Bucs welcome a new first-round quarterback: Josh Rosen

The former UCLA star joins his third team in as many seasons, this time securing a spot on Tampa Bay’s practice squad.
Bucs quarterbacks Tom Brady (12), on left, and Josh Rosen (2) on the field during Bucs practice Tuesday at the AdventHealth Training facility in Tampa.
Bucs quarterbacks Tom Brady (12), on left, and Josh Rosen (2) on the field during Bucs practice Tuesday at the AdventHealth Training facility in Tampa. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published Sep. 8, 2020

TAMPA — Why use a high draft pick on yet another young quarterback?

The Bucs tried that with Jameis Winston, and he flamed out after five seasons.

Winston is now the No. 3 quarterback with the Saints, behind Drew Brees and Taysom Hill.

It left the Bucs without an apparent heir to Tom Brady.

Until now.

Josh Rosen, the Cardinals' first-round pick in 2018, joined the Bucs as a member of their practice squad and took his place in drills alongside Brady, Blaine Gabbert and Ryan Griffin at practice Tuesday, a few days after being released by the Miami Dolphins.

It was a shrewd move for the Bucs and Rosen, who received $17.6 million in guaranteed money from his rookie deal.

Rosen gets a chance to be mentored by Brady, while also being available to be plucked off the Bucs' practice squad should a starting NFL job present itself.

The Bucs may get an entire season to evaluate Rosen, who has had eight coordinators since his days at UCLA.

One of them was Byron Leftwich, who took over those duties in Arizona two years ago after Mike McCoy was fired. Leftwich is in his second year as the Bucs' offensive coordinator.

“I think it was an excellent move. Josh wanted to be here," head coach Bruce Arians said. ''We wanted him here. I really liked him coming out (of college). Byron (Leftwich) had him for eight or nine games as a starter with a really bad football team. He was around Miami, he learned, he’s sharp, he’s big — he’s got everything you’re looking for, so it’s a great guy to groom.”

Captain’s corner

The Bucs elected their team captains for this season and, to no one’s surprise, one newcomer will have a "C" on his jersey.

Quarterback Tom Brady was voted by his teammates to be one of the two offensive captains. Wide receiver Mike Evans will be the other offensive captain, his fourth straight season he’s been elected by his teammates.

Brady was an 18-time team captain in his 20 years with the Patriots.

Second-year inside linebacker Devin White was also voted a captain on defense. He will join veteran inside linebacker Lavonte David as the defensive captains.

“You’ve seen it coming,” David said of White becoming a team captain. “As soon as he walked in the building, he knew he was going to be one of those guys people can follow and it’s showing. He’s one of those guys who always has a motor, he’s constantly talking and constantly doing things to get better.”

For David, the Bucs' longest-tenured player, this will be his seventh straight season as a captain.

Inside linebackers Devin White and Lavonte David were voted defensive captains. It’s real big, it’s real special to be voted captain seven years straight," David said. “And to be voted by different guys every year, it just shows I have the respect from my peers and I’m doing what I’m supposed to do. Every time I wear that 'C' on my chest, I wear it with honor, I wear it with pride. I try to display that on and off the field, because that’s the way those guys need me to be.”

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The Bucs' two special teams captains will be inside linebacker Kevin Minter and punter Bradley Pinions.

Teams are allowed to have six captains, and last season three players were offensive captains: Evans, Jameis Winston and Ali Marpet.

Bucs add punter to practice squad

Here’s how unimpressed the Bucs were by Matt Gay. Not only did they give his job to former Chiefs and Titans veteran Ryan Succop, they added a kicker to their practice squad Tuesday — and it wasn’t Gay, their fifth-round pick from Utah in 2019.

Tampa Bay signed kicker Greg Joseph to the practice squad. Joseph joined the Titans last December and kicked for them in the postseason, making his only field goal attempt in the AFC Championship game. In five games, he also went 18 for 18 in extra point attempts.

Staff writer Eduardo Encina contributed to this report.