The QB Blast: McCown’s Loyalty Rewarded

August 10th, 2009


Former Bucs quarterback Jeff Carlson writes the weekly QB Blast column here at Joe is ecstatic to have him firing away. Carlson has sports radio and TV gigs in the Bay area and trains quarterbacks of all ages via his company, America’s Best Quarterback.

I read, saw and heard a number of interesting things during the Bucs’ first week of training camp.
I chuckled as I read relatively identical stories from each of Tampa’s major newspapers. It turns out that Jim Bates’ new defense needs pressure from its defensive line to be successful and Bates will blitz if he doesn’t get it.

This was put in contrast to Monte Kiffin’s Tampa 2, which by the way was one of the NFL’s best for a very long time and depended on pressure from the front four (Sapp, Rice, etc).  But Monte also would bring interesting blitzes if he couldn’t generate enough rush up front (hence, Ronde Barber’s 20+ sacks as a starting cornerback). For the record, Ronde didn’t get beat deep down the sideline a number of times last year while sitting back in the Tampa 2.

Raheem Morris purged a number of veterans that needed reduced practice schedules, citing the need to get meaner and tougher. On Saturday, Morris gave Barber the day off because he is an old-school Benz that needed an oil change, so he left him in the parking lot for the day signing autographs. Turns out he and Gruden do have some similarities, Gruden just had a larger lot for his classic cars.

I like Morris very much, by the way, but didn’t like him entertaining the media with an impersonation of his young star quarterback. He made Josh Freeman out to be woefully unprepared to handle what is in front of him quoting Freeman saying, “I saw Byron throw one deep, so I thought I should too”, in what seemed to be almost mocking “Fast Times At Ridgemont High “whoa dude” surfer lingo.

Morris is entertaining, but I don’t think he should demean his players publicly, especially the future face of the franchise. That kind of ridicule is unleashed in the “rookie show” later in camp, but those have probably been outlawed around the league.

On a positive note, I think Morris has created a practice schedule that should get the most effort out of his players. By going double-days every other day, players can give their all, knowing they get a mini break the next day.

Lastly, Luke McCown may be falling behind Byron Leftwich, but I think he gets the first preseason start not to showcase his potential trade value (what is a QB’s trade value with a 1-6 starting record that can’t beat out a guy that is on his fourth team in four years?).

McCown will start because McCown was the first one to sign on with the new head coach’s regime and the coach’s promise that he would compete for the starting job.

6 Responses to “The QB Blast: McCown’s Loyalty Rewarded”

  1. George C. Costanza Says:

    I didn’t perceive Coach Morris’s impersonation as demeaning. I think you’re overreacting. I took it to be a young coach who relates well to his players, which sometimes includes a bit of tomfoolery.

  2. Mr. Media Says:

    Carlson’s right. It’s the first thing I thought of when I heard about it. THat’s not a way to get your new QB eager to communicate. Harmless or not.

  3. Pete Says:

    If you had done such a thing in Doug Williams day, or even Trent Dilfer’s it would be good natured humor…
    Today in our “feelings” driven world, don’t let anybody suffer, media soundbite world, its basically hazing and is frowned upon and perhaps Freeman will need to be given a gold star to feel better, but then of course you would need to give one to each member of the team, just so no one feels left out.

    Leftwich starting will not create much of a buzz, it will be like Gruden never left, stop gap older vets and or young guys with little experience. Blech. I suspect ticket sales push will need to be even greater next season.

    Hopefully our “franchise” QB we moved up to get will get his shot next year and learn at least something from watching an older stop gap backup vet on his 4th team in 2 years and or a young guy who has no experience.

  4. RastaMon Says:

    Mike Ditka called Doug Flutie “Bambi” his first camp with the Bears……

  5. Jeff Carlson Says:

    I don’t remember Doug Flutie’s career with the Bears. How did that turn out?
    All I am saying is I think thing like that should stay “in house”. There is a long time rule not to embarrass your QB in front of the team–and surely not in front of the media/fans/world. Tomfoolery is for inside the lockerroom, not on a podium with a microphone.
    Everyone makes mistakes. Tony Dungy admitted that he did as a young coach and grew. This was just a mistake that I don’t think Coach Morris should continue in the media.

  6. BigMacAttack Says:

    I don’t care what Raheem says or does. It’s the “W” that counts. Win baby Win. Jeff, of all people you should know how mentally tough a QB needs to be. I’m just a little more Old School and about Thick Skin. My skin is so thick, it’s hard to tell where the Fat ends and the Skin begins. I guess Freeman is lucky Mike Ditka isn’t his coach now. Maybe Raheem should look to Father Dungy for guidance. Throw 3 “Hail Marys” and recite aloud the “Act of Contrition”