R. Johnson Prepares For First Start As A Buc

October 23 - Rob Johnson took all of the snaps at practice Wednesday and will likely start against the Panthers Sunday. It will be Johnson's first start as a Buc and he plans on making the most of it.

As expected, the Buccaneers began preparing for the Carolina Panthers without starting quarterback Brad Johnson Wednesday. Johnson suffered a broken rib last Sunday in the team's 20-10 loss to Philadelphia. Tampa Bay second-string QB Rob Johnson took all of the reps during practice Wednesday and is expected to start Sunday.

"Rob Johnson took all the snaps today," said Bucs head coach Jon Gruden. "He appears to be the starter unless Brad makes a significant recovery. (Brad)'s still got a limited range of motion and some soreness there, so for that reason we're getting Rob Johnson ready to start in Carolina."

Needless to say, Rob Johnson, who signed a one-year deal with Tampa Bay during the offseason, is excited about what will be his first start as a Buccaneer and 28th start as a pro.

"It's a lot different," said Rob Johnson. "I'm going from getting about 10 reps a week to every rep, which is great. It will be a busy week for me."

But Johnson doesn't have too much time to think about getting his first start of the season. He and his teammates are too focused on getting over its disappointing loss to Philadelphia and getting ready for Sunday's game at Carolina.

"It's been tough the last couple of days because I've been excited, but we lost," said Rob Johnson. "I feel sorry for Brad. You never want to get your chance through injury.

"It's most likely just going to be one start, so I'm just going to go out there and try to make the most of it."

Rob Johnson's first start as a Buc couldn't have come at a better time. Tampa Bay's offensive line struggled last Sunday and allowed six sacks against Philadelphia. Carolina's defense, which has recorded 26 sacks this season, will probably apply just as much pressure as Philadelphia's defense did, but the Bucs are hoping Rob Johnson's mobility will help the offense move the chains and avoid sacks against the Panthers.

"I think we're different type of quarterbacks," said Rob Johnson. "(Brad) makes very good decisions inside the pocket. He gets rid of the ball and he doesn't take any sacks. I'm going to try to get out (of the pocket) and make things happen when things aren't there."

Even if this Sunday ends up being Rob Johnson's only start for the Bucs this season, he said Wednesday he didn't have a problem with it as long as the team keeps on winning.

"We're 5-2 and Brad has been playing well," said Rob Johnson. "It would be frustrating if the team wasn't playing well and we weren't winning. I have no complaints."


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