not," Kevin Cash said.
  5. Lightning wing J.T. Brown on why he donated to remove Confederate statue


    Lightning wing J.T. Brown was back in his Minneapolis offseason home over the weekend when he saw on TV the violent protests in Charlottesville over the removal of a Confederate statue.

    J.T. Brown decided to get involved, donating $1,500 to assist in removing a Confederate statue in Tampa.