September 5th, 2009

Though preseason is hardly the time for fans of any team to freak out, Steve Wyche of is of the mind that there are fans of five teams that have every right to hit the panic button now.

And one of those teams is, you guessed it, your Tampa Bay Bucs.

They will enter the season with Byron Leftwich as their starter, but there hardly is the sense that he has a stranglehold on the position. When the coaches compared Leftwich with his challenger, Luke McCown, they concluded that Leftwich could throw deeper when they went to their play-action passing game after setting up opposing defenses with a heavy dose of runs. McCown wasn’t all that far behind Leftwich during the preseason. And the fact is, either one of them would merely be keeping the seat warm for rookie Josh Freeman.

The defense is very young, and its inexperience has shown during the preseason. One player it needs to be able to count on is cornerback Aqib Talib, but his off-field issues are cause for concern. His most recent incident was an arrest for allegedly assaulting a cab driver.

The firing of Jagodzinski raises questions about whether Raheem Morris, like fellow rookie Haley, might be having a hard time with his transition to the head-coaching ranks. Wasn’t Jagodzinski coaching at Boston College while a certain quarterback named Matt Ryan was preparing to embark on an NFL career that got off to a wildly successful start in Atlanta last year?

Joe isn’t ready to hit the panic button yet. While there are certainly reasons for concern, he’s not climbing on top of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, but he has monitored traffic up there. 

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