TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' extended quarterback derby is over. Byron Leftwich will start the Sept. 13 season opener against the Dallas Cowboys.
First-year Bucs coach Raheem Morris selected Leftwich over Luke McCown on Saturday, saying the seventh-year pro held an edge going into training camp and retained it with steady -- if unspectacular -- play through three preseason games.
There has been speculation that the loser of the race might be traded. However, McCown made it clear that his wish is to remain with the Bucs, who are grooming first-round pick Josh Freeman as their quarterback of the future.
Morris likes second-year pro Josh Johnson, too, and raised the possibility Saturday of carrying four quarterbacks into the regular season.
Morris shrugged off a question about how committed he might be to Leftwich, considering the close competition for the starting job and the fact that Freeman is waiting in the wings, too.