Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

28 Sep 2009

Johnson Takes Over For Leftwich

The Byron Leftwich era in Tampa Bay has ended after, oh, two and a half games.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 28 Sep 2009

16 comments, Last at 29 Sep 2009, 2:12am by BucNasty

Comments

1
by Bobman :: Mon, 09/28/2009 - 12:58pm

Can't say the change was all that successful.... poor Bucs and their fans.

2
by C (not verified) :: Mon, 09/28/2009 - 1:32pm

Josh Johnson came in relief for Leftwhich to throw 4/10 for 36 yards and 1 15 yard rush.

1) How many games before the Josh Freeman ERA begins?
2) Will Byron Leftwhich be a good citizen on the bench, or should Morris have gone the Jack Del Rio route?
3) Will Byron take any more snaps this season or will it be JJ and Freeman the rest of the way?
4) Is Byron Leftwhich's career over?
5) Does anybody miss Luke Mckown?

4
by Longtime Reader (not verified) :: Mon, 09/28/2009 - 2:02pm

6) Will you EVER learn to spell Byron Leftwich's name?

12
by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Mon, 09/28/2009 - 7:22pm

The amazing thing to me is that the guy's name is *in the title of the extra point.* It's just a few pixels above the box where he's typing. How do you consistently screw that up without *intending* to?

Maybe, however, Chris doesn't need to learn to spell Leftwich's name right. Maybe he needs to learn how to spell *other* things wrong. Is it possible Chris is just a too-sober version of Raiderjoe?

15
by C (not verified) :: Mon, 09/28/2009 - 8:33pm

I'm in your head.

AND I'm drunk.

3
by Key19 :: Mon, 09/28/2009 - 1:48pm

Josh Johnson looked much better to me than his statline indicates. He came in and hit some good completions for first downs, which was something that hadn't happened all day for the Bucs. He also had a beautiful deep ball that was dropped (drops are a recurring theme in Tampa). He then got down to the goal line and the Offensive Coordinator seemed hell-bent on getting him a passing TD, calling 4 passing plays. All 4 were incomplete, with one being a terrible drop. If they had just run the ball (and didn't have Michael Clayton on the roster), Josh Johnson's stats would've been more indicative of how he performed on the whole.

I think Johnson is a huge step up from Byron Leftwich and I think that the team has a much better chance of winning with him.

5
by MilkmanDanimal :: Mon, 09/28/2009 - 2:06pm

What you said.

At this point, Johnson is a "maybe he doesn't utterly suck", which is a giant improvement over Byron "stinking pile of crap" Leftwich. I am simply amazed at how lousy he has been this year. I was expecting "not good", but we got "excrementally spectacular". Maybe Johnson turns out OK, at least.

And yes, I miss Luke McCown. I thought he should have been the starter this year. Leftwich completed less than 50% of his passes in the preseason, and somehow got the job. McCown has looked not too bad in spot duty in the past, he was a better option.

6
by C (not verified) :: Mon, 09/28/2009 - 2:16pm

I watched Luke do "ok" in a start against the Saints ( granted their pass defense was terrible) but the odds are he'd never turn into anything.

I'd bet that Byron signed his contract with the expectation to start ( maybe a non verbal commitment ?) I really didn't see Morris ever not going with Left WHICH no matter what happened in the preseason.

So can we peg the Josh Freeman Era to start before or after the Bucs 9th game? I was sort of shocked watching 2 preseason games were both Troy Aikman and I believe Rich Gannon both said they'd start FREEMAN over the rest of the Bucs QB corps.

13
by MC2 :: Mon, 09/28/2009 - 7:53pm

I'd bet that Byron signed his contract with the expectation to start ( maybe a non verbal commitment ?)

So, you think they used sign language to promise him the job?

7
by Boston Dan :: Mon, 09/28/2009 - 2:50pm

Johnson's completion percentages in 2005, 2006 and 2007 for the San Diego Toreros: 70.7 66.3 68.3

YPA: 8.63 8.95 9.92

TD: 31 35 42

INT: 8 5 1

8
by Monkey Business (not verified) :: Mon, 09/28/2009 - 3:03pm

Continuing proof that "toughness" is only a viable stat when discussing grades of meat.

Although, I would like to see toughness quantified. First, a unit of measurement: the McNair. One McNair is equivalent to a single broadcast commentator going "Wow, what a tough guy." without any further exposition.

FO, get on it.

9
by MilkmanDanimal :: Mon, 09/28/2009 - 4:02pm

I suspect that the first time Hines Ward ever appeared on camera that statistic would pretty much explode.

11
by Bobman :: Mon, 09/28/2009 - 5:52pm

Awesome line about meat.

But your measurement is off... Because McNair was touted as one of the toughest mothers in the game... so even one McNair would be unattainable for most mortals. (I myself have been compared to one of his toes, and not in a good way, so that might be a place to start.)

I'd say that even one Unitas (played QB with broken finger on throwing hand), while less than one McNair (Once played when lungs and kidneys were on strike and an elephant stepped on his head), may still be too high. Maybe the baseline should be one Pennington--clearly anyone who rehabs as much as he has done is tough both mentally and physically, but in the end, still kind of fragile. He's not somebody who is out every other week, but when he's out, it's the IR baby!

10
by bubqr :: Mon, 09/28/2009 - 5:41pm

Josh Johnson will surprise a lot of people IMO. NFL arm, played in a pro style offense with good success (even if in a lower division), very mobile. He's small though.

14
by C (not verified) :: Mon, 09/28/2009 - 8:31pm

So will he be better or worse than Senecca Wallace?

It seems like people are more optimistic than not when talking Josh Johnson. They talk about those numbers he threw up in intramurals in college against teams you've never heard of.

If he came from nowhere to become a spot starter/backup QB I'd say that was a success so good luck to him.

16
by BucNasty :: Tue, 09/29/2009 - 2:12am

I'm ecstatic. The Bruce Gradkowski Experience has tempered my enthusiasm for late round projects from small schools who shine in the preseason and in mop up duty, but at this point it's not like we have anything to lose. More than his play (which I thought was really good, for the same reasons others stated above), I love the kid's mechanics. He has quick feet, stays in the pocket when he should, holds the ball with both hands at eye level (which I'm not sure is good, just putting it out there, though it certainly affects the next thing on this list), has a lightning fast release, and can put some nice touch on the ball when he needs to. Also, he certainly looks frail, but he has decent height for a QB at 6'3" (I think).

He's exactly the kind of quarterback I think you should take a flyer on in the late rounds: outstanding college stats, particularly completion percentage and TD:Int ratio, but who was passed up either due to a low number of starts without possessing a rocket arm (not really the case here) or because they went to a small school (bingo!). I don't worry about whether or not this level of competition proves to be too much for him, because Leftwich certainly isn't bringing us out of this hole (not that it's his fault the defense can't cover or stop the draw). I worry that he'll be really good and then we'll trade him to clear the way for Freeman to start. In any case, I'm glad to have broken free of the glum mood the last 3 games have put me in!