Buccaneer Bow Shots

September 6, 2009 11:38 PM

Buccaneers Will Find Out What They've Got

Raheem Morris finally has his squad in place and it looks nothing like the 2008 Buccaneers of Jon Gruden.

Byron Leftwich will lead this team into battle against Dallas next Sunday and his immediate backup will be the Wonder Boy -- Josh Freeman. And that means that this team is one really good lick away from Morris and Mark Dominik's self-fulfilling prophecy.

It's not far fetched that Leftwich can get knocked out of a game, anytime. He's a perfect target in the pocket and you know that Dallas can produce a pass rush. But if all goes to Morris' plan, these Buccaneer will run the ball over and around Dallas and keep the 'Boys guessing when big ole Byron will wind up the windmill and hit an open receiver.

It all sounds so simple. Doesn't it?

The question Buccaneer fans must ask themselves this week is what discoveries have been made in the four preseason games?

First, it was a "loser leaves town" match between Leftwich and Luke McCown, who was traded to Jacksonville on Saturday. The Bucs were fortunate to find a taker as they unloaded about $4 million in salary over the next two years and paved the way for Freeman to take his place as backup to Leftwich, followed by the third qb -- Josh Johnson.

Freeman needs to be in the second spot. It's the only way he'll get enough reps in practice to make the progress needed to groom him for the starting job, which could come sooner or later for the lad who should be in his senior year at Kansas State.

Second, no one knows what the starting receivers can do for this team. Antonio Bryant and Michael Clayton were unseen in the preseason as was tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. If those three are not a big part of the offense, this team could be in trouble.

Third, the firing of offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski leaves Greg Olson precious little time to settle into the position with Dallas looming largely.

Fourth, will a strong running game really materialize for an entire game against a highly-regarded team like the Cowboys?

The optimists of the world will tell you that the Bucs will average 30 points a game or more. Sounds more like wishful thinking than a thesis with solid proof.

The optimists will also tell us this Buc defense will dominate. If so, it will have to do it without a key component, safety Tanard Jackson, suspended for the first four games.

In all, there is a lot to think about this week as the Bucs prepare for their 2009 home opener.

They work on Monday, players are off on Tuesday around the league, Wednesday and Thursday are the biggest work days in the NFL.

Then it's a short trip to Sunday and a date with Tony Romo and the 'Boys.

Sounds like fun, doesn't it?

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