How Long Can Byron Leftwich Hold Up?

September 22nd, 2009

Many pundits, Joe among them, crowed about the virtues of the Bucs’ offensive line before the season began. But suddenly that line looks more, well, offensive than impressive.

Maybe it began when Arron Sears decided to play hide-and-seek in Alabama. And no, when someone is paid seven-figures indirectly by fans in a stadium largely funded by taxpayers, privacy is out the window. Fans (and taxpayers) have every right to know why this guy is AWOL as much as fans are informed of Antonio Bryant’s bum knee or Jermaine Phillips’ broken thumb.

People who clutch privacy so dearly shouldn’t work in a high-profile industry for the public, sorry. Playing in the NFL is a privilege, not a right. Want to be filthy rich? Cool, but there are a few catches. This is one of them. 

Maybe it was the change to zone blocking? But now, without Arron the not-so-friendly ghost, without an injured Jeff Faine and trying to play in a different scheme, the Bucs’ offensive line has turned into a sieve.

They couldn’t get a push off the line Sunday to enable the Bucs corral of running backs room to run. They couldn’t keep defenders from pounding quarterback Byron Leftwich, who also got beat up in the opening game with Dallass.

Leftwich isn’t exactly young. And he isn’t exactly mobile. Just how long can he keep getting punished before he falls in injury? And does the Bucs hierarchy really want to get Josh Freeman physically abused like Leftwich?

The kid will get shell-shocked if he has to put up with the same abuse as Leftwich has the first two weeks.

The secondary is alarming. The lack of a defense is stunning. But the way the Bucs strongest unit, the offensive line, has collapsed is shocking to Joe, and it frightens him to think that Freeman just might have to get beat up like Leftwich.

If the Bucs don’t straighten out its offensive line, and quickly, the porous defense will be the least of their concerns.   

4 Responses to “How Long Can Byron Leftwich Hold Up?”

  1. J Lynch says Says:

    Bucs are dead and Rigga Morris has set in

  2. Joe Says:

    >>> Rigga Morris has set in <<< Good one Mr. Lynch!

  3. Pete Says:

    It is clear Joe that you don’t want Freeman behind center, article after article on the subject.

    “Leftwich gives us the best chance to win” was the argument many made. When?

    To answer the question, who knows how long Lefty has. He has never done 16 games before. At this point it will be JJ coming in for him as JF is not even active. So feel better that it will be Johnson taking the beating (maybe he is mobile enough not to) and not Freeman.

    Seems like the new young QB’s coming out are handling starting just fine. No Ryan Leafs or Akaili Smith’s so far.

    Freeman may be tougher than we give him credit for. It would be nice to know. But clearly the coaching staff will continue the molly coddling of the supposed Franchise QB for a while longer. Lets hope the coaches know what they are doing, currently IMO the jury is still out on that.

    $36 Mill to ride the pine? By next year they won’t be able to give away season tickets.

  4. Chris Says:

    I don’t feel Lefty’s getting it done, and I think the local media’s been easy on him. I know he’s been under constant duress, but there had to be at least one hot read to be had during the barrage of blitzes he faced in the 4th qtr. He also a ton of missed throws when he did have some time the 1st qtr. I would much rather see JJ blunder & bumble. At least we could finally see what we’ve got. There’s no secret to what we’ve got with Lefty. He’s a great guy; he’s just not future. As for Freeman, he’s just not ready to take the helm, especially with our issues at center.