Olson praises development of QB Josh Johnson
While one of the primary focuses of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season will be the development of young quarterback Josh Freeman, the other Josh looks to have settled in.
Josh Johnson, a fifth-round draft pick in 2008, appears to be settled in as the No. 2 quarterback on the depth chart giving the Bucs an inexperienced backup behind their inexperienced starter. Johnson is “entrenched” though according to Rick Stroud of the St. Petersburg Times, and the hope has to be that he learned significantly from his experiences a year ago when he was 0-4 as a starter in Tampa’s quarterback carousel.
Really, who else do the Bucs and offensive coordinator Greg Olson have to work with? Rudy Carpenter and Jevan Snead are the only other quarterbacks on the roster. The team is asking Olson to do tremendous work here. It’s not like he has a journeyman quarterback to lean on from time to time in bringing along the young quarterbacks. It’s not like the Bucs have an assortment of veteran wide receivers to help in the maturation process.
“(Johnson_ has a real solid handle, in my opinion,” Olson said. “Mentally, he's very sharp, he makes very few mistakes if any and he makes the most of the reps he's getting.
“I think Josh definitely has the ability to be a starter in this league and that's a goal of his. It should be a goal of his. Guys talk a lot about, "Is he accurate enough?' Yeah, I believe that he's accurate enough. He needs more experience. He needs to take care of the ball better.”
That is the key for young quarterback – to be able to develop mentally while not getting many physical reps. Really, the key for the Bucs, though, is going to be the strides Freeman takes this season. In the NFC South with the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints and potentially resurgent Atlanta Falcons, there isn’t going to be a lot of room for error for the Bucs.
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