From Steve Spurrier to Josh Johnson
This Sunday, Josh Johnson will become the 33rd starting quarterback in franchise history. Plenty more have thrown passes and that distinction of course is not reserved for just quarterbacks, but to actually start a game behind center, Josh will follow in a long line of passers that started back in 1976 with Steve Spurrier.
And before we go any further Buc fans, do you know the only two who have undefeated records as starters? Answer later in this column.
Spurrier started 12 games in that inaugural season and went on to be one of two Buc quarterbacks who became head coaches of the Redskins later in their lives, Jim Zorn incidentally being the other. Spurrier also holds the record for ultimate futility in the role naturally going 0-12 behind the 1976 team. At least he still makes a living telling stories from that season.
Parnell "Paydirt" Dickinson and Terry Hanratty succeeded him and the latter managed to actually complete one of four passes for a loss of a yard in his start before being replaced. Wow, that's JaMarcus Russell standard.
When it comes to the most wins, surprisingly enough it is not Doug Williams. Doug posted a 33-33-1 mark in his five seasons in Tampa but falls five short of the much-maligned Trent Dilfer in the win stakes. At least they both now own Super Bowl rings from their careers after the Buccaneers.
Outside of our two undefeateds, the best winning percentage is held by Shaun King at 64% thereby proving winning is no proof of actual ability. Veterans Jeff Garcia, Brian Griese and Brad Johnson all have better than .500 career records starting for the Bucs although Brad was 1-0 in Super Bowls.
Vinny Testaverde's 72 starts follows only Trent at 76 in terms of actual openings, and amongst the one-game wonders from Buccaneer history are the likes of Mike Boryla, Jeff Carlson and Eric Zeier. Carlson is also one of four lefties to have begun games, Zorn, Chris Simms and Steve Young being the others.
And the two unbeatens? Rob "The Human Sack Machine" started twice in the Super Bowl season when Brad was hurt and somehow came away with 12-9 and 15-0 wins over Carolina and Chicago respectively. More proof for the Shaun King theory of wins <> ability.
And the other was the previously mentioned Jim Zorn, head coach of the same Washington Redskins we play this weekend. Zorn played the final replacement team game in 1987 after the other two were started by former Tampa Bay Bandit John Reaves. The Bucs won 20-10 and hence Jim retired boasting a perfect mark.
Paul Stewart, TBO.com, September 2009