Leo's Late Hits: Prose From Parrish

August 18 - Is there a quarterback controversy in Tampa Bay? Pewter Report managing editor Leo Haggerty sat down with quarterbacks coach Stan Parrish to see how the Bucs' three NFL starting quarterbacks are meshing at training camp.

Q: When you first came to Tampa Bay and saw film of your quarterbacks, what was your strength as you perceived it to be?
A: We have three guys that have all taken a team to the playoffs. Obviously, we have tremendous depth at the position. I think that it bore itself out in my five or six months here that we have three really good players.

Q: How hard at training camp is it to get repetitions for your quarterbacks?
A: The good thing about training camp is that you do get a lot of snaps particularly with Coach Gruden. Jon has a plan for reps that he will carry out at practice. When your not in the huddle playing football you have to be getting mental reps. So, whoever is not in the game, those other two guys are previewing the plays are getting the mental repetitions of what we do. That keeps everybody on the same page. The quarterbacks have to participate in every play either physically or mentally in practice.

Q: Is it a plus for Brad Johnson that this offense is similar to the one he ran in Washington under Norv Turner?
A: Oh yes. I think that Brad is such an experienced guy that he's been done this road before. He's seen most of these things and it's obvious by his performance as well as his accuracy. He's been able to pick up Jon's system quickly for that reason. That's exactly right.

Q: Is there a more athletic quarterback in the National Football League that has the size that Rob Johnson?
A: He is exciting. He's got that intangible that only a few quarterbacks have that can turn a bad play into a good play on his sheer athletic ability. He has really bought into the system. He has really improved a lot. I am really excited about him.

Q: How hard is it on Shaun King in that he is on his fourth different offense in his four years? A: That's hard but it is real hard when you are as young as he is. It is hard enough when you get older. He has really taken the bull by the horns and has his focus right here at training camp where it needs to be. He is a real young guy and an exciting guy to watch. He is a guy that I, personally, have had a chance to spend a lot of time with since I came to Tampa Bay. The bottom line is that we have tremendous depth at the quarterback position.

Q: Is the fact that Shawn King has small hands just a media thing or is it a hindrance to playing quarterback in the National Football League?
A: There are a lot of baseball players that do not look the part that hit .330 so you do not want to judge a book by its cover. What you do judge a player by is production and he has proved he can produce at every level of football that he has been.

Q: How much of a plus or how much of a minus is it for you that all of your quarterbacks bring different skills to the table when they get under center?
A: I think it is a real plus and I think that Jon, as the play caller, will really benefit from what each of those guys can do.

Q: How do you see Tom Tupa getting involved with this offense or is it not in the plans to get him any repetitions at quarterback?
A: What we are trying to do with Tom is to give him work in our individual periods and, if you happen to be watching, he is back there behind the huddle on offense when the quarterbacks are there. He is previewing every play. Let me guarantee you that Tom knows what we are doing and it is just a matter of Jon feeling that the time is right Tupa to get a couple reps. I will tell you that it is a great luxury to have a guy who is mature and has been through this kind of situation as well a guy who, basically, knows what is going on. That is a real plus.

Q: Can you use Tupa and not use your emergency quarterback if it came to a situation where you first and second team quarterbacks got banged up?
A: Yes and I think he has done that in the past when he was with the Jets. I think when Testaverde got hurt that happened.

Q: How important is the role of the quarterback on this football team?
A: He is the leader of this football team and he is an extension of the head coach in this program. I think that was proven in Jon's previous tenure with his previous team. I think you are right on with that statement.

Q: What is the first thing you told your quarterbacks when you met on the first day of training camp?
A: I said that you needed to be intense and be good leaders. Also you need to have a great demeanor with what you are going to do. The big thing I told them was to have some fun with it.

Q: Your quarterbacks are not fiery guys like a Brett Favre so is it more important that they lead by example than by screaming and shouting?
A: These are guys that just go out and do their jobs. I fell that everybody leads from what they think their strengths are and I think all our guys will do that.

Q: How important is it for the quarterbacks to be successful early in training camp?
A: That is real important for us. We need for the guys who will lead this football team to be good right out of the gate. That way the other 10 guys on offense will be able to see some success and it will help them buy into the system as well.

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