September 28, 2009

Leftwich benched by Tampa Bay

Veteran quarterback Byron Leftwich was demoted Monday, clearing the way for Josh Johnson to start for Tampa Bay at Washington next week.

Leftwich started all of the Buccaneers' games this season, all of which ended in losses. Tampa Bay is 0-3 on the year and ranks 28th in the NFL in points scored and 26th in total offense.

The Bucs were shut out Sunday at home against the New York Giants and managed 86 yards of offense. Leftwich completed 7-of-16 passes for 22 yards before being lifted for Johnson.

Leftwich, in his seventh season and on his fourth NFL team, on Monday was made the team's No. 3 quarterback behind Johnson and rookie Josh Freeman.

It's not all about Byron, Bucs Coach Raheem Morris said. I talked to Byron this morning and he looked me right in the face and said he knew he had to get some wins early.

Johnson was a fifth-round draft pick by Tampa Bay in 2008 but was listed as inactive for each game last season. His appearance Sunday, in which he was 4-of-10 for 36 yards, is his only NFL experience.