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Sunday, April 12, 2009
Bucs' QB numbers something less than gaudy

By Pat Yasinskas

Posted by's Pat Yasinskas

Keith Hawkins, who hopefully got paid double-time by ESPN Stats & Information for working on Easter, dug up a bunch of numbers on Tampa Bay's quarterback situation after the Bucs signed Byron Leftwich.

First, Hawkins looked at the quarterbacks on every roster. Then he figured out which quarterbacks with which teams made the fewest starts in 2008 and the answer is a little scary for Bucs fans.

According to Hawkins, the Jets (Kellen Clemens, Brett Ratliff and Erik Ainge) don't have a quarterback who started a game last season. The Patriots' quarterbacks only made one start. But there's comfort in the fact that that start was made by Tom Brady, who is expected to be fully recovered from injury.

The Bucs are tied for third in this category. Brian Griese started five games for them last year and they really don't want him starting this year. That's why they plan to let Leftwich battle with Luke McCown. The Detroit Lions tied with the Bucs as Daunte Culpepper made five starts.

Now, lets take a look at the Bucs and their five quarterback starts compared to the rest of the NFC South. It's not even close. The Falcons, Panthers and Saints got all their starts from quarterbacks still on their roster. In fact, Matt Ryan, Jake Delhomme and Drew Brees started every game for their team.

Finally, let's take a look at the career records of Tampa Bay's four quarterbacks as starters. Leftwich is 24-22. Griese has a 45-38 career record. McCown is 1-6. Finally, Josh Johnson, who was drafted last year, has not made a start.